Featherdale Wildlife Park is an award-winning park an hours drive from us, that houses more than 2200 native Australian animals, birds, and reptiles. It boasts the largest such collection and is renowned for its captive breeding program setting the standard for animal conservation in the zoological industry.
Our first introduction to Featherdale was through our Aussie friends Cass and Julian and their bubbly and gregarious children Paige, Georgia and Hudson. From the minute we arrived in Australia and met the Bradshaw family, it was apparent that they wanted to be the ones to take us on this ultimate interactive wildlife experience down under!
At Featherdale you have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most recognizable animals, like the koala and kangaroo, as well as get a good look at some of Australia’s more rare and endangered animals like the ghost bat, bilby, and quoll. The park itself is well laid out on 7 acres and surrounded by lots of trees and great picnic settings which we took full advantage of.
The kids were completely blown away when they got to hand feed the wallabies and kangaroos with ice cream cones full of animal food. Elijah thought the cone was for him and immediately dumped out the food and went to town on the cone! And they couldn’t believe their good fortune when they got to pet a real koala bear.
Our first trip to Featherdale was not without some drama! We found out first-hand, what happens when a big ibis bird flies too close to a pen with 2 hungry dingoes! Hence the title of this blog! The ibis’ are not in cages, but rather roam freely throughout the park looking for scraps of food leftover by picnickers. This particular ibis flew into the dingo pen, and we all got to witness the carnage! Poor ibis!
We got to see kangaroo joeys climbing into their momma’s pouches, and we got to see koala joeys clinging to their momma’s backs. We stood for a while watching the adorable dingo puppies frolic at their parents paws and we were amazed at the size of the crocodile, and the length and patterns on the most venomous snakes in Australia.
We enjoyed our close encounters of the furry kind so much that we have been back twice (almost would have been worth it to purchase a yearly membership!), once with the Macdonell family on Canada Day, and we just had to take Livi there to experience the real deal, since next to seeing us, all she wanted to see were the most beloved and iconic Aussie’s, the koala and kangaroo! To see the absolute delight on our visitors’ faces when they got to see these unique and interesting Australian animals was well worth the price of admission, and we totally understood why it was that the Bradshaw family wanted the initiation rights!
We are indebted to Cass and Julian for introducing us to this very special place and for the wonderful sausage sizzle lunch. If it wasn’t for our Bradshaw friends, we wouldn’t have met some interesting scaled, feathered and furry friends, and we wouldn’t have passed on this unique experience to our Canadian visitors!