Strolling through the retreat in nothing but my slippers and a robe, I took a moment of solitude to observe the sounds around me at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga. The soft whisper of the swaying trees, gentle rustle of Koala’s on the move, and chitter chatter of the surrounding wildlife. The only remnant to prove I had just been in the Downtown area moments before, was the glimpse of the Sydney Harbor Bridge through the treetops.
After settling in, we met the guide at the gate to the Hotel’s Private Sanctuary. Included in all Wildlife Retreat stays, we were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness some of Australia’s most beloved wildlife roaming free. Cute Echidnas, baby Joeys, and friendly Wallaby’s – a moment I’ll never forget.
A short jaunt across the Harbor by boat, the Wildlife Retreat is a haven for those looking to escape the bustle of the city. Beautifully surrounded by nature, the Boutique Hotel is a private wildlife sanctuary on the grounds of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
Sensitively designed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint, The Wildlife Retreat mimics natural surroundings with several green initiatives in place. Providing an eco-friendly, rewarding experience to guests, the Hotel successfully aligns with Taronga’s overall mission: to secure a shared future for wildlife and people.
An open-concept lobby area is the first site guests will see upon check-in, with sweeping views of Sydney Harbor Bridge and treetops in plenty. The N’Gurra lounge is the central hub within the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga.
Designed to feel like a luxurious tree house, the plush couches and elegant mood lighting will instantly ensure you feel at ease. Unwind with a good book, indulge in a craft cocktail, or relax on the outdoor patio – If you’re lucky, you’ll see the Cockatoos fly overhead or hear the sounds of the Kookaburra laughing.
With palettes of soft beige and reds, all rooms are effortlessly decorated in a lodge-style. With couches and bedding purposefully facing the floor-to-ceiling windows, guests are ensured to see the sighting of a Koala scaling the trees outside their rooms or admire other animals in their natural habitats. My advice? Sleep with the window slightly open for a fully immersive experience.
For unsurpassed views, venture to Me-Gal restaurant during sunrise or sunset hours. Where culinary delight meets modern relaxation, this space was created to evoke feelings of calm while sampling some gastronomy standouts.
“We are created from the tears of Biame (creator spirit represented in many forms throughout Aboriginal communities), just as her tears created the ocean. Me-Gal is the Gaimaragal word for ‘tear’ and is spoken in context with our ocean creation story and speaks strongly of the saltwater that surrounds this site.”– Dennis Foley, Cammeraigal Traditional Custodian.
While no one ever wants to leave the comforts of a Hotel, the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga sends guests off in quite a pleasant way. Prior to checkout, it’s possible to visit Taronga Zoo with a guide before the general public. Walk with the Kangaroos, spy the Tasmanian Devils, and stroll through the bird sanctuaries at your own pace.
Having the privilege of incorporating the beauty of wildlife into your stay is something that makes the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga a truly unforgettable stay.