The Symbio Wildlife Park is located about 45 minutes South Sydney in Helensburgh, Australia. We are currently living on the South part of Sydney so a quicker trip for us. Our family are annual pass holders for the Taronga Zoo and consider it one of the best in the World. The smaller wildlife parks are often more interactive though and we found this to be true of the Symbio Wildlife Park.
The girls and I visited before their school enrollment had been accepted. The zoo was almost empty due to the cool winter day and school in session. This allowed us front row seats for all the keeper talks and extra animal interactions. We were there in time to catch the reptile, koala and meerkat chats. Note: The pictures are not the best quality due to only having a temporary phone at the time.
There are three animal encounter opportunities available for an additional fee. The day we were visiting you could pat a koala, hold a snake and an American alligator. They all included a photo and the money earned contributed to the care of the animals. Win-win!
1 encounter = $20
2 encounters = $35
3 encounters = $50
We selected to do 2 encounters because neither of my girls had interest in the American alligator. They had given the alligator a pat during the earlier reptile presentation but my photo was too dark and blurry to post.
There were two Koalas during the animal encounter. One that simply liked to cuddle with the zoo keeper and pretend no one else was looking at him. The other was mostly hungry! I was fortunate enough to get to hold a koala while we were in the Gold Coast. I learned that each State has different laws here in Australia too. I guess in New South Wales the law is zoo visitors are not allowed to hold koalas. Good to know!
Ella’s favorite area was the Kangaroo and Wallaby enclosure because she loves feeding animals. She still talks about doing this and was disappointed we were not going to feed the kangaroos on our last Taronga Zoo visit. These little guys were hungry and came right up as soon as we entered the enclosure.
They had some big cats too like the Sumatran tigers and cheetahs.
A variety of smaller exhibits could be found throughout the zoo: bird enclosures, barnyard animals, red pandas and even a swimming pool. I did not take a picture of everything but make sure to pack a picnic because you will be here several hours. They do have a café next to the swimming area if prefer to buy food there.
The wildlife park offers behind the scenes experiences available for an extra fee that I hope to try in the future. These may include feeding the animals and getting an extended amount of time with them. They limit the number at 2 people and prices are a bit steep. They average at around $100 per person/per experience.
The Junior Zoo Keeper day camp for 7-12 years would make a great future birthday present for my oldest! This program is from 9:45am-3pm offering a learning opportunity for the kids. They help keepers with daily chores, feed a variety of animals and assist with animal enrichments.
The zoo experience would be perfect for anyone that might want a more up-close and personal experience with the animals. I find the size of this zoo to be less daunting for my youngest too!