Thursday, 2 February 2017

A visit to a Wildlife Park

Of course I couldn't let my brother in law leave Australia without showing him some of the local fauna. Since the visit to the animal park in Wave Rock had been so disappointing I decided to take him to Caversham Wildlife Park, which is about 30min drive from where we live. The rest of the family weren't interested in the visit as they had been here before.

Entry fee of 28$ is probably not cheap , but you can spend as many hours as you wish in there and the park is well kept, the animals look well and the park staff is very friendly and knowledgeable.  Three times a day they have "meet and greet" shows with various native animals - "Meet the koalas", "Wombat & Friends", "Molly's farm", "Penguin show" and the open all hours "Kangaroo walk through".

Of course we could have visited Perth zoo - entry is $29 and you have the opportunity to see a lot of other non-Australian animals, but we wouldn't get the interaction with the animals that people get at this park.

Meet the koalas: 

Koalas are marsupials and live from 10 to 14 years, sleep about 18h a day, only eat eucalyptus leaves and drink no water, have poor eyesight but a good sense of smell and hearing. They have 2 thumbs and 3 fingers and are native to the East coast of Australia.
The females have a pouch and give birth to only 1 joey at a time, which only measures 2cm and spends the first 6 months in the pouch.
Their fur is very soft but they have a weird smell (maybe all those leaves they eat!)

My brother in law and I - we could only touch the back legs of the koala

Wombat & friends:

At this show a few keepers stood by their favourite animals, and as people walked along they could take photos of them, touch them, ask questions... of course the most popular was the wombat with a long row of people eagerly waiting to take a photo with him.

Wombats are also marsupials, native to the South east of Australia and Tasmania. 
They are very muscular with stubby legs and grow to about 1 metre in length and weigh up to 35kgs. They have large front teeth and powerful claws and in the wild they could attack humans if threatened. But when brought up in captivity they can be very docile and enjoy interaction with their owners. They live in burrows and eat grasses and roots.

This wombat looked very docile and used to all the fuss 

Other friends - Kookaburras and Tawny Frogmouth:

Here we also saw various birds, a snake (which I wouldn't touch!!), and other marsupials.
For the first time I saw the Blue-winged Kookaburra which is actually native to northern Australia and Southern New Guinea, but I was more familiar with the Laughing Kookaburra which I often see around some of Perth's neighbourhoods, but which is actually native to the East coast of Australia. Their call sounds like human laughter.

The Tawny Frogmouth (an owl like bird), are largely unseen during the day due to their motionless roosting and are mostly active at night when they hunt for insects and spiders.

Top: colourful birds, Tawny frogmouths. 
Bottom: Laughing kookaburra & blue winged kookaburra

Penguin show:

Little Penguins or Fairy penguins are the smallest of all 17 Penguin species,  and the only species that live in southern Australian waters.
They are about 43cm in height and weigh about 1,5kgs, eat fish, and their feathers provide waterproofing. They nest in rock crevices or burrows, lay 1 to 3 eggs which are incubated during 35 to 42 days by both parents.
There were only 3 penguins here and we watched one of the 3 daily shows but they were no longer too interested in the fish being thrown in the pool, as only 1 of them would dive in to eat, the other two just looked on.

One eats, the other two look on, probably already too full...

Kangaroo walk through:

This huge grassed area was full of various species of kangaroos and wallabies.
They move by hopping, have very strong hind legs and large feet and use their strong tail for balance when hopping and as a fifth member when moving on all four. They are herbivores, live in mobs with a dominant male who is usually the oldest and biggest and he is the only one who will mate with all the females.

In the photos you can see a couple of white kangaroos, but I forgot to ask if they are albino kangaroos or just a different species.

They were mainly lying down I think due to the heat of the day. There were buckets with food and you could feed them but not too many were interested. 
They just lay there very relaxed and I even tickled the belly and neck of the lonely one of the photo at the bottom. He seemed to enjoy it!

