4 Animal Encounters: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Wyndham destinations are located within easy distance of some of the world’s most acclaimed zoos, wildlife parks, national parks and conservation facilities, and, at many of these places you can even participate in an animal encounter or two.

Whether you choose to enjoy encounters with animals in their own wilderness habitat or get up close and personal with exotic creatures from the far corners of the globe, here is our round-up of the best animal adventures.

Tall Order Giraffe Encounter

Imagine staring into the eyes of one of the world’s tallest mammals! At Werribee Open Range Zoo, located just a 30-minute drive from Melbourne, visitors can experience a fascinating, one-on-one encounter with a giraffe, while learning about how the zoo is caring for these majestic African icons.

Situated across 200 sprawling hectares, Werribee Open Range Zoo offers a true safari experience, where the animals can roam freely as they would in their natural habitats.

While you are at the zoo, be sure to jump on board the free safari tour to spot zebras and rhinos, say hello to gorillas as they interact in one of the world’s largest gorilla exhibits, and watch a pride of lions roam the savanna.

Safari at  Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne

Embark on your own safari at the Werribee Open Range Zoo near Melbourne

Smile at a Crocodile

There is nowhere better than Far North Queensland to come face-to-face with these fearsome aquatic reptiles. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is located just 25 minutes south of Port Douglas, and is a great place to stop in at on your journey up from Cairns.

Book a Big Croc Experience and you will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hold an estuarine croc, and even pole-feed a huge salty! During the experience, you will also get personalised commentary from an expert
handler, however you must be 16 years or over to participate, and bookings at least 24 hours in advance are recommended.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, Tropical North Queensland

Giraffe feeding is all part of the fun at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

A Close Encounter Of the Bird Kind

Imagine you are Harry Potter and your owl, Hedwig, flies down from the skies to gallantly land on your wrist. At Taronga Zoo in Sydney you can experience a Harry Potter moment with a close encounter of the bird kind! Experience what it is like to feel the whoosh of an owl’s wings and step into the incredible world of life in the skies!

Make your Taronga Zoo experience last even longer by booking a place in the Roar and Snore Program – Sydney’s ultimate sleepover under the stars! This extremely popular offering sees guests stay in safari-style tents inside the zoo, with incredible views of the harbour.


Taronga Zoo lets visitors experience their own Hogwarts moment with an owl

Encounter a Quokka

A short day trip from Perth will take you to Rottnest Island, the home of the quokka.

It is possible to get quite close to these adorable critters, but tourists should refrain from feeding or touching them.

Ferries take approximately 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, or 90 minutes from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.

Quokka, Rottnest Island WA

Cute quokkas inhabit beautiful Rottnest Island off Western Australia

Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Keep Your Little Explorers Happy

A bit of forward planning will ensure your safari runs smoothly!

  • Avoid lining up by purchasing your tickets online beforehand.
  • Download the zoo map and show times before your visit so you can plan your day.
  • Pack some healthy snacks and spend less time in the food queues.
  • Some venues have grassy area s perfect for a picnic rug.
  • Bring a water bottle – most zoos have bubblers for refills.
  • Some parks offer stroller hire to prevent tired little feet, so check before you go.

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