This past week a friend and I traveled to Phillip Island to visit a place called the Phillip Island Wildlife Park. I hadn’t heard of it before and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t really that excited to go, but my friend always goes with me so didn’t feel like I could say no. She had heard mixed reviews of it, but we decided that we would judge for ourselves.
From my place Phillip Island is around a two hour drive and it was nice getting out of the city. It is very easy to find and is on the left of the main drive from the mainland.
It brags of lots of different species of Australian animals and that you will have close encounters with them, meaning feed them. It is $18 to get into the park, which we wondered about, but in the end was a very fair price. You are handed a bag of feed for the animals as you enter, though you aren’t given a map or instructions on which animals the feed is for.
Once you go through the doors to the park you can see animals almost straight away. They wander around everywhere. Some in certain places, though the wallabies seemed to be everywhere we went. If you shake your bag with the feed they will come to you.
Most of the animals you can get very close to, the Koalas are in separate enclosures and you have to be content with just looking at them, but there are quite a few to look at.
We fed cassowaries, wallabies, kangaroos, and Cape Barren geese. We decided not to go into the pen with the emus, though lots of people did.
The one part we didn’t like were the bird enclosures or aviaries. They were small, and in some need of updating. Much of the fencing around them was rusting and there didn’t seem a lot of room for the birds to fly. I get that this is privately owned and I assume that money is very tight. They are not going to get the funding that places like Healesville Sanctuary get. However, I think it is something they badly need, a massive injection of money would improve it so much.
It is a great place to take overseas visitors who would love to experience feeding the animals and getting that close to them. You can pat them, and see joeys in pouches. The park offers people an experience they won’t find anywhere else.
I read reviews saying it was bad to go to, but I do disagree and the more people that actually take the trip to go can only help improve what is there already. I do think they should have a donate section, I would have donated money to help get better aviaries for the birds. I’m sure they could advertise it, have a paypal account where people can donate money, something. Deep down, I think people do love the place and would pay extra to help out.
One thing we did notice was that there was no one around watching what people did. Again, I’m sure funding has a lot to do with this, but I would have thought that they would be able to find volunteers that would like to help out, especially people who love animals.
We spent almost 2 hours there and in the end it seemed like good value. I compare everything I do with the price of going to a movie, it is cheaper than a movie ticket here and I spent the same amount of time as I would at a movie, so for me it was good value. I enjoyed it.
Don’t read the reviews and just go, as I said the more that do the better the place will become.
Here is the website, Phillip Island Wildlife Park
Here are a few of the 600 odd photos I took while I was there.