I never thought I’d be able to touch a kangaroo or koala bear until my best friend told me about the Featherdale Wildlife Park. It’s located a little farther outside of Sydney’s CBD near Blacktown train station, and is a short bus ride away from that station.
It’s a great place for families to visit especially if you’re travelling with little ones, but it’s also a good choice for adults as well. You get to learn about the animals from experts, watch feedings, and the animals there have all been rescued from danger, so it’s very humane if you’re worried about animals being in captivity (they seemed really happy there and loved people).
So what was it like? What did you do?
The highlight of that trip, and the main reason I went in the first place, was that I was able to get close and personal with animals I’ve only seen on NatGeo Wild or Animal Planet (before the cat and dog shows).
How it works
When you arrive at the park you can either purchase your tickets at the ticket desk, or online to save a wait in the line. Once you enter the part you can purchase little food bundles in a cone for $2.00 so that the animals will walk up to you, and you can feed and pet them.
Wow that sounds really cool! What’s the catch?
Catch? It’s not like an American zoo where everyone is blocked off from one another. There are sections of the park that allow for human-animal interaction (feeding) and parts that are caged off.
What truly fascinated me was the level of freedom you have to roam the park and visit the animals. Even the children were well behaved and didn’t pull on the animals’ tails. Of course the larger animals, and reptiles, were caged off; so baby roos and wallabies were around to be petted. The larger kangaroos and emus were blocked off from the path and for good reason: one kick from either of those two could kill you!
That got dark…really fast…
You’re right it did, sorry! Let’s get some of these pictures here then! When we first walked into the park we were greeted by wallabies and koala bears. Now you can’t legally hold a Koala bear without proper training and certified personnel, but you can butt-touch one like we did!
There is also a petting zoo with sheep and geese who will walk up to you as soon as you walk into the enclosure. It was really cute because the goose immediately ran to us and it freaked my poor friend out! She’s afraid of geese. The sheep also came to us expecting food and a loving hand.
Was it just a large petting zoo then?
While there are sections of the park that allow for these types of interactions, there is a good portion of the park that does not. You can’t pet an alligator or a wombat. Want to know what a wombat looks like?
The aviation section was also caged off, of course at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney you can walk among the birds. I still got some great shots of these amazing birds. One even posed for me while I took his photo. Actually now that I think about it, they all posed…
The park itself is open Monday through Sunday (excl. Christmas) 9am to 5pm and offers individual, concession, and family ticket pricing. There are also animal feeding session at certain times of the day where the animals are fed and you can meet the carers and learn more about the animals at the park.
For children the passport on the right not only holds a map for the park but also stamp sections to collect throughout the day there. It also serves as your ticket into the park.
Finally I just want to say that the park also has Tasmanian Devil and bat enclosures, and although I couldn’t see the devils I did get to finish my day with a family of bats! Be sure to head to the souvenir shop afterwards for a memento of your day at Featherdale, and to get any last minute souvenirs for your friends and family you forgot about until the last minute!
And now…the bats…