Here’s a Great Aussie Easter idea… how about meeting a real bilby in the bush?
You can do this at Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park, it’s just north of Sydney and a good spot to have close encounters of the cute and furry kind, without breaking the bank.
We visited recently, the little twins aged four-nearly-five and myself. 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 frends close up. Indeed nose to nose in some cases.
Situated north of Sydney, about an hours drive up the F3, the park makes a fun daytrip or a great stop off for families driving home after a visit to the Central Coast.
Approxiametely 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!
Parking: Free carpark
What’s your favourite way to teach your children about Aussie native animals?