Australia is famous for its unique wildlife and seems to have an endless supply of zoos, parks and rescue centers all catering to the animals. I went to the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Doonside, New South Wales and spent half the day with all the critters.
One of the main attractions at this park is the enclosure where kangaroos, wallabies and emus roam free. The animals are very accustomed to people so visitors are able to pet and feed them. I think the feed is about $1 for one ice cream cone of food. The animals eat both the grass feed and the cone. What surprised me the most is that there is a sink with soap so you can wash up at after you’re done petting the animals. Most U.S. places wouldn’t install one. Also, as a side note, the bathrooms seemed very clean for a zoo-type facility.
There is also a more traditional petting zoo for domesticated animals with goats, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, a regular pig and some chickens. After visiting the kangaroo area, this one isn’t as exciting.
Other unique (to me but probably not other centers in Australia) animals at the wildlife park are koalas, Tasmanian devils, wombats, cassowaries and dingos. There are a ton of enclosures that feature birds of all kind, marsupials that I cannot name and snakes.
Throughout the day you can watch the wildlife keepers as they feed the animals. They put on short educational demos and tell you all you’d want to know about the animals. I watched one guy talk about fruit bats, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and echidnas. He was very informative and able to answer everyone’s questions.
The entrance fee to the park for adults is AU$25 and for children is AU$14. There are discounts if you’re a student, senior or family of two adults and two children. I noticed that this park is also included in a lot of the day trips out of Sydney, so it may be cheaper to do it that way.
I spent three hours wandering around the park and don’t think the tours would give you that long. If you’re an animal lover, you may want to do this trip independently so you don’t feel rushed. I’m not exactly sure how long it takes by public transport or which bus/train to take. Because this park is nearby, I didn’t need to take public transportation.
Overall, I think the park is worth a trip out of the city and offers good value, especially to visitors who have never really seen a lot of Australian wildlife. While the park is crowded at times (mostly surrounding the popular animals), there are plenty of areas that are less trafficked and benches where you can sit and watch the animals.
|Slide Album: Featherdale|