Frequently Asked Questions
Do all visitors have to go on a tour?
No. You don't have to go on a tour if you prefer not to. You can relax at the Visitor Centre where many of the free-ranging animals usually hang out, or you can wander around by yourself and see how many different animals you can spot and also visit the Aboriginal sites that have carvings and paintings. However, we do recommend that you do the ranger-led activities. The rangers are specialist guides who can explain the significance of the ancient Aboriginal heritage sites at the park, indulge your five senses in an interactive bush tucker/bush medicine experience, and help you get up close and personal with an amazing array of Australian animals.
How many animals are roaming freely at Walkabout Park?
Walkabout Park protects over 100 types of bird, such the Superb Lyrebird, the Laughing Kookaburra and the uncommon Rock Warbler. There are 40 types of reptiles and frogs, from the Diamond Python to the Eastern Froglet. It is hard for us to know exactly how many animals inhabit the sanctuary as many, especially birds, reptiles and some frogs, can come and go as they please. However, we do have approximately 20 Eastern Grey Kangaroos, 10 Swamp Wallabies, 6 Emus, 20 Tamar Wallabies, 35 Red-Necked Pademelons, 16 Parma Wallabies, 4 Rufous Bettongs and several Bandicoots, along with the many other more secretive critters that we don't have an exact number for, roaming freely around our park. We have lots of very special creatures, such as our female Red Kangaroo Laila, and our female Wallaroo Tegan, who make an unusual couple as they hang out together in the underbrush.
Why are some animals kept in enclosures?
At Walkabout Park, we don't believe in keeping animals in cages to entertain our human visitors. We are not a traditional zoo! However, some animals need to be kept in purpose-built enclosures for legal reasons, safety reasons or specialised animal care reasons. You can find our Koalas, Grey-headed Flying-foxes, Eastern Pygmy Possums, Tiger Quolls and Dingoes, as well as Ally the Wombat, and some of our reptiles, spiders and insects, in enclosures in the Visitors' Centre and along the Animal Loop Walk.
Are there snakes at Walkabout Park?
Yes, this is Australia. There are several species of snake at Walkabout Park. The most commonly seen is the Diamond Python, which is non-venomous. Other species that inhabit the park, although not often seen, are the Red-Bellied Black Snake, Eastern Brown Snake, Tiger Snake and Death Adder. Because of their shy, secretive natures, and also because they hibernate during the cooler months emerging around September, these species are rarely seen. If you do see a snake, stand absolutely still until the snake passes, or if it is resting peacefully then move slowly away from the snake. It is a thrilling experience to be able to see a snake in the wild - a privilege that very few people get in thier lifetime as these animals are such elusive creatures.
If you'd like a chance to meet a snake, visit Neil the Diamond Python, our Rainbow Serpent the Olive Python, and their other scaley friends in our Visitors' Centre or at the Python House, or have an even closer encounter during our daily "Pat a Python" animal encounter.
Are there wombats at Walkabout Park?
Yes, there are. Ally, our female hand-raised wombat, is one of our favourites. Calga is one of the few places close to Sydney where wombats still womble around in the wild so please be careful when driving in the area, especially at dawn and dusk when they are most active.
Wombats are nocturnal, but Ally can usually be seen sleeping peacefully in her window box. At night she spends her time burrowing outside in the wombat camp and nosing around foraging for food. If you visit us at night for a nocturnal tour or a Wild Sleep Out, you will see lots of other creatures hanging out with Ally, such as Rufous Bettongs and Brush Tail Possums. Interestingly, although wombats are solitary and can be quite fierce towards other wombats, they seem quite happy to share their dinner with different smaller species.
Are there koalas at Walkabout Park?
Walkabout Park's koalas are in an enclosure alongside our Visitors' Centre. You can join us for our daily koala talks, where a ranger will bring one of them to the fence to meet you, or you can see them at any time from the veranda while you enjoy your lunch or a cup of tea or coffee. If you would prefer some personal time with the koalas (or any other animal) outside of normal animal encounter times so that you don't have to share the experience with other visitors, you can engage a ranger to take you into the enclosure. Your payment for this very special experience helps fund our conservation work.
Are nocturnal guided tours available?
Night time ranger-led ours, during which you will enter the after dark world of the Rufous Bettong, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Brushtail and Ringtail Possum, Sugar Glider, Common Wombat, Tawny Frogmouth, Powerful Owl as well as the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and various wallaby species, are offered as part of our evening and Wild Sleep-Out packages. Sitting out under the southern skies with the Milky Way and the brightest stars is a magnificent way to end the evening. Visitors are always astonished by the amazing number of stars that can be seen from the Park's exposed sandstone outcrops, away from the city lights.
Does Walkabout Park have to feed the animals?
There is enough food in our sanctuary for the animals to feed on as they would in the wild. The animals at Walkabout Park have 80 acres of natural food and the numbers of animals in the sanctuary are managed at a level where the ecosystem is sustainable. However, we do distribute a small amount of food each morning and evening so that the animals will make an appearance. Not only is this great for visitors but, even more importantly, it gives the rangers the chance to health-check the animals. The animals eat the food over a period of about 30 minutes, then head off into the bush to find wild foods. This is a great time to interact with the animals.
Can visitors pat the kangaroos?
Yes. The rule is, if any animal will let you, you are welcome to touch. If the animal is agitated or moves away, please leave it alone. Just like people, animals don't always feel like having company.
Remember, no wild animal - even a friendly one - likes to be touched on or near the head or neck. Most of out animals, however, really enjoy a gentle back massage. But always keep in mind that the animals at Walkabout Park are wild and you cannot be absolutely sure how they will react. Follow the safety tips that you get on arrival, and always supervise children.
Male kangaroos in the wild stand tall on their back legs and scratch their tummies when they are sizing up another male that might be a threat. If you are ever close to a kangaroo when it stands up tall, just move away.
How long can kangaroos live for?
Eastern Grey kangaroos normally live for between 10 and 15 years. The oldest Grey Kangaroo on record lived for more than 25 years.
Can visitors buy food (for themselves) at Walkabout Park?
We have a café where you can buy delicious pre-made sandwiches, as well as hot pies, fish and chips. There is a great coin-operated machine that makes excellent barrista quality coffee with fresh ground beans and fresh milk. Snacks, cold drinks and ice-creams can be purchased from the gift shop. We have lots of picnic tables around the Visitor Centre, as well as along our tracks. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch with you.
We do recommend, especially if you have small children with you, that you eat near to the Visitor Centre where we can assist you if the emus and kangaroos get too friendly.
We also have two BBQ's where you can BBQ your own food. Bookings are essential if you would like to use our BBQ, so that we can make sure that they are clean and ready for you. We ask that you drop a donation in the donation box at reception to cover the cost of gas, cleanign and wear and tear.
Can visitors feed the animals?
The only animals that you are allowed to feed are the farm animals in the petting zoo.
We do not allow hand feeding of any of the other animals. Even our rangers never hand feed them. Walkabout Park is a sanctuary where the animals are not restricted to small enclosures, the sanctuