Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park
Back to nature
The ranger lifts the koala off its perch. One by one, you reach out and stroke its back. The grey fur feels warm and downy. The park offers a range of other special encounters: you’ll chat to a cockatoo, meet wombats, cassowaries, quolls, crocodiles, lizards and snakes, as well as exotic animals such as cute little black-handed spider monkeys. In the kangaroo enclosure, the kangaroos will come right up to you, nuzzling for food.
61 Billabong Dr, Port Macquarie; (02) 6585 1060
■ Presentations, feeding and keeper talks – check times when you’re planning your visit. Koala patting only takes place during the koala presentations, and the black-handed spider monkey feeding time is lots of fun. On weekends and school holidays there are also reptile presentations.
The rainforest depends on cassowaries to survive. These large birds eat the rainforest fruit and the seeds are excreted still intact to form new plants in the large piles of dung. Unfortunately, Australia’s southern cassowaries are endangered. There are little more than 1000 left in the wild and they are only found in a couple of regions in north-eastern Australia. Most of their habitat has been destroyed by humans and many are killed by cars. They are the third largest birds in the world (after the emu and ostrich). They can’t fly, but they can swim.
■ You can purchase food for feeding the kangaroos.