Kangaroos and koalas? What could be better? Sydney's Featherdale Wildlife Park is an animal lover's dream.
You don't have to be an outdoorsy person to fall in love with baby rescued animals! Even the most nature averse person can't help but melt when confronted with a small and cuddly critter! Our recent visit to Australia provided us with the chance to meet some of the most unusual animals we'd ever seen at the Featherdale Wildlife Park and we were grateful for the opportunity to see a different side of the country after spending so much time in Sydney.
Featherdale Wildlife Park is on the outskirts of Sydney and it's an easy stop for anyone on route to explore the Blue Mountains. Featherdale has been protecting animals and the environment for over 40 years and some of their most adorable residents are the rescued babies who encountered difficult situations in the wild and would otherwise not have survived.
Our first furry friend? The cuddly koalas! In our early morning visit they were just waking up from a nap so they were delightfully dozy and not yet tuckered out by the day's excitement. Their fur was shockingly soft - like touching newly blossomed cotton - and we learned that they only like to have their lower backs stroked. Don't go for their head or those deliciously fuzzy ears!
Next up were the young kangaroos and wallabies. They weren't shy or sleepy at all! They confidently hopped over to us without any hesitation and were happy to accept ear "scritches" just like a dog would! There were a couple of bemused emus in their ranks who were curious about us, but not enough to linger for their own scratches and rubs.
If the koalas were a bit dozy and the kangaroos and wallabies were wide awake, then the Tasmanian devil was positively on fire! This adorable little guy truly resembled his cartoon counterpart and ran around his enclosure at breakneck speed! His speed and activity was so impressive that Featherdale had even posted a sign nearby explaining just why Tasmanian devils have so much energy. It's not every day you see something move so fast! The Tasmanian devils are part of a program to develop a sustainable captive population that is free from the fatal disease of Devil Facial Tumor Disease, a condition that is greatly affecting the wild population.
The sad puppy eyes of the dingos hit a little too close to home for us - they looked just like a domestic dog! It seems canines of all stripes (and spots) have successfully mastered the "I'm so woeful - hey, ya got any treats" look that I find so devastating!
We could have easily spent all day at Featherdale. There were reptiles, birds, marsupials, and mammals in every corner and each day there is an extensive program of talks and activities to connect the animals with the visitors. Our stop at Featherdale was regrettably short but it was just one stop on a longer tour of the Blue Mountains region. While we were sad to say goodbye to our new furry friends, we knew it was just the first stop of what would be a wonderful day of discovering Australia.
When you do drive out to visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, I recommend going early in the day so you can see the animals while they are active and before they take their afternoon naps. Bring along some coins, as you can make a small donation and receive an ice cream cone stuffed with tasty treats for the marsupials. For peckish humans, there is a small cafe on sight and we can heartily vouch for the hot egg and cheese breakfast buns - perfect for complimenting and early morning visit!
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. What has been your favourite animal encounter?
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