As I had written in my last post about discovering more of Australia, we went to Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside last weekend. Even though I have lived in Sydney for so long and the park is only 40 minutes’ drive from our place, I had never visited the park before. I went there with my hubby, my cousin S didi, her husband and her 5 years old kid. Out of all of us, my nephew had the most fun being up close with Australian native animals including Koala, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Crocodile, Dingos, Goannas, Penguins, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Echidna and many more.
As spring is here we did not need thick jackets and scarfs. It was a nice sunny day too and an easy drive to Doonside. We arrived at the park around 11am and were lucky to get the last parking spot. The entry price for adults is $27 and for kids is $15.
The Featherdale Wildlife Park has an extensive collection of Australian wildlife – birds, mammals, and reptiles. I really like the way they housed the animals, each enclosure reflected the native habitat of the animals, like mountains, grasslands, and coastal region. At the same time, many of the animals like kangaroos, emus, wallabies, peacocks and some birds run free.
As soon as we walked in, we were welcomed by lots of birds like Galah, Long billed Corella, Sulphur crested Cockatoo. But my attention was quickly diverted when I saw so many Wallabies running freely. There were many visitors patting and feeding these Wallabies. I waited for our turn and managed to pat, feed and take photos with them too. And my nephew was super excited to see these animals moving free. He kept on screaming ‘Kangaroos’ and we had to keep correcting him that it was Wallabies 🙂
All the animals are native to Australia so you get a lot of information about them as you wander around the park. As we walked on we saw more beautiful birds like parrots, owls, kites, eagles, kookaburras and many more.
As we reached the area where there were lots of cuddly koalas, I was really excited as we got to pat the little fellow. It is nice to be able to touch them and take a picture without having to pay extra unlike other places where they charge $25 just to take a picture with them.
Next stop was a dark hut where they had a place for bats and bilby. The bats looked like they were sleeping but the bilby were just playing around. They looked so cute. My nephew went to see the bats two more times later in the day as he was so excited.
As we walk around we could hear lots of birds making different kinds of noise. At one corner was a big crocodile lazily sun bathing. It was not as big as the one I saw in Sydney Wild Life Park but still looked fierce and dangerous.
The other thing I got to pat that day was the wombats. Wombats are short-legged, muscular native to Australia, approximately 1 metre in length with a short, stubby tail. Even though they are big they looked so cute and their fur is fluffy and soft.
Next stop was the reptile area where they house Turtles, Lizards and Snakes. They were a bit creepy but it was fun to see so many different varieties of snakes. On our way out we saw Emu and peacocks as well.
From there we went to the farmyard where they had farm animals to play with. They had hens, ducks, pigs, goats, sheep, guinea pigs and many more. Some of the goats were a bit scary as they were really big but I managed to get one white baby goat. He was really gentle so I picked him up. My nephew was so excited to pat him.
As it was lunch time by then, we decide to go to the picnic area and prepare lunch. We had some marinated meat which we barbequed and also had churaa, aloo ko achar and badmas saneko. AS and R Bhinaju were busy with the BBQ so I had some time to entertain my nephew with bubbles. It was fun to see him chasing and trying to catch the bubbles.
After the meat were cooked, we all ate and rested for a while. As always, homemade lunch does a good trick to fill you and satisfy at the same time. There were lots of families with kids enjoying their lunch in the sunny afternoon. For people who didn’t bring their own lunch, fresh hot dogs was available for just $2.50. There was also a small café inside the park.
After that we went around and saw more animals like Dingos, Goanna, Penguins, Tasmanian Devils, and Echidna. When we reached Echidna enclosure, we realised that the feeding time for them was a few minutes away so we waited for the keeper to come around. Echidnas are also known as spiny ant eaters. The keeper brought food for them which was minced liver mixed with some water. He gave us some interesting facts about the animal and we were allowed to pat it. Even though their body was covered with spines, if you know how to pat, which the keeper shows how, they seem gentle and you don’t get pricked.
We then went around taking photos, enjoying the area and looking at more animals. Then we all decided that it was time for us to head home.
I’m really happy with our day out. It is definitely a place to go with kids as they get so excited to see all these animals. My nephew’s excitement on the day was priceless.