Towards the end of the day trip to the blue mountains, and following a long yet informative documentary about kangaroos, we arrived at Featherdale Wildlife Park.
Fortunately, we beat the queue as part of a larger group with priority entry, but once you get inside you realise how many visitors can fit in the place. Its deceptively big. There is almost a set route to follow, meeting the residents on the way, and a bit of a game to play as you go; collecting all of the stamps for the animals on the card. So off we set.
Probably the first thing that you’ll notice is that a lot of animals are free to roam around; those more dangerous are kept in enclosures – looking at you cassowarys. There’s also a number of ‘feeding stations’ where you can get a small pot of food to hand feed the furry folk. Although, given we got there in the afternoon I think a lot of them had already gorged themselves and weren’t too fussed about Nic’s food. Still, it was nice to get up close and personal.
We checked out most of the animals in the initial open enclosure, and were even fortunate enough to see two joeys sparring.
The next section was particularly busy; a koala enclosure. You could get really close to these little guys which made it great for snapping pics. Given the difficulty of finding koalas on the Great Ocean Road, the ease was welcome.
There are other smaller koala enclosures littered around Featherdale, but this one was the best. We even managed to see once drop to the ground and try to bolt for the exit – they’re much quicker than you might expect from an animal that spends so much time sleeping. Hopefully he/she wasn’t too startled by the army of onlookers.
At this point it becomes a little more zoo-like. You can choose your route, and there are a lot more cages. Though, they mostly serve to keep the birds from flying away.
Unfortunately, this is roughly when the weather started to turn, and we needed to speed up if we wanted to see everything. We were still desperately searching for those elusive stamps.
In all honesty, I was positively surprised to find my all time favourite bird here. I’ve only ever seen them from a distance in the wild, but Featherdale finally gave me the opportunity to see the native peregrine falcon in the flesh. Eating its dinner no less!
That kind of took some of the shine from the other animals, including the original good boy, the resident dingo. It turns out that the dingo stamp was missing, as well as the crocodile, which left us a little disheartened. I did however, quickly learn how to get a few pics of animals through the cages.
Having walked through various enclosures, seeing the kangaroos, wallabies, emus, cassowarys, crocodiles, dingoes, koalas, and my favourite falcon, we headed towards the cafe/giftshop/exit, snapping a few brightly plumed parrots on the way.
Our reward? A collection of all the missing stamps that had either been absent, broken, or too damn hard to find. It was time to leave Featherdale and head back to Sydney, but I already wanted to go back.