Wild Life Sydney
Wild Life Sydney Zoo (formerly Sydney Wildlife World) is a wildlife park in the heart of the city of Sydney, Australia. Officially opened in September 2006, it is located on the city side of the Darling Harbour leisure and retail precinct, next to Sydney Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Sydney.
In May 2006, Sydney Aquarium Pty Ltd announced plans to expand the existing aquarium site, in order to incorporate a wildlife park. Following this announcement, and after the acquisition of the tourist attractions at Sydney Tower and of Manly Oceanarium, Sydney Aquarium Pty Ltd changed its name to Sydney Attractions Group. Village Roadshow Limited purchased Sydney Attractions Group in late 2007. UK attractions group Merlin Entertainments bought Sydney Wildlife World as part of its acquisition of Village Roadshow assets in March 2011.
The park changed its name to Wild Life Sydney Zoo (trademarked as Wild Life Sydney) and re-opened on 13 September 2011.
The attraction won the Award for the best family-focused tourism at The Australian's 2007 Travel and Tourism Awards.
Construction began in November 2004 on the site, and was completed in August 2006. Wild Life Sydney is unusual for a zoo or wildlife park in that the public areas are almost entirely enclosed and air-conditioned. The A$52 million development features a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) walkway which snakes through 7,000 square metres (75,000 sq ft) of enclosures.
The upper level exhibits are open-air, enclosed only by a large stainless steel mesh roof structure supported by curved beams, which were designed to look like the ribs of the rainbow serpent of Aboriginal myth when viewed from above. This open-air feature has enabled the exhibits to be landscaped naturally with live plants, including full-sized trees. The largest exhibit is the 800-square-metre (8,600 sq ft) semi-arid habitat, featuring 250 tonnes of red sand trucked in from central Australia and full-sized bottle trees. This habitat houses a mob of adult red kangaroos.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo is divided into 10 zones, containing the following exhibits:
In December 2009 the attraction unveiled a new Northern Territory-themed enclosure called Kakadu Gorge, which houses a near-5-metre (16 ft) male saltwater crocodile named Rex. The enclosure is bordered by viewing galleries both above and below the waterline, offering visitors guaranteed views of Rex. Several species of fishes and bird are also kept in the enclosure. As of February 2016, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo have acquired a new Platypus Display.