Almost every visitor to Australia wants to see koalas and kangaroos. Locals are pretty fond of them too. At Featherdale Wildlife Park in western Sydney, everyone can see these and other uniquely Australian fauna and flora.
The park has been operating since 1972 and has recently been upgraded. More than 2200 animals from over 230 species live there. There is lots of interactivity. The philosophy at Featherdale is the less fencing the better.
The park, in a natural bush setting, has one of the country's largest private collections of native animals and more than 230 varieties of birds. Aviaries have been landscaped with trees and shrubs in keeping with their natural habitat.
The busy satin bowerbird is an interesting creature it raids backyards for blue objects to create its bower and can mate with up to 30 females. Homeowners are often puzzled as to why their blue pegs disappear from clotheslines.
Visitors can get close to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, emus, dingoes, possums, owls, foxes, wallabies and Tasmanian devils. There is a crocodile exhibit, but no one recommends getting up close and personal there!
Everyone adores the animal nursery. There are lambs, piglets, chickens, ducklings, turkey chicks, kids and rabbit kittens to pat and feed.
Featherdale is very involved in education. Their amphitheatre seats up to 90 students. Here they learn about and interact with Australian native animals. Excursions include hands-on lessons, self-guided school tours, student activity sheets and education kits. For those who can't make it to the park, Featherdale has a Wildlife Wanderer Mobile Education program.
Featherdale has an Australian-style café, leafy barbecue areas, free parking and disabled facilities.
Doonside, 40 minutes from Sydney's CBD
Featherdale Wildlife Park entry from April 1, 2005, is $18.50 for adults, $9 for children and $45 for family passes based on two adults and two children. They are open year round.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
217-229 Kildare Road
Ph: (02) 9622 1644
Fax: (02) 9671 4140www.featherdale.com.au