More than a hundred years ago, Sydney’s residents were woken by a cacophony of weird and wonderful noises. The zoo animals were on the move.

Over the course of six months in 1916, hundreds of Sydney’s favourite animals left behind their dismal and outdated cages at the old Moore Park Zoo and were shepherded through the city streets before being ferried across the harbour to their new, purpose-built home – Taronga Zoological Park. From a 4-ton elephant named Jessie, to kangaroos, lions and cockatoos, animals big and small made this extraordinary journey to a new life in one of the world’s most beautiful zoos.

Amid the traumatic days of the Great War, the creation of the new zoo and the remarkable feat of moving hundreds of animals captured the hearts and imaginations of Sydneysiders. How to Move a Zoo invites visitors of all ages to reimagine this unique Sydney story and meet the animals that delighted generations.

Enter a space of immersive projections that re-create the sights and sounds of the animals’ journey through the streets of Sydney. Choose your animal and see it walk, run, hop or fly across the cityscape to its new home at Taronga. Discover how the planning of Taronga incorporated the latest zookeeping practices to give the animals spacious, bar-less enclosures set into the natural landscape.  

Specially commissioned illustrations, coupled with rarely seen historical photographs from the NSW State Archives Collection, re-create this incredible story in a playful, thought-provoking interactive exhibition.

Share your experience @sydlivmus #HowToMoveAZoo

20 November 2021 - 24 April 2022


Adult | $15 
Concession | $12 
Child (5-15 years) | $12 
Family* | $38 
Members | Free of charge
Children under 5 years | Free of charge

*1 adult & 2 children, 1 adult & 3 children, 2 adults & 1 child, 2 adults & 2 children


  • Zoo on the move

    Visit Vaucluse House this January for fun drop-in activities, and book into Zoo Talk with Taronga Zoo and puppetry workshop by Erth. 

    Vaucluse House, Thursdays – Sundays, 13–30 January

    See events

  • A Tale of Two Zoos

    This photographic exhibition explores the story of Sydney’s first public zoo, at Moore Park (1884–1916), and the creation of Taronga Zoological Park. 

    NSW Parliament House, 8 February – 3 March 2022

    Find out more

  • More fun for kids

    Enjoy animal inspired crafts and online puzzles at home! Plus, download our mobile and tablet wallpapers, and animal Zoom backgrounds.

    Get creative

  • Zoo stories

    Discover the incredible true story behind the exhibition and how Jessie the beloved elephant fared on her first ferry ride. 

    Read on


Online shop

Animals of Australia Puzzle 252 Piece
Elephant 3D Cardboard Model Kit
Why Do Tigers Have Whiskers?
Quack, Flap, SNAP!



How to Move a Zoo installation.


How to move a giant green elephantTuesday 16 November 2021


SLM and NSW State Archives Logo


Exhibition Partners Logo Quay Quarter Grosvenor Place