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Sydney Wildlife

Where to Hop with a Roo and Cuddle a Koala

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Kangaroos at Featherdale Wildlife Park

Kangaroos at Featherdale Wildlife Park

Copyright 1998 Larry Rivera

If you're looking for Sydney wildlife — and I don't mean at the Cross — check out the nearby city locations.

Somehow, the image of Sydney wildlife — perhaps of kangaroos, with occasional joeys in their pouches, hopping around on Sydney streets — still exists in some visitors' minds. This is one of the world's last frontiers, right? And how about Crocodile Dundee? Wasn't he a Sydneysider? Or wasn't that film shot in Sydney?

Well, you won't be able to wrestle with a croc or spar with a roo in Sydney. No, no Sydney wildlife on the streets. Not unless you go to a zoo or Sydney wildlife park and break into their enclosure. (And the film Crocodile Dundee was shot mostly in the Northern Territory, at Kakadu.)

Of course, if you visit a Sydney wildlife park, you may get the chance to cuddle a koala.

Close encounters of the animal kind

Still, many visitors do come to Australia hoping to have close encounters with the Sydney wildlife. Wallabies, wombats, platypuses, fairy penguins, Tasmanian tigers (well, they're extinct, aren't they?), man-eating sharks...

Well, there's a chance you could meet up with a shark, and I don't just mean at the Sydney Aquarium.

Sydney wildlife? Kangaroos in the wild? You could go bush and maybe you'd be lucky to catch sight of one or two.

Mingle with the animals

If you travel to, say, Jervis Bay south of Sydney there are some holiday places there, deep in the bush, where kangaroos are as likely to enter your bedroom as anyone else (depends on who you'd like in your bedroom) or eat out of your hands.

But if you don't want to stray too far from the heart of Sydney and it's kangaroos and koalas you're after, your best bet is to visit one of Sydney's wildlife parks where you may be allowed to feed the marsupial of your choice. And get your picture of Sydney wildlife as well...

Oh, yes, the koala is a marsupial and not a bear.

Try the zoo

The city's largest collection of Sydney wildlife is, of course, at Taronga Zoo — just a ferry ride away from Sydney's Circular Quay. But, of course, they're not just Aussie beasts at Taronga, giraffes, too, and lions, and tigers, and elephants...

Closer to central Sydney is Wild Life Sydney, formerly known as Sydney Wildlife World, which opened in September 2006, at Darling Harbour adjacent to Sydney Aquarium.

The other wildlife parks in or around Sydney are pretty much private commercial enterprises and they go by such names as Featherdale Wildlife Park, Australian Reptile Park north of Sydney, and Symbio Wildlife Gardens south of Sydney.

If you're a visitor to Sydney, check with your host or with hotel reception, they should be able to point you in the right direction. If you're a Sydneysider, well, why would you want to mess with a kangaroo?

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