The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is tucked away off the M1 motorway at Calga on the NSW Central Coast. Set in natural bushland, the park provides opportunities for visitors to walk amongst native Australian animals, listen to informative talks by rangers and visit Aboriginal cultural sites.
The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park houses a range of native and domestic animals in enclosures spread out around the park. The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is not a zoo, but acts as a protection zone for wide variety of animals. The free ranging native animals in the park include kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and emu’s as well as 40 types of reptiles and frogs, bandicoots and Bettongs. As you wander through the rustic tracks, the wallabies, kangaroos and pademelons hop on by as if you were part of the scenery. You can get up close with the free ranging animals – some patting is possible with the more friendly kangaroos.
The highlight of our visit was to walk amongst the wildlife. Such delight to be had in seeing our native Australian animals up close. For international visitors – this would be an even more outstanding experience. We even spotted two wild turtles swimming in the water of the rock pools. Our Central Coast Weekender pre-schoolers enjoyed this aspect of visiting the Park the most.
On entry all visitors are provided with instructions to ensure that interactions with animals are safe, for parents with younger children close supervision is essential. You will find most of the free ranging animals close to the main building.
There are also a number of enclosures for other animals including – Tasmanian devils, Koalas, Spotted Quoll, native birds and Echidna’s. An innovative idea and one we have not seen in other animal parks, is a clear panel set into the fence of the various enclosures, allowing younger visitors to view the enclosure easily. Five stars to the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park for this idea!
Our other favourite encounter was the bird enclosure where we spotted Galah, Parrot, Lorikeet and Cockatoo, some of which were delightfully entertaining and interested in checking us out. The kid-friendly height of the enclosure setup enabled our children to easily see the birds and the bench seats provided were a welcome rest for the adults.
On entry visitors are provided with a daily schedule of Ranger led encounters that enable you to learn more about the animals who live at the Park. We listened to the ranger give an informative talk at the Dingo enclosure. They are quite the cheeky pair, with a reputation for undoing the locks on their enclosure gate! Padlocks only now…
Things to Note
The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is not a zoo. Whilst some animals are enclosed, this is for legal or protection reasons only. The other animals are free ranging within the bushland that forms the park.
You can not feed the native animals at the park. This actually makes for a more pleasant environment around the animals as they do not confront you to get food, and instead seem to wander past wondering who you are. Emu’s are not a favourite of one particular Central Coast Weekender author – we can happily note that it was not a problem here, the emu’s were much calmer than in other parks we have visited.
There is a petting zoo at the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park with Ilama’s, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. You can purchase food to feed the animals in the petting zoo.
The staff at the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park are friendly and knowledgable. They were more than happy to take a few minutes to chat as we passed by. We encountered the pythons coming back from the show, the ranger was happy to pause and let our Pre-schoolers have a pat.
You are welcome to bring your own food to the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park. There is a designated picnic area for eating food away from the free ranging animals. BBQ’s are also available for use if you fancy a sausage sandwich for lunch.
There is also a range of affordable food available for purchase from the cafe such as pre-made sandwiches as well as pies and sausage rolls.
There is one set of toilets at the main building within the park. If you are exploring with young children, be prepared in advance when you venture further afield in the park as you would be unlikely to make it back to the building in time.
The path around the Park is only suitable for three wheel prams or those with larger wheels, anything else will struggle to manoeuvre over the uneven surface. The same would apply for those with limited mobility.
A unique aspect of the Walkabout Wildlife Park is the opportunity to view Aboriginal engravings and cave hand prints. We headed out with our Pre-schoolers to have a look and we did end up carrying them part of the way back but for older children and adults the walk is more than manageable.
The Park map marks out two other walks which allow an opportunity to explore the bush and perhaps spot some animals.
Value for Money
To get the best value from your admission fee Central Coast Weekender recommends incorporating multiple Ranger led encounters into your day and enjoying the bushwalks set out around the Park.
Vouchers for the park are available from time to time via fundraising such as the Entertainment Book or through other coupon systems.
Extend your stay
Our visit the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park was limited with Pre-schoolers in tow, we headed off within 2.5 hours of arriving. There is a lot more to do at the park that is not achievable with really young children.
For older kids – consider walking one of the longer bush walk tracks, join the boomerang throwing session, pat a snake at the ranger talk or be a ranger for a day.
Keen to immerse yourself further?
Hire a Personal Ranger
A great way to meet the wildlife or experience the bush is to engage your own personal ranger. For $110/hr you can hire a range for up to 6 guests. Set your own pace around the park, or go bush off the tracks. Learn about your favourite animals, throw a boomerang or eat some bush tucker.
Go on an overnight encouter
The Park offers overnight encounters either staying in an eco cabin, camping or even an overnight bush survival trip.
The eco cabin packages can include ranger led tours that go behind the scenes or you can join a nocturnal tours. The campsite offers up a unique experience with nocturnal tours, marshmallow toasting and dreamtime stories around the campfire.
Check out the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park website for more details on staying overnight.
Lonely Planet recently named the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park in the top ten ‘Best Animal Adventures’ in the world. The overnight experiences at the park are certainly one of the reasons for the recognition. Go on an adventure and check it out.
$15|Child 3 – 15yrs
$70|Family 2A + 2C
Open every day except Christmas Day from 9am to 5pm unless you are pre-booked on an evening tour.
The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park is located on Peats Ridge Road, Calga. It is approximately 1hrs drive from the Sydney CBD and 10 minutes from Gosford.
We hope you enjoy exploring!