Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park ~ Phone: (02) 43751100
Our Address ~ 1 Darkinjung Road, cnr Peats Ridge Road, Calga NSW, Australia 2250 ~
info @walkaboutpark.com.au

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Bushfires in Australia

bushfire

The Australian bush needs to burn in order to regenerate.

But fires are tremendously destructive. Not only do they destroy people's lives and property, as seen in the terrible 2009 fires in the State of Victoria, but they can also have a terrible impact on our wildlife.

The debate rages on about whether controlled hazard reduction burning should be performed outside of the fire seasons to reduce fuel loads and, therefore, the chance of bushfires raging out of control.

The fact is that, for thousands of years, the Australian landscape has burned naturally. Fires were caused by lightning and fueled by the summer's dry leaves and the euclaypt in the gum trees, just as they are today. Also, indigenous Australians, with a deep knowledge and understanding of the land, systematically burned the bush to promote plant activity and to assist in the hunt. This is called "firestick farming".

Today, fires may be caused by lightning, arcing from powerlines, people's carelessness e.g. by throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, and even deliberate arson.

There is a strong argument for controlled burning today. Controlled burns are usually "cool" burns that cause only superficial damage to the trees and ground. Animals deep in their burrows survive, seeds germinate, and trees put out new shoots.

The alternative is to continue to unnaturally protect the land from bushfires, but this leads to massive build-up of fuel over time and the increased likelihood of rare but devastating wildfires.

2009 Fires near Walkabout Park

As the catastrophic fires started up in Victoria, Walkabout Park was facing its own bushfire emergency. The 2009 Peats Ridge fire was moving in our direction and was only eventually contained 4.5 km from the park. We started preparing for a possible evacuation on the Saturday and ended up closing the park late-morning on the Sunday for the safety of our visitors and to devote all our time and resources to getting the park fire-ready. We took the difficult decision to start evacuating the captive animals that would not be too traumatised by the move - we just couldn't take the chance of leaving the full evacuation to the last minute! Captive reptiles and small mammals were moved, and carry cases (and destinations) were prepared for the other captive animals in case we had to evacuate in the middle of the night. We were ready to put our defense plan into action for the free-ranging animals and did as much fire preparation as we could to save the park itself. Luckily the fire didn't get to us, and it was an excellent practice run for when/if this happens again.

A Koala Bushfire Refugee

koala-bushfire

These pictures were taken by a group of cyclists when they were approached for help by a koala refugee from the bushfires in Victoria in February 2009.

The koala grasped a cyclist's leg - an unexpected gesture in a wild koala, showing its desperation. Realising it needed help, the cyclists offered it a drink from a water bottle, which it gratefully accepted.

Note:

The situation with the wildfires in Victoria in February 2009 were exceptionally devastating for people and animals alike and these special gestures by members of the public have been so important.

However, wild koalas are dangerous. Under normal circumstances, never approach a wild koala. Instead, call a wildlife rescue organisation and they will send a trained person to assist the animal.

The pictures on this page are in general email circulation. If they are 'yours', please let us know so we can acknowledge them appropriately.

Opening times

Open every day except Christmas Day.eee

Day time visitors do not need to book

Open at 9am - Every day

Close at 5pm - Every day

Evening and overnight experiences 
must be pre-booked

Contact us

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park

1 Darkinjung Road, cnr Peats Ridge Road, Calga, NSW Australia 2250 • Phone (02) 43751100 • Outside Aus +61 2 43751100 • Fax (02) 43751257

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Park Entry Prices

For group programs or for a private ranger-led tour, contact us for a quote.

Standard Tickets
$25.00
$15.00
Adult
Child - aged 3 to 15 years
   
Family Discounts
$70.00
$10.00
Family - 2 adults + 2 children
Extra child - with $70 Family Pass
   
Free Entry - eligibility conditions apply
No charge
No charge
Child - aged 0 to 2 years
Carer with Companion Card - accompanying disabled client
   
$20 Discount Tickets - must show ID Card
Teacher
Student
Senior
Pensioner
20% off Standard Adult Rate
20% off Standard Adult Rate
20% off Standard Adult Rate
20% off Standard Adult Rate

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Ranger-led activities

Admission price includes daily ranger-led activities.

Please check with us as program may change.

 

Time What's on

09:30
10:00

10:30
11:00
11:30
12:00
12:30
1:00
1:30
2:00

2:30
3:00
3:15
3:15

3:45
4:00

Meet Waffles the Pig
Meet the mob: Kangaroos & Emus
Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat

Boomerang throwing
Dingo encounter
Koala encounter
Pat a Python
Echidna encounter
Night Hunters - Predator Birds

Tasmanian Devil encounter
Koala feed-time
Bare-Nosed Wombat encounter
Bush Tucker & Bush Medicine
Aboriginal Sites visit (only on
weekends & holidays)

Meet the mob: Kangaroos & Emus
Flying Fox introduction

0:00 Wild Emu and Kangaroo Feeding
10:30 Meet Billy Bilby
11:00 Koala Talk
11:30 Meet a Dingo
12:00 Boomerang Throwing
12:30 Pat a Python
1:00 Bush Tucker & Bush Medicine (weekends & holidays only)
1.00 Bush-Ochre Face Painting and Bunny Fun in the Farmyard
1:45 Lizards, Turtles and Dragons
2:15 Tazzie Devil Feeding 
2.30 Quoll Feeding
2:45 Koala Feeding
3:15 Flying Fox Feeding
3:30 Wombat Feeding
4:00 Wild Emu and Kangaroo Feeding
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