A freelance writer new to Perth. Katie has written articles about her hometown in the UK for five years and is keen to see how Perth compares
Published July 26th 2011
As a first-time visitor to Australia, getting up close to kangaroos was high on my to-do list. Aside from a short visit to Herrison Island (which is known for its small population of grey kangaroos), I could feel the time ticking by with my inner cliché tourist being neglected. Not that I can fault Herrison Island, it delivers just what it promises (grey kangaroos), but I required something a little bigger and better to make the folks back home jealous. Cue Caversham Wildlife Park.
Caversham Wildlife Park is located inside Whiteman Park. It is home to over 2000 animals of around 200 species, including reptiles, birds and of course the iconic marsupials. I was surprised to learn that the park is solely supported by patrons visiting the park and receives no government funding. For this reason I was happy to pay the $15.00 (student concession) entrance fee and feel I got my money's worth.
Of course for me one of the highlights was feeding the kangaroos. Both grey and red kangaroos are present in the park, and there is a walk through area for visitors to pet and feed them. There are even a number of rare albino kangaroos in the area, which do not usually survive in the wild due to their lack of camouflage. I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a tiny joey; a proud achievement of the day, especially as I had made a vow to myself that I was not going to leave the enclosure until I'd seen one. I am stubborn in these situations.
Now that my tourist side had been unleashed my need to get as close as possible to Australian wildlife had to be satisfied, so a visit to the koalas enclosure and a quick met and greet session with a wombat were of course in order (that would surely impress those back home). The additional activities around the park, such as talks from keepers and animal interaction are included in the initial entrance fee. The educational talks appeared to be popular with younger visitors, and one such talk involved a staff member cuddling a young wallaby the entire time.
Other residents at the park include Tasmanian devils, cassowaries and possums. Wandering around amongst the guests are several proud-looking peacocks, which gave me the fright of my life when I first came face to face with one making the most peculiar noise as I turned a corner (consider this your fair warning).
I will leave some of the animals and attractions for your discovery, but like any sightseer drunk on my fill of Australian wildlife and souvenir photos, my day would not be complete without a visit to the gift shop. Leaving the park laden with postcards and anything with a picture of a kangaroo (told you I'm a sucker for clichés), I have proudly earned another tick on the to-do list.