The good ole days weren't really, you know. I don't reckon.
Taronga Zoo has been clinging to a harbour cliffside since 1916, and from then until the very late '50s it was serviced by trams, either that or shanks's pony. Getting over there was the easy part: you went by ferry to bottom gate, or by car to top gate. If you went down, you had to clamber back up to your car. If you came by ferry it was the hard yards as you viewed the animals.
So, Taronga Zoo was serviced by a tram route that took visitors from the Athol Wharf up to the top gate, facilitating an easy ramble one-way only. As I meandered down the other day, I saw remnants of the tramway down Athol Wharf Road. See the image of the black bike? Look at the upper right quadrant and you will see a hook in the rockface for keeping the electric cabelling in place as the trams rattled along. I can find these everywhere now!
But Athol Wharf Road comes off Bradleys Head Road at top gate, and is a very steep incline as some of these images attest. More so than some of the trams could cope with. Three times they careered on down the road, past the wharf and into the harbour, having to be ignominously dredged out by crane. This happened in 1942, 1952 and 1958. This image shows the 1958 plunge.
The trams finished in the late '50s and buses took over the same route. They are still there, the buses. Plying their way from bottom gate to top gate, and thence to Mosman or to Balmoral Beach. I am unable to date the commencement of the chairlift, but here it is in all its glory.