3 Reasons We Loved Featherdale Wildlife Park

Disclosure: We received complimentary passes and perks to visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, all opinions and experiences are my own.

 

Located less than an hour from the city of Sydney and on route to the Blue Mountains, you’ll find Featherdale Wildlife Park. Featherdale is home to the largest collection of Australian native animals in the world making it a fun and educational visit for Sydneysiders and International guests alike. 

Planning an Australian adventure or thinking of visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park? We’ve put together our top 3 reasons we loved Featherdale and why you MUST experience an Animal Encounter!

3 Reasons we Love Featherdale Wildlife Park - Mom vs the Boys

 

Meet All the Aussie Animals In One Place

While larger zoos will show you animals from all over the world, if you are visiting Australia, you most want to see the native animals. At Featherdale you can meet over 1,700 Australian animals from more than 300 different species. If you are visiting the Sydney area and hope to get a good look at as many Australian animals as possible, Featherdale is the perfect place. 

Wombat Featherdale Wildlife Park Wombat

Throughout the park you’ll find Koala, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Echidnas, Tasmanian Devils, Dingoes, Little Penguins, Cassowaries, and you’ll even meet a giant Saltwater Crocodile! You’ll also be able to spot some rare and endangered species such as the creepy but fascinating Ghost Bats whose wings are so thin, they really look like ghosts in the night and the world’s deadliest snake – the Inland Taipan. While Featherdale has an extensive collection of animals, I was surprised to see how many birds were also available for viewing. One thing we learned about Australia is their birds are bold and BIG! From colourful parrots to impressive Owls, Falcons and Kites, and then on to the biggest of them all, the Emus and Cassowarys, you’ll see so many special birds at Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Featherdale Wildlife Park - Tasmanian DevilTasmanian Devil

Featherdale Wildlife Park - Little PenguinsLittle Penguins

Kids will enjoy collecting stamps for their Featherdale Wildlife Park Passport.

Featherdale Wildlife Park Review

Size Matters

Featherdale is a smaller privately owned zoo that is perfect for young children and the older generation. The paths are flat for easy walking and wheelchair and stroller (pram) accessible. You can wander at your own pace and complete the zoo in approximately one and half to two hours, making it a perfect pit stop on your way to the Blue Mountains from Sydney. It’s also great for toddlers who require afternoon rest and an excellent option for tourists who have limited sight seeing days in the area as it won’t eat up an entire day. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Review

Up Close and Personal

The park has that personal “We Bought a Zoo” feel to it where you can pet a kanagroo or wallaby as you stroll through the park and maybe even offer them a bite to eat from your hand. This was one of our most memorable experiences visiting Australia and the boys couldn’t get enough of it. You can purchase feed from a small cup for $2 at the park and offer it up to hungry takers in the different areas that Kangaroos and Wallabies roam freely.

Featherdale Wildlife Park feeding Kangaroos

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Animal Encounters

Getting up close and personal with the animals is the best way to learn about and experience a new country. We could look at a Kangaroo or Koala in any zoo, anywhere in the world, but it’s not every day you are able to touch and see the animals up close. Besides feeding the Kangaroos and Wallabies, Featherdale offers a few other animal encounters at a cost.

Personal Koala Encounter

If you have your heart set on cuddling a koala, Featherdale offers a personal koala encounter where you can pet and have your photo taken with one. Now, because it is against the law in the State of New South Wales to hold a Koala without the appropriate accreditation, you can’t actually hold the Koala and hug it, but you can touch the Koala, talk to the koala keepers and you’ll receive a souvenir photo pack to take home. The cost for this experience is $20 AUS.

Private Animal Encounters

If your budget allows and you want to splurge a little, the private animal encounters are THE BEST way to get to know Australia’s native animals. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will truly make your trip to Australia special. My family took part in the 30 minute Mammal Encounter and we thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it!

Featherdale Mammal Encounter - Mom vs the Boys

The encounter happens in a room designated just for this experience so your time is very private and special for both you and the animals. The mammals receive their very favourite treats while in the encounter room so they are happy to meet you too because they know you are going to give them a tasty treat! During the Mammal Encounter you will be able to get up close and personal with 3 different Aussie Mammals. It’s a bit of a surprise who you will meet, but it could be a Wombat, Quokka or one of the three we met which was a Kangaroo, Ring Tailed Possum and a Sugar Glider.

Not only will you meet the animals but you’ll have an informative session with one of the animal trainers. Our trainer was excellent and gave us so much information on all of the animals we were meeting. 

