I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Published May 31st 2014
Make Friends with Local Wildlife at Gumbaya
Located in a peaceful South Eastern locality of Tynong North, only a few kilometers south of Pakenham, is an amusement park which also features Australian wildlife called Gumbaya Park. For those who have never been there, read on as this article highlights the many reasons why it is worth a visit. For those who have been there before, I encourage you to read on as well, as this article will attempt to convince you why it is worth re-visiting.
The historical roots of this park lie in a pheasant farm, which was converted into a wildlife park in 1978, and currently spreads over 430 acres of land. As you enter the Park, you cannot miss the beautifully painted giant pheasant statue as it stands to welcome (and farewell) you. Once you have purchased the tickets at the office, you will have a long drive through native bushland to get to the wildlife and rides, and you may spot some cozy spots for a BBQ.
Kids can spend a great time at the playground which has two separate play areas
The main hub of the park is where the cafe is, with a children's playground and benches for a picnic adjacent to it. The cafe is where you can buy tickets to the rides, encounters with the animals, food for the animals and of course, the all important, purchase a coffee/snack and some souvenirs for yourself. Before you know it, you might even spot one of the few peacocks that are roaming around the park and that will get everyone in your group excited, especially the little ones.
The Wildlife Encounters include koala, python and dingoes and you can have photographs taken with each by a professional for an $5 each. This is especially a great opportunity for visitors from overseas to get up close with Australian wildlife and have a keepsake of their encounter forever.
To get up close with the wallabies, kangaroos and emus, all you need to do is head into the enclosure and walk along the path and the animals will come to you. You can hear the emus grunting and study their features closely. Spend as much time with these birds, the largest on the Australian continent.
As you exit the emu enclosure, you will find yourself in the kangaroos enclosure, where you may even spot some alpacas. The kangaroos are used to human presence and are quite friendly as they come to their visitors and shake their hands (or so it seems). When we visited, we spotted some joeys as well, which was all too exciting. The kids spent a good hour with the kangaroos and had an excellent time feeding and enjoying company with these gentle creatures.
Adjacent to the Kangaroo enclosure is where the dingoes reside, and the birds are also next door. You can easily spend another hour looking at the beautiful birds and hearing their unique sounds. The albino wallabies and a few other native animals also have their homes in this area. Walk through and explore away.
Golden pheasant is the inspiration for the Pheasant Statue
You cannot visit the park and not hop on the rides, which include Mini Cars, Twister Karts, Mini Golf (soon undergoing an upgrade), Paddle Boats, Water Slide and Pony Rides (please check their website, as some rides are seasonal and others only available on weekends/holidays).
There is an Aboriginal Display Centre which showcases the rich Aboriginal heritage. There are some artefacts from the Gumbaya Park itself. The Display Centre is definitely worth a visit. There are plenty of places to explore that our visit did not cover as the children had tired themselves out. An ice-cream treat was definitely well-deserved before we headed out after a day well spent.
Gumbaya Park is a great way to spend a day discovering, learning and enjoying.