Typical Gemini, with the concentration span of a gnat & not one for sitting still. My old Da used to say that "you're a long time dead". So my mantra is get busy living.Please join me for more at
Published January 9th 2019
This is a zoo where all the animals have names
There is more to the Hunter Valley than wineries, eateries, and boutique accommodation. I know - hard to believe, right? The Hunter Valley Zoo at Nulkaba, just five minutes out of Cessnock, is a family orientated destination that caters for all ages.
Set amongst ten acres of land that fringes the Werakata National Park, this beautiful landscape is home to both Australian natives as well as exotic creatures from overseas, including lemurs, marmosets and American alligators.
The pathways between exhibits are easy to travel, so that's one less issue if you have strollers and little people. For the more mature folk, there are seats littered across the grounds allowing both a respite and the opportunity to enjoy the antics of the animals.
The Hunter Valley Zoo offers free barbecue facilities and undercover seating, which makes it a terrific venue for family picnics or a day out. For special occasions, such as birthday parties, you can hire a more secluded eating area, where you can still cook or picnic and I would recommend the area in front of the monkey enclosure for continual entertainment from the primates. Oh, and don't be surprised if a peacock or chicken turns up to inspect your picnic basket.
The animal enclosures are spacious, so I didn't feel any concern for their health or safety. Indeed, they are obviously much loved as all have been given names and their birthdays have been noted.
The emphasis in this privately owned zoo is on education with daily talks given by the keepers. Not only that, throughout the day, keepers walk around the grounds carrying creatures to introduce to visitors. We met Sheldon, the baby leopard tortoise, and patted a baby ring tail possum.
Some animal enclosures are suitable to walk through, so buy a bag of food and feed the wallabies, deer and goats. This is a wonderful learning experience for the kiddies and I think I squealed with pleasure as much as much as the youngsters.
You can purchase cold drinks and there is a coffee making machine available. However, I would recommend making a day of it and taking your own food. You'll appreciate the rest.
For something extra special, if the children are over the age of ten years, you can pay an additional fee to enjoy a meerkat, marmoset, or tamarin encounter. That's right - you enter their enclosure and get close and personal with these critters. Do you know how much fun it is to have a meerkat standing on your head? I do.
The staff are friendly and open to answering any questions. It's all about sharing the love. The Hunter Valley Zoo is located at 138 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba, and is open every day during the School Holidays.
Otherwise, the hours are as follows:
9am to 4pm Thursday to Tuesday.
Closed Wednesday's and Christmas Day
To experience an animal encounter bookings are essential. You can do this on (02) 4990 7714
Entrance Fees to the Zoo are as follows:
Adults – $29.00
Concession – $25.00
Children – $15.00 (3 – 15 years)
Children 2 and under are FREE
Family Passes – $80.00 (2 Adults 2 Children)
Extra Children – $13.00 each