I’m back with more secret knowledge that’s shared among parents. We’ve mentioned singing the ABCs when brushing their teeth. That’s a good trick, here’s another.

Buy annual passes to Taronga Zoo. They cost about the same as 2.4 visits and come with discounted parking fees. Kids aged 0-15 are free. So you’re looking at $99 per adult if you buy them online.

Why do I mention this? We lived in Sydney for the first four years of our son’s life. Living in Sydney is expensive as a rule, so discovering Taronga Zoo’s surprisingly cheap tickets is a golden life hack when looking for family outing ideas.

We had our son’s second birthday party at the Zoo and bought annual passes that day before renewing the following year. He loves animals and the Zoo is an extraordinary place to broaden the consciousness of little kids. We went at least six or seven times over two years. Highly recommend.

I’ve just asked him for his Top 5 favourite animals to share with you.

“I like the Zoo because it has monkeys that say ooh ooh ah ah. And they like eating bananas. And I like elephants because they say ooooh and they eat leaves. And I like the baby elephant. And I like giraffes because they eat leaves too. I like seals because they play, they eat and they jump and splash like dolphins. The gorillas can lift anything. And that’s what I like about the Zoo.”

Giraffes

The most iconic animals at Taronga Zoo, in an enclosure above Sydney Harbour. It’s completely absurd that giraffes live in Sydney. Early European explorers to Africa reported seeing monsters on the plains, the towering, completely alien giraffes. Totally freaked them out. Did you know that giraffes are actually four distinct species? That’s crazy but true.

Elephants

Everyone loves elephants, especially kids. One day we spent at the Zoo was an extremely hot 37 degrees and with hardly anyone else foolish enough to attend, we had the Asian elephants all to ourselves as they enjoyed a long, cool bath. Even spraying a bit of water our way. Beautiful animals.

Seals

The Seal Show is a must attend. Check the schedule and get down in the first few rows ahead of time for the best possible experience. They’re amazing animals, very intelligent and entertaining. They have a huge impact on the kids.

Chimpanzees

My son hasn’t seen the latest reboot of Planet Of The Apes and that’s probably for the best or he’d rightly be terrified of the chimps. They will replace us. In the meantime, he’s a fan.

Gorillas

The gorillas are my favourite at the Zoo. We had an incredible experience the first time we took our son, then only two years old, meeting the baby gorilla through a window. I’m guessing it’s the same baby seen in the photo above. They were shadowing each other, playing and trying to understand one another.