Perth is the best place to go for animal encounters for all ages. Whether you just want to pet and feed them, or are looking for a more immersive experience, you can't go wrong with these experiences.
As huge animal lovers ourselves, my friends and I are compiling a list of places to go for a range of different animal encounters. Here are the five that caught our eye — if you have any others to recommend, please let us know!
Spend an exhilarating day swimming up close and personal with wild bottlenose dolphins in the Rockingham area, near Perth. Explore the sheltered bays and islands in your search for the pod of 200 dolphins that the crew and locals have formed a fast friendship with, before slipping into the water to frolic with these amazing creatures.
Experienced guides will be there to help even the most inexperienced of swimmers and snorkelers on the day, so no one will miss out. Children as young as six can come, as long as you all have swimsuits and a love of animals!
This is your chance to be a zookeeper for the day at Perth Zoo. Starting from 8am, you'll be helping the keepers the African Savannah round to feed the animals and clean their exhibits like a true zookeeper. You'll get to meet all the different animals, including hyenas, giraffes, rhinos, and all the big cats. Animal lovers will not want to miss out!
Perth Zoo also has Be A Keeper experiences for their Elephants and Primates as well, if you were after something a little more specialised.
If you're only looking for a quick tour, and a chance to meet the animals at Perth Zoo, the Eye to Eye encounters are probably the better option. You'll get a 20 minute tour of the night quarters of the available animals, meet them face to face, and learn about their diets and behaviours. You can go in groups, unlike the Be A Keeper experience, so it's great as a family outing!
Other animals available for an Eye to Eye experience include lions, giraffes, reptiles, orangutan, the Galapagos Tortoise, lemurs, elephants, and many more. Visit Perth Zoo's Close Encounters website for more details.
Maybe you're looking for a fun day out with the family, and want to liven things up a little? This place offers a delightful country retreat, only 30 minutes away from Perth CBD, where you get to talk to the farm animals, pet and feed them, and enjoy a great many other activities on location. Some favourites include alpacas, ponies, kangaroos, lambs and sheep, and chickens and ducklings.
You can also book a travelling farm, or organise your special events here. So the next time you have a birthday party to plan, why not come and cuddle a farm friend?
Twilight Ride Cost: $80 per person
Location: Jester's Flat, Margaret River
Duration: 1.5 hours
Minimum Age: N/A
Amble along through the bushland and forests around the Margaret River on horseback, exploring the the beautiful scenery by sunset. Autumn and winter are the perfect months for a brisk evening ride, and you'll get to relax with a hot drink and homemade food afterwards. You don't have to be an experienced rider to come along either.
This tour departs slightly earlier in autumn and winter, so check before you make your booking. You should also keep your eyes peeled for the local fauna scampering about!
Where are some of your favourite animal encounters? Help us expand this list!