Day 02: Perth; Caversham Wildlife Park; Cuddly Animal Farm; Max 23ºC, Min 8ºC.
For breakfast, we had bran cereal with milk, avocados, peaches, and a good dollop of gaiety early this morning. Then off we went to the Caversham Wildlife Park, bringing with us uncontainable excitement and expectations!
It was Saturday! bright and sunny, the weather couldn’t have been better! At the park, sunlight reflected off the windscreens of parked cars in sharp pulsating glints. The walk towards the famed attraction was a pleasant one, the weather cool with a skin-calming breeze.
Upon entering Caversham Wildlife Park, one could already see the free-roaming kangaroos in their spacious and tranquil enclosures. To arrive at the compound, we walked through an aviary in the North East section, consisting of the animals and plants that represent the tropical part of Australia.
There were plenty of bright and beautiful birds, owls and some adorable marsupials. Little E loved the Barking Owl the most – An owl that hoots with a barking sound!
The exit of the North East section led us to the entrance of the kangaroo enclosure. In the midst of red and grey kangaroos, there were about a dozen albino kangaroos and a handful of wallabies. Being that close to these marsupials that possess large, powerful hind legs and a long muscular tail for balance, we were captivated by their beauty, yet at the same time, we couldn’t help but felt a little unsettled when they were boinging amuck!
But our anxiety dissipated quickly and was proven to be unwarranted. The kangaroos were so tame and idle, as they basked in the sun, enjoying the heat.
The facility provided animal feed in big pails, made available for visitors to take them freely. We took hold of a bunch and looked for any scrawny-roos to feed, of course, there were hardly any considering that they were so well-fed. Little E certainly enjoyed patting and feeding the kangaroos, and so did we!
After spending a considerable amount of time in the kangaroo enclosure, we moved on to “Meet the Wombats & Friends”! Held in an exclusive Australian Homestead arena, a variety of Aussie icons were introduced to us by a team of keepers.
While waiting for the animal ambassadors to appear with their creatures, we had ample time to snap pictures!
The animals were all unique, we have never seen or encounter any of these outback creatures ever in our lives. Little E was very brave to caress the Shingleback (Bobtail) lizard, the best known large lizard in Southern Australia.
The spotted quoll is Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial, it was feasting on fresh raw chicken during the exhibit. Gulp! We didn’t stay long to watch it devour its lunch… So we moved on to observe the gentle Golden Brushtail Possum, which is a striking animal covered in soft golden fur. We were advised to only touch its tail very gently, and boy! it’s fur is so so soft!
The Golden Brushtail Possums are adorable and rare creatures that get their fluffy golden coats from a genetic mutation that results in low levels of melanin in their skin and fur. Unfortunately, their colour is more of a bane in the wild because it makes them conspicuous to predators. It is hard to hide among the leaves with such bright golden fur! Hence, the golden brushtail possum is a rare sight in the wild, being found mostly in small pockets around Tasmania where they have fewer wild predators.
Next up is the slithery snake! We did not give up the chance to touch and feel the scaly, and cool creature, although J would rather give it a pass! But hey! what a perfect picture he took of Little E and me!
Our favourite animal is the wombat! Totally didn’t expect it to be that huge and sedentary… Throughout the entire programme, the wombat was in that position with its keeper, waiting to be photographed with visitors. We were told that wombats have super-sensitive whiskers and that they do not like them to be touched, period. All visitors were only allowed to pat its lower legs, and nowhere else!
By the way, we realised the “Meet The Wombat and Friends” show, is not so much a ‘show’ actually, rather, it is a hands-on touching and feeling of the animals and chatting with the keepers who very gladly offered information of the creatures they were handling.
We exited the arena and walked on towards Molly’s Farm, where we met Tommy the donkey and Snowy the llama. Little E was exhilarated to be able to pat the donkey! We kept our distance from the llama after hearing from Eida last night, that llamas are notorious for spitting at people’s faces and showing their big rows of teeth! Lol!
We were free to walk around the spacious barn to be in such close contact with the farm animals. In fact, Little E became a little startled when a goat suddenly leapt onto a log, thinking that J wanted to feed it.
There were not only goats and sheep in the midst, we found pigs, cows, horses and other smaller critters. Come on! What did I expect? Of course! We were in a real farm!! The interesting part of this section of the Wildlife Park is the “Farm Show”, which was really educational. We witnessed the workings of a sheepdog, the laborious process of sheep shearing, and the art of whip-cracking.
Following the Farm Show, we moved on to the North section of the park, where we visited animals and plants that represent Australia’s most arid region. This section is characterised by red, rocky landscapes which mimic the balmy outback atmosphere. We saw dingoes, which look like large wild dogs that have been crossbred with wolves? Typically found in deserts and the edges of forests, dingoes are the largest terrestrial predator in Australia, and are seen as cultural icons of Australia. To add, of all the winged creatures I saw in the aviaries, my favourite was the Kookaburra. What a beautiful bird with melodic vocals!
Last but not least, we visited the South East section of the park, that houses animals and plants that represent the diversity of the coastal, forest and mountainous areas in Australia’s south east corner. One distinct feature of this section is the aromatic scent of Eucalyptus wafting through the air. And the most delightful find here were the koalas. We were really very blessed to be able to interact with more than a dozen of them, who were all awake! Yes! I kid you not! They are nocturnal marsupials and are known to sleep for 20 – 22 hrs a day!
By the time we finished experiencing all the sections of Caversham Wildlife Park, we were eager for repose before we proceeded to our next destination → Cuddly Animal Farm. We found a good seat at the picnic area, that came with high chairs for children, sat down and chomped down a pack of Malaysian curry chicken with rice, which we bought from the café near the entrance. Little E had seafood chowder rice with grilled fish which I packed in her thermal food flask. Yums!
After the most wonderful experience at Caversham Wildlife Park, the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm seemed to pale in comparison. But I think if we had went to the latter first, the thoughts might be reversed, because all the farm animals found in both venues are about the same. Hence, by the time we came to the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, the excitement and sheer pleasure of patting the farm animals up close, had already been fully satisfied back there in Caversham Wildlife Park.
Nonetheless, we did enjoy the farm although we did not stay for long due to fatigue. The farm is very child-friendly, and caters to providing fun to the family in general. Buckets of animal feed consisting of white bread and fresh lettuce leaves were free for us to grab hold of, to feed the cuddly creatures.
There was a bright red tractor towing buckets on wheels to form a train ride. Little E and I hopped into one of the “carriages” and enjoyed a tour around the entire farm!
While waiting to bottle-feed the lambs and sheep scheduled to happen at 4 pm, we took more buckets to feed the other farm animals, including pigs, ducks, and other critters.
Halfway through the feeding, Little E was too tired and fell asleep on my shoulders. Few minutes prior, she was still quacking away enthusiastically…
Well, and that was our cue to leave. We went to Woolworths supermarket to buy more groceries and headed home for dinner. Little E slept early tonight, she was already in dreamland before 8 pm. And J? It didn’t take long for him to join her in the same dreamland too… 😀