Relaxing in the shade - I ticked the belly and neck of the the one standing alone belly up

Dingos & Quokkas:

We only saw one Dingo, which is a wild dog, and he was lying in the shade, feeling the heat.
They weigh from 13 to 20kg and are up to 60cm high and they originally came from South East Asia.

Dingo sleeping

The Quokkas, are macropods (marsupials of the kangaroo family) the size of a small cat. They are also herbivorous and mainly night animals, weigh from 2,5 to 5kgs and are from 
40 to 54cm long.  
Mainly found in the small island of Rottnest just off the coast of Perth. 
When originally discovered by the Dutch mariners that landed on Rottnest Island, they were mistaken for giant rats, hence the island's name - "rattennest".
The word quokka derives from the Aboriginal Nyungar word "gwaga".
On the island they are very cheeky and ask people for food and are even know to steal food left outside the tents at the island's camping grounds.

The cheeky Quokkas

We didn't get to see the "Molly's farm show", but if you have small kids it's very interesting, as they get to see what farm life is like-sheep-sheering, feeding small farm animals, etc.

The entrance to the wildlife park
Outside a helicopter dropped new visitors - very fancy!

And here is an Australian nursery rhyme with the Kookaburra


  1. Australia certainly has the world's cutest animals! - starting with koalas, I think! And the wombat! My goodness, what a handful! I love the way you are allowed to interact with all of them. Very beautiful zoo with well cared for animals!

    1. Thanks J. I love koalas too, they are the cutest things. The wombat was fabulous, I had never been close to one, he was just so relaxed.

  2. Wow, we missed a lot in that park back then in 2013!
    I can´t even remember the koala smelled funny.
    And I certainly did not know dingos aren´t native to Autralia! I´m a bit in "shock" about that.

    You are right, Perth zoo is quite boring compared to Caversham. Maybe play lotto, win big and take a helicopter next time, too ;-)

    1. Great idea Iris, I hope you'll pay me a helicopter ride too and I can be your guide. Lol.

  3. Very much more successful than the Wave Rock animal park Sami, I should think that your visitors would have been thrilled.

    1. Very much so Grace, my brother in law loved seeing the animals up close, and the whole holiday was a success!

  4. Wave Rock 1995: An elderly couple ask for the fly net we had. It's not important to see any animals, but fighting with blowies (the Australian Blow Fly (ff ffffff)) is more than an adventure.

    1. It certainly is an adventure Ingo, the flies are a menace!!

  5. I really enjoyed seeing this park. I've never been to a park where you could interact with the animals in that way. At our zoo, we can buy passes to feed a few of the animals, but they are kept behind fences, so you definitely can't touch them.

    I really enjoyed the koala and the wombat, which I had never even seen before. To think you got to touch it was amazing.

    I wish you could have interacted with the dingo, because I have always wanted to see one, although I had no idea they were not originally from Australia. Of course the song about the kookaburra came to mind when I saw them.

    It was fun to see the joy the two of you had on that park trip. I think it must have made your BIL's visit a success!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, It's really great to be able to touch the animals. I was also surprised dingos were not native to Australia. Not sure why the can't be touched, but years ago I went to another park and the dingos were also behind a fence. I was going to attach the kookaburra song and forgot...I might still do it, thanks for the reminder.

  6. Dearest Sami,
    Glad you could pull this off for your brother-in-law and he certainly appreciated it!
    I've also touched a wombat at a Sanctuary in Australia but I've never seen a Quokkas.
    Cute looking though.
    Finally catching up on blogs and feeling so happy for having completed my Mega Task.
    You can read about it here:

    1. Thanks Mariette. How nice that you've seen some of Australia's cute animals. Your crochet curtains are amazing and you worked pretty fast too.

  7. I definitely prefer wildlife parks than zoos, because I too enjoy the interaction with the animals. When I visited Australia and New Zealand I went to two different ones and we managed to pat lion cubs! I love the kangaroos and wallabies as well, they are adorable.

    1. Thanks Sara, I agree, the interaction with the animals is great.


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