Article eight: Zoos
There has never been a better time to explore one – or all – of the animal parks who have gained world-wide recognition for boasting such a huge range of native and exotic animals, all while offering unparalleled access to some of the worlds most feared and feathered!
To the west…
If you’ve ever attended a community event on the South Coast, there is a good chance you’ve met the mobile farm that is Matildas Farmyard Nursery, this mobile petting farm is a regular at markets and events along the coast and they can even come direct to you – llamas ponies and all!
Like most farmers, 2020 has been a difficult year following the drought, fire, floods and then Covid-19 which cancelled almost all of their bookings for 2020, Matilda’s has been hit really hard and have been so fortunate for the community who have rallied to donate food to feed their animals in recent months.
From ponies, rabbits, goats, lambs and Llamas, you can feed, pat and cuddle the huge range of animals – many rescues – at Matildas.
To the south…Shoalhaven Zoo
Fewer parks offer such incredible access to their animals than the Shoalhaven Zoo. Meet their resident Koalas, snakes and hand feed the farm animals.
There is no shortage of animals throughout the 16 acres of native bushland – Lions, replies, monkeys, birds, emus, koalas, snakes, kangaroos and crocodiles to name just a few.
When the restrictions are eased, there is also a stack of incredible packages and hands-on experiences available. Be sure to give them a call or keep an eye on their website for updates.
Located on the banks of the Shoalhaven River, there is also a range of activities outside of the animals that is worth experiencing while you’re there – from Hanging Rock or the Adventure Walk or the Trees Adventure!
The scenes from the fire ravaged town of Mogo are unforgettable, but the Zoo became famous the world over for their heroic efforts to save their animals against all odds - and that’s exactly what they did.
Mogo Wildlife Park is the domestic equivalent of an African Safari with their resident Tigers, Lions, Rhino, Giraffes and Monkeys (to name just a few!).
Located less than 3 hours drive south of Shell Cove, Mogo Wildlife Park is renowned for its open plan layout and vast plains - and allowing people to get up and close and experience their huge range of animals. And if walking through isn’t enough, they offer a number of animal encounters that is worth experiencing.
To the north…
Symbio Wildlife Park
Located about an hours drive north of Shell Cove in Helensburgh, Symbio Wildlife Park has received global recognition in recent years and become a major drawcard for international visitors who want to experience the very animals who have become social media stars!
Arguably boasting the most eclectic range of animals of any park in NSW, there is no shortage of things to see so do or experience – up close or as close as you’re comfortable getting.
Hand feed Kangaroos, cuddle a Koala, explore the reptile house, enjoy the antics of the meerkat or take a dip in their recently opened splash park!
We’d love to see your snaps – or photos of things that go…
Be sure to share your favourite experiences!