Fancy meeting a bilby? Coming nose to nose with a tawny frogmouth? Saying hello to a koala and a kangaroo?
How about a little escape from Sydney and a visit to the delightful Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park, just a short drive north.
Not only can you enjoy close encounters of the cute and furry kind, this is a family visit that won’t break the bank.
We first visited when my twins were nearly five. We’d had a good look at the website, which is very good, so the kids were excited and ready for some animal adventures.
Even on a rather grey and damp day, we had a good time there, an easy day out from our home on the north side of Sydney.
Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park
Cnr Darkinjung Road and Peats Ridge Road
Ph: 02 4375 1100 www.walkaboutpark.com.au
Open: 9am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
This wildlife park is home to Australian native flora and fauna and provides even very young children with an opportunity to meet their favourite furry friends close up.
Situated north of Sydney, about an hours drive up the F3, the park makes a fun day trip or a great stop off for families driving home after a visit to the Central Coast.
Approximetely 180 species of animal and bird live in the park, many can be seen in the wild although some species are kept in enclosures too.
There are some lovely walks though the park, as the name suggests, and several Aboriginal art and settlement sites can be visited.
Unfortunately the walks are not very suitable for strollers so babies and toddlers will need to be popped in a backpack – unless you have a really hardy three-wheleer. Ask the park staff for advice.
There is a café and picnic tables/BBQ area. Some very friendly emus stroll around here and wallabies hop by.
On weekends and in school holidays rangers provide many activities like boomerang throwing and ochre face painting, plus bush tucker and bush medicine workshops.
There are information talks on many animals plus regular feeding times which are always popular with the little ones.
Café: Yes, check website for opening hours as shorter than park opening hours.
Shop: Yes, small one, food for animals is sold
Mum’s Report: We like this down to earth, no pretensions park, it’s not expensive and the combination of very old sites and art of the Darkinjung people and close encounters with Australian wildlife is unique.
My children were amazed to watch a black-headed python swallowing a rat, we watched this over about 15 minutes and that’s a biology lesson they won’t forget in a hurry.
Some of the cages look a bit dated, but upgrades are happening and new ones like the Tasmanian devil enclosure are super, the children felt they were right intthere with the animals.
Extra: There are various walks, very useful maps explain the routes and what can be seen. These range from a short animal loop walk of 15 minutes to the longest which is 90 minutes, add more time the younger the kids!
There’s a cabin for rent if you fancy a sleepover in the park!
Parking: Free car park
What’s your favourite way to teach your children about Aussie native animals?
Have you visited this lovely park?
Thanks so much to Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park for providing some photos for this post.