The Australian Reptile Park is located just outside Sydney and is well worth the drive to get there. It's a very family-friendly, hands-on attraction and the focus isn't just on reptiles, but Australian animals in general.
The park is an easy size to wander round and most of the animals are relatively close to the entrance. These include koalas, Tasmanian Devils, dingoes, koalas, cassowaries and platypuses. But if you head a bit further afield and you'll also find aviaries and the new Nature Walk, with its Noctarium and local wildlife.
The reptiles are located in The Lost World of Reptiles, adjacent to the entrance, which is full of turtles, lizards and snakes that kids will enjoy trying to spot in each glass case. Another exhibit, Spider World, is next-door, while on the other side of the kiosk is the zoo's resident saltwater crocodile.
Unlike these ones, many of the snakes and lizards are well camouflaged and fun to find
The animals are enjoyable on their own, but there are also talks, feedings and photos sessions to catch, with something usually happening every half an hour. And when it's time for lunch you can eat among free range kangaroos and birds in the park's picnic area. Hugo, the Galapagos tortoise, may even join you.
You can get up close to kangaroos, and even purchase food to feed them, but they often seem to full to be interested in eating anything
The Tasmanian Devils are located right next to the picnic area
The Yellow Foot Rock Wallabies are also nearby
There's enough to see at the Reptile Park to fill an entire day, but if kids are eager for even more, the park also offers a range of Kids 2 Keeper junior zoo keeping workshops for children between 3 and 18 years of age. Another option is the Devilish Encounter behind-the-scenes experience.
You will find the park off the Pacific Highway and the best way to get here is by car. All you need to do is take the Gosford exit off the Sydney - Newcastle freeway (M1/F3) and follow the signs.
Entry to the Australian Reptile Park costs $25.50 for adults, $13.50 for children (3-15 years) and $68.00 for a family of four. The park is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm every day except Christmas Day.