Of course, a “must-do” while visiting Australia is getting up close and personal with some of Australia’s unique wildlife. I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall ever having a one-on-one encounter with a koala, kangaroo, or wallaby in my NJ backyard, so as an animal lover, I was definitely looking forward to seeing those little guys in person.
While some people choose to stay in the city and visit Sydney’s popular Toronga Zoo, Dad and I opted to take a short trip out of town to the Featherdale Wildlife Park in Blacktown. We chose Featherdale over Toronga primarily because of the attraction’s TripAdvisor ratings, the price ($27 vs $44 for adult admission, plus, we had a 20%-off coupon found in one of those free visitor’s guides at the airport), and due to the fact that we heard it was a more relaxed type of zoo.
Getting to Featherdale is easy via public transportation. From the city, simply take the North Shore and Western line to Blacktown Station. Upon exiting the train, locate bus stand 9 just outside the station. Then take the number 725 bus for a 10 minute ride which will drop you right outside Featherdale’s gates. For real-time train and bus timetable information, visit http://www.131500.com.au/.
Dad and I spent about 2 hours at the park in total. Aside from just koalas and kangaroos, there’s a variety of other attractions inside the park ranging from exotic bird exhibits, reptiles, penguins, etc. The cool thing about Featherdale is that they allow most of their animals to roam freely among the people.
Though some parks and zoos in Australia allow you to actually hold a koala at your chest, Featherdale does not. You are allowed to take photos next to a koala bear while petting it, but they do not allow you to pick up the animal.
So what do you do with an empty cone? There are plenty of emus that will chase you around to eat it!
P.S. – I didn’t include any photos of Dad feeding the animals for two reasons: 1. He looked ridiculously frightened and uncomfortable feeding a 12-pound wallaby and 2: He complained for days that I posted unflattering pictures of him in a previous post, LOL.