Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal to some of Australia’s native animals and birds? The Peel Zoo is a boutique zoo and wildlife sanctuary where you can do just that. There are alpacas, kangaroos and deer to be fed and Tasmanian Devils to spot without having to take two flights from Perth. Then there are the gorgeous birds to appreciate, some of which are freely roaming around the park.
The zoo is located just outside of Mandurah and features over 70 animal and bird enclosures. It makes for a great family day out and gives kids and adults alike the opportunity to interact with and feed some of the animals.
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The zoo is home to so many native bird species, including a pair of red tailed black cockatoos named Doris and Bill, parakeets, rosellas, a magnificent blue and gold macaw and a couple of laughing kookaburras. There are several peacocks wandering freely, including two lovely white peacocks, as well as turkeys.
The walk-in aviary is a great feature, where families can feed small pieces of fruit to a huge variety of birds. I made a friend when a lovely pink cockatoo decided my shoes and bottom of my jeans were tastier than the apple and lightly pecked away until I shuffled off. You can also take a selfie with a cockatoo as he sits on your forearm or shoulder.
The kangaroo enclosure is a popular spot. Visitors can purchase a bag of animal fodder and hand feed the roos, which were all fairly placid. Across from the kangaroos is a paddock full of very noisy sheep, some of which I thought were goats. I should mention my daughter broke my glasses last week.
Olivia getting right to the heart of the action.
Further along, you will find another petting and feeding area where you can get close to alpacas and deers and a very curious emu. This was my favourite part of the day – especially since the emu took a liking to my younger sister and her red alpaca cardigan. Oh, the irony.
If you’ve never seen a Tasmanian Devil, this is a great chance to do so, with several living at the zoo. There are also dingoes, wombats, Bengal cats and small marsupials, including quokkas and koalas.
The Tassie Devil. Look at those teeth!
For kids aged 8-16 years, Peel Zoo runs the Peel Zookeeper 4 A Day program, which allows children to experience feeding and animal care. There are five places available on days the program is run, and parents are encouraged to contact the zoo for further information. The zoo also caters for school groups and birthday parties.
My younger sister, feeding the alpacas…while wearing alpaca wool.
If you need to take a break during the day, the zoo has a picnic area plus light snacks and hot drinks available. There is a gift shop in case you want to take a (stuffed) furry friend home.
Peel Zoo is a truly special family experience. The hands-on approach is sure to delight the kids, and probably the adults too.
These international, award-winning programmes offer a magical world of sensory learning, wonder and exploration for babies 0 -13 months, and are backed by over 35 years of research into child development.