Featherdale Mammal Encounter

Tabby is an Eastern Grey Kangaroo and is still a baby at 9 months old. Tabby’s mom was hit by a car but luckily they checked the pouch and sure enough Tabby was hiding unharmed inside. A family actually tried to take Tabby in thinking they could look after her and then release her to the wild, but they had definitely underestimated how hard it would be to look after a joey and how long it takes for a Kangaroo to mature. Even at 9 months Tabby was still drinking from a bottle. Because Tabby was now used to people, kids and pets she could not be released back into the wild and now lives at Featherdale and goes home at night with her keeper while she’s still young. When we first met Tabby she was sucking on her toe, just the way a human baby would suck their thumb! We were able to hold Tabby in her pouch but she did climb out of her pouch afterwards and roamed around the room while we met the other animals. 

Featherdale Animal Encounter

Next we met Pudding, a Ringtail Possum. Possums are nocturnal animals, but Pudding was quite willing to wake up to meet us when we fed him his favourite snack, apples! We loved the way he wrapped his tail around our finger like he would around a branch in the tree. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Mammal Encounter

Our third mammal was a Sugar Glider named Bubbles. He sat in our hands while we fed him meal worms and you could feel his whole body vibrate! He wasn’t nervous or scared, Sugar Gliders always vibrate like this because their heart beat is so high. We were excited to see Bubbles do his famous glide, but he had other because to take care of first, he had a little pee and poop in my hand before leaping to the trainer! It was a memorable experience indeed and one the boys won’t soon let me forget! 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Animal Encounter

If you are more interested in learning about Reptiles or Birds, you can choose those encounters as well. Each one is 30 minutes with a animal trainer and photographer, where you will meet three animals and receive a souvenir photo package that includes 2 photos ($5 each for additional photos) plus a Featherdale souvenir gift bag with bottled water & bookmark.

We highly recommend the Mammal Encounter, it was one of our favourite memories of our trip and we really appreciated how private and personal the visit was. We had a great time, didn’t feel rushed at all and was able to ask lots of questions and learn so much about each animal. I was very impressed that the experience came with a photographer to get the perfect shots, but also that you were welcome to take as many photos as you want yourself as well.

There are limited sessions offered for Animal Encounters each day, so if this is something you want to take part in be sure to book ahead. Prices are $119 (per group) for the birds and reptile encounters and $149 for the mammals. 

Featherdale Wildlife Park Animal Encounter

To make the most out of your day in the park, Featherdale has Free Wifi, a gift shop and Billabong Cafe which offers hot food options, as well as fresh sandwiches, ice creams, tea/coffee and cold beverages. You are also welcome to bring a picnic lunch, there are picnic tables for use as well as coin-operated electric barbeques.

For more information on Featherdale Wildlife Park visit www.featherdale.com.au

 

Planning a trip to Sydney? Check out my post on our Top Things To Do In Sydney, including a visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Things to do in Sydney with Kids

Comments

  1. My kids and I would love to see the Kangaroos!!

  2. kathy downey says:

    Oh my goodness it certainly looks like a great pace to visit,i would love all the animals !

    • momvstheboys says:

      It was a fun visit, the boys won’t soon forget holding a baby kangaroo! (or mom getting peed on by a sugar glider! lol)

  3. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    What a fabulous experience. We went to a different zoo in Sydney and it was huge, we were there all day and had to skip some parts. Loved seeing the Australian animals, it would have been nicer to go to a smaller zoo though, I think that your choice was much better, after all we can see chimps, elephants etc anywhere.

    • momvstheboys says:

      It was probably Taronga Zoo which is a gorgeous world class zoo and a wonderful outing if you have the time. We also went there and loved it, but that’s right, you can see most of the animals there in any zoo anywhere in the world, and the animals are much further away. Featherdale is great to really get to know the native animals

  4. VIctoria Ess says:

    Oh wow, I can’t believe how close you got!

  5. Judy Cowan says:

    Oh it looks like a great place I would love being able to see and hold a kangaroo.

  6. NormaJane says:

    Just Wow! Adding this to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing

  7. Lynda Cook says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun and I would really love the Private Animal Encounters, that is so awesome being able to get up and personal with 3 of the animals!!

  8. kathy downey says:

    It’s great for kids to get out like this and bond with nature,it hives them a respect for it !

  9. This park looks great. When I finally get to Australia I’ll have to go there

  10. Aussie Uncle says:

    😀 😀 😀

  11. I visited this a few years ago – it was fun

  12. beautiful place!

  13. Would love to get up close and personal with a few of these critters!

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