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Australian Reptile Park - the ideal animal experience for kids

by Lydia C. Lee (follow)
School Holidays (40)      Zoo (11)      Animals (10)      Reptiles (1)      Central Coast (4)     
Everyone knows it's great fun to visit the zoo - Every parent knows it's not always great fun to take the kids to the zoo, especially if they are still in a pram or a stroller.

The Australian Reptile Park is the exception - someone was clearly thinking about things when the park was designed back in 1948.



1. Sightlines
If you have been to the zoo with a stroller or pram, you will know that every few metres you have to lift the child out of the pram and hold them up to see the animal in the enclosure. It doesn't take long for that to diminish the joy of the visit for the parent. The Australian Reptile Park has enclosures designed where children can see by themselves. Low windows, see through fencing, steps to stand on for the snakes, walk in aviaries with no visual blocks at all. Even at the show ring, the kids are encouraged to sit on the fence to get a good view.



2. Hands-on
This is what I love most about this animal park. If you don't want to watch the shows with the crowds, there are always zoo keepers walking around with a snake or giant tortoise for you to pat or feed. The littlest child can get up close. There are also kangaroos and emus strolling around the picnic area, and you can purchase a bag of feed and have a really close encounter!



3. Cost
The entry is extraordinarily good value, and better yet, they aren't selling toys and food every few steps. They do have a kiosk for food, but it's unobtrusive and picnic tables and barbeques are provided. When you leave, the gift shop (which has some great stuff if you are interested) is to the side, so you don't have to walk through it to exit. Which means, you don't have a million requests for purchasing that you have to turn down to spoil the visit.

4. Bush setting
The enclosures are set in a small 'bush walk' so you can get the feel of the native bush without the effort of dragging young children on a long hike. It's very picturesque.

5.Range of animals
Yes it's a Reptile Park, but so much more. Australian mammals and marsupials are there, spiders (make sure you look for the bird eater, it's amazing!), cassowaries, Galapagos tortoise and a myriad of big birds.



We go every year, and there's always something new to learn or see. Make sure you go on a day hotter than 18 degrees or they won't do the alligator feeding, which for me is the highlight, the hotter, the better - they shoot from the water like rockets!

You can go from show to show or just potter around by yourself. There's a huge playground with a giant slide if you want take a break.



Best of all, they provide the venom for the anti-venom vaccines for hospitals, they're successfully breeding Tasmanian Devils and have a number of other research and conservation projects in place.

If you have not visited this zoo, it's entertaining for both adults and children alike, and most definitely worth the trip. Though be warned, you may find the kids want a pet snake by the end of the visit...

For more information visit: Australian Reptile Park website

#Animals
#Zoo
#Reptiles
#Central Coast
#School holidays
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