We're very lucky to have so many excellent venues to get up and close and personal with animals in Sydney, but there is one that is perhaps the best of them all for a real hands on experience!
Featherdale Wildlife Park in Western Sydney is a sprawling wildlife reserve situated on 7 acres in the middle of suburban Doonside. The park is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian native animals of all shapes and sizes.
At Featherdale you are able to get up close and personal with hundreds of animals from all different species. You can purchase a cup of feed ($2.00) and hand feed cute little wallabies, pademelons, quokkas and kangaroos whenever you visit. If you want a more unique experience you can book in to cuddle a koala, or have breakfast with them, and on special weekends you can even snuggle up to a dingo puppy!
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There's a big saltie (crocodile) to see, as well as snakes and other reptiles and then there are the birds. Amazing feathered creatures like brolgas, penguins, black necked cranes, emus, casuaries, soft bills, raptors and even stunning toucans all call Featherdale home.
If birds aren't your thing then you will love the Tasmanian devils, dingos, echidnas, wombats, bilbies, bats and more.
There's a farmyard animal barn where you can pat a donkey and chat to a pig. There are chooks and ducks too, but they get a bit over being chased around by wild little humans, so they normally retreat when human wildlife comes too close!
To complete the experience you can fill in the Featherdale Wildlife Park Passport with stamps throughout the park (or if you want to cheat go straight to the exit where you will find all the stamps in one place!).
There's a cafe on site that serves up light snacks, sweet treats, coffee and lunch. You can bring your own picnic and cook a BBQ for lunch as well. Featherdale also hosts kids birthday parties if you are looking for a unique venue.
Toilets including baby change tables and disabled facilities are available throughout the park and of course there is the the souvenir shop at the exit!
How do you get there?
Featherdale can be easily reached by car (45mins from the CBD), with a decent amount of parking available. The closest train station is at Blacktown and you could walk from there but it would take you at least 20 minutes. Otherwise jump on a bus 729 at Blacktown Station which will drop you at Featherdale's door.
ADDRESS: 217 Kildare Rd, Donnside NSW
TELEPHONE: 02 9622 1644
OPEN: 9am - 5pm every day except Christmas Day
COST: From $17.00 - look out for specials such as "Kids Go Free in July"