A giant statue of a frilled-neck lizard guards the entrance to the Australian Reptile Park, an exciting and educational wildlife zoo on New South Wales’ Central Coast. Stroll down a leafy causeway and listen for the sound of the park’s waterfall while spotting native Australian animals amid the zoo’s eucalyptus woodland. Explore a variety of themed exhibits, where you can learn about different animal species from around the world.
Get close enough to touch a koala and watch them lazily munching on gum leaves. Snap a photograph with the bear-like marsupials and check out some of the park’s free-roaming kangaroos, which will feed from your hands. Also within the leafy bushland area of the Australian Reptile Park are echidnas, wombats, dingoes and Tasmanian devils. You might also see some of Australia’s famous feathered creatures, such as cassowaries, kookaburras and cockatoos.
The zoo’s informative exhibits showcase different species. Check out Platypus House, the Lost World of Reptiles, Spider World and Frog Hollow. Among the scaly creatures that live at the park is a 5-metre (16.4-foot) saltwater crocodile. You can also see exotic reptiles, including Komodo dragons, Galapagos tortoises and American alligators.
Be sure to arrive early to catch the mid-morning reptile show, or catch one of the many animal displays, feeding sessions, photo opportunities and zookeeper talks held throughout the day. Stay for lunch and make use of the park’s barbecue facilities or take a seat at the on-site café. Stop by the Australian Reptile Park’s gift shop to pick up an array of souvenirs and gift items.
Australian Reptile Park is located in Somersby, a little over an hour’s drive north from Sydney on the route to the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Port Stephens. The zoo is open daily year-round, except for Christmas Day. Purchase tickets at the zoo’s jungle-themed reception. Discounted tickets are available for children under 15 years of age, concession and families. Visit during local school holiday periods to make the most of the zoo’ exciting holiday programme.