If your children love animals and you are looking somewhere interesting to take them on the weekend or during the holidays, then check out the following awesome places.
Bradleys Head Road, Mosman
This is probably the first place that springs to mind, when you think of taking your kids to see the animals and rightfully so. Taronga Zoo has so much to offer. To ensure you get the most out of the Zoo, visit Taronga website and print your own copy of the Zoo map so you can work out which animals your children would like to see. There are plenty of great shows and talks featured every day, including a seal show, koala photo opportunity, gorilla keeper talk, reptile keeper presentation, free flight bird show and more. You can download a free “Taronga Zoo – Monkey Mayhem” iPhone application, which takes you on an exciting Zoo adventure of learning and discovery both at Taronga Zoo and at home.
Using the iPhone’s built-in camera and GPS, you can navigate your way around the Zoo via the interactive map taking photos and adding them to the right animal pages to unlock secret content!
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 4.30 pm daily
Darling Harbour, Sydney
Another must visit animal adventure if you live in or are visiting Sydney. The aquarium is a home to many sea creatures and some of the most popular exhibits include:
The tropical bay of rays – featuring the most colourful combination of Australian stingrays
Saws and Claws – a new joint creature feature of smalltooth sawfish and huge Japanese spider crabs,
Southern rivers includes freshwater fish found in the Murray Darling River System such as the Murray cod, platypus, yabbies, turtles,
Northern Rivers – check out barramundi and lungfish – the only fish species that can breathe air
Southern Oceans – Visit Sea Dragons and Pineapple Fish, octopus, moray eels and a colony of little penguins
Dugongs at Mermaid Lagoon – Pig and Wuru are the only captive dugongs in Australia, and presently there are less than 5 long-term captive dugongs in the world.
Opening Hours: 9am to 8pm
Manly Sealife Sanctuary (Manly Oceanworld)
West Esplanade, Manly
Manly Sealife Sanctuary is the home of many sharks, giant stingrays, sea turtles and other marine life, Walk through the Shark Harbour, visit Penguin Cove, Tropical Reef or explore the rockpool. There is something to amuse children of all ages. If you are looking to do something different for your kids birthday party, then book Manly Sealife Sanctuary – your kids will have a great time and learn something new.
Opening Hours: 10am – 5.30pm
Sydney Wildlife World,
Darling Harbour, Sydney
Get up close with cute koalas and kangaroos, see Rex, one of the world’s largest crocodiles, walk through 9 themed habitat zones and see over 100 species of real, all Australian animals. Sydney Wildlife World offers 14 keeper talks and animal feeds every day, so you are guaranteed to keep the children amused for hours. Some of the most popular exhibits include Butterfly Tropics, Gum Tree Valley, Wallaby Cliffs, Daintree Forest, The Outback, Kakadu Gorge and Bugs Garden>
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm
Koala Park Sanctuary,
Castle Hill Road, West Pennant Hills
At Koala Park Sancturary you will find plenty of koalas, but also red & grey kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, echidnas, emus, wallabies and lots of Australian Native Birds. One of the best features of the park is being able to feed many of the kangaroos. Food can be purchased at the door. There are 4 koala feeding times each day as well as a penguin and wombat show.
Calmsley Hill City Farm,
Darling Street Abbotsbury
Calmsley Hill City farm is an attraction which features a variety of great exhibits and shows, including animal patting, cow milking, tractor ride, stock whip show, working dog show, sheep shearing show and koala talks. Check out cockatoo and parrot aviary, snake exhibit, koala exhibit, poultry pens, animal nursery, cattle pens, kangaroo walk in exhibit and many more.
Opening Hours: 9am – 4.30pm
Featherdale Wildlife Park,
217 Kildare Road, Doonside
Featherdale provides all-day free encounters with Australia’s most beloved and iconic koalas and kangaroos. You can hand feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus or enjoy a fce to face encounter with a koala. The park also features crocodiles, dingos, goannas, penguins, reptiles and Tasmanian devils as well as many native birds.
Opening Hourse: 9am – 5pm
Australian Reptile Park
The Australian Reptile Park is a hands on zoo and is regarded as one of Australia’s premier attractions. It offers exciting wildlife shows and loads of animal interactions including Elvis, the crankiest crocodile , Hugo, the giant Galapagos tortoise, many reptiles, venomous snakes, wombats, dingoes, echidnas, wallabies, platypus, possums, Tasmanian devils and so much more. The park offers many tours and experiences including “kids 2 keeper” programs which allow children to experience what it’s like to be a zoo keeper.
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm
Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse