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Review of Featherdale Wildlife Park

Featherdale Wildlife Park
217 - 229 Kildare Rd | Doonside, Blacktown, New South Wales 2767, Australia
612 9622 1644
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Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Blacktown
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: All day FREE Koala encounters.Located just 45 minutes from Sydney and enroute to the heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, Featherdale Wildlife Park offers the ultimate hands-on wildlife experience. Cuddle up to a Koala at any time of the day at no additional charge. Hand feed a variety of Kangaroos and Wallabies. Meet reptiles, Dingoes, Wombats, a giant Saltwater Croc, Tasmanian Devils and a variety of bird species that would astound the keenest bird enthusiast. Bring a BBQ lunch and spend the day or, if you're on a tight itinerary, grab a quick bite at the newly renovated cafe.Featherdale provides free coach and car parking. Disabled parking and amenities are available. The Park is wheelchair friendly with level gravel pathways throughout. A souvenir centre offers a range of Aussie souvenirs.
Warsaw, Poland
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2010

We love animals so with my wife we visited several similar parks around Australia but Featherdale is definitely THE BEST, the cheapest and the least touristy! Very cheap compared to Taronga Zoo or Sydney Wildlife World and, most importantly, you don't have to pay for any pictures, even with a koala! In every other park they charged a minimum of 16 bucks. You get as close as possible to roos, koalas or emus and you can hand-feed many of the animals. The only disadvantage is the location (or maybe that's why there were so few people there). Definitely stop in Blacktown and go to Featherdale on your way to the Blue Mountains.

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Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Featherdale Wildlife Park - Wish we had stayed longer!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

We came to this park as it was part of our Blue Mountains tour package. This was by far the highlight of the day! An awesome little park with only Australian wildlife, up close and personal. Awesome place, and highly recommend you go...forget the Blue Mountains (way over rated, and a bloody long drive)!

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
229 helpful votes 229 helpful votes
“Petting the Koalas and Kangaroos Made Our Trip to Australia!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2010

Featherdale Animal Park is easy to get to from Sydney, even without a car. At Wynyard Station, we jumped aboard a train bound for Penrith. We arrived in Blacktown about 90-minutes later, hopped off the train, and followed the signs to the buses. The landing for Bus 725 is clearly marked. Riders can buy the $2/one way ticket from the driver, exact change not necessary. It’s a 20-minute ride to the park. The driver calls out the stop. It’s not where you’d expect to find a wildlife park; it’s in a residential neighborhood. The bus picks you up right in front of the park, just across the street from where you get off the bus. The bus takes you back to Blacktown train station, where there are trains back to Sydney just about every 30 minutes.
We paid $23/adult and received a snazzy souvenir passport/map of the park with check boxes for each animal. Rubber stamps are provided for spotting each animal.
As we walked through the gate, we were greeted by a pack of wallaby. There are dozens of the cute, small cousin of the kangaroo wandering around the people area. Other areas are for animals only. It gives the animals the choice to interact with people or not. Next we encountered a bunch of noisy birds, pelicans, and other wading birds. From there we walked into the Koala Sanctuary. There were probably a 100 koalas carefully positioned in the trees and happily snoozing. Then we saw the koala petting stations. Koalas are perched on a homemade tree, munching on Eucalyptus leaves, just waiting to be petted. The staff asks you to only touch their lower back and stay away from their faces. We waited in line and when it was our turn, we petted “Charlie” and snapped a bunch of photos. The experience was incredible and made the whole trip to Australia worth the effort!
We walked through the rest of the park in about an hour. There are lots of emus, storks and other ostrich looking birds that are straight out of Jurassic Park. We saw dingo, kangaroos, reptiles, even a submerged crocodile, and our favorite, the Tazmanian Devil. Obviously, the dangerous animals are safely secured behind enclosures. Unlike a zoo, all of the animals are Australian and are accessible.
We went back to the Koala Sanctuary and spent another hour petting the other koalas. Once a koala seems to lose interest in human interaction, the koala is returned to the people free area and another is rotated to the petting station. The care-givers obviously love the animals and are more than happy to answer questions.
The park has a feeding schedule allowing you to watch and learn. We didn’t time our visit to see any of the feeding shows, but we did arrive during the hours between the morning and afternoon tour buses. We could tell from the crowds when a tour bus would arrive. But it seemed like the bus tours don’t stay very long, so if you want to explore Featherdale at leisure, go on your own.
There is a café with hot food sold at very reasonable prices. Lots of picnic tables provide plenty of room for families to spread out a picnic. Another very nice touch is the outdoor sink for easy hand-washing. The facilities were clean and well maintained.
Featherdale Wildlife Park is an excellent facility to encounter and interact with wonderful and unique Australian animals. We highly recommend it and hope that this small, seemingly family-run business remains successful in their mission to help animals by educating humans.

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12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great place to get up close and personal with Koalas and Kangaroos”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

I very much enjoyed seeing all of the native Australian animals at Featherdale. Unfortunately we took a Blue Mountain tour and they took us here around 4pm when most of the animals, especially the koala’s, were asleep. However, we were able to pet and take pics with a koala, something I’ve not been able to do at other wildlife parks here. Plenty of koalas hanging out in trees so plenty of viewing and photo opps. Fun feeding and getting up close and personal with the kangaroos and wallaby’s, and even the emu’s although they were a bit intimidating at first. Fun to see the cute wombats, a Tasmanian devil, albino kanagroos and beautifully colored birds.
It is a small park and you could easily do it in about 2 hours time.
As other reviewers noted, I was also surprised to see the state of the zoo. I’m not an expert on zoos or animal care, but I think I was expected something a bit more updated and I did wonder about the mental health of the animals. They all seemed to be in good health, it just seems that the conditions could be better based on what I see at US zoos.
Despite that, I highly recommend coming here. But don’t feel you need to take a tour, like we did, which was too expensive. Take the bus to Blackrock ($8 roundtrip I think) and then the bus to the Featherdale gates (easy enough to find which bus online, in a tour book; sorry I can’t remember which bus).
The smell was what you would expect from a place loaded with animals.

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Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“19th century slum conditions in the 21st century”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

I'm not sure I traveled to the same Wildlife Park as some of the other reviewers! I certainly enjoyed the fact that I got to see some wonderfully unique animals and birds, and the staff seemed pleasant enough, but the park itself was in terrible shape.

Many of Australia's animals are nocturnal, yet their small little enclosures give them no protection or privacy from the hundreds of visitors who shuffle by. Koalas asleep in their "trees" a mere five feet or so from the little half wall that keeps people out. A Tasmanian devil so rattled that it does nothing but trot in circles compulsively. Biting wombats who gnaw at their fence wires. Parrots who swoop from one side of their cage to the other, as if willing themselves to get out. The smell is nearly overwhelming as is to be expected with so many creatures so closely housed together.

Adult entrance to the park is $22AUS per person. I'm not sure where all the profit is going, but truly wish the owners would triple or quadruple their land and build proper exhibits with proper shelter/habitat features. If indeed most of these animals are more active at night, have the park stay open through dusk and early evening hours. Show us some of the conservation efforts for the more endangered or threatened species. Indicate how the park is theoretically part of a global solution and not just a bunch of displays for taking cute pictures of people with kangaroos. Don't get me wrong; I'm as enamored with these wonderful animals as much as anybody. I was just overwhelmingly saddened to see them essentially jailed. This notion of zookeeping has been long out of fashion in many other parts of the world. I was astonished to see it not only present, but condoned in otherwise sensible Australia!

Note to the visitors: Not sure just how many people who go to Featherdale are locals. The tiny front parking lot I saw had perhaps two dozen cars and 14, count 'em, 14 tour buses. I wonder if Sydneysiders are on to something we don't know?

In sum, Featherdale has a wonderful collection of animals, but their display and housing are shockingly horrible. I urge you to consider encouraging the Park's management to upgrade their facilities. This place has such potential, but I can't condone giving them money when it doesn't seem to be put to good use.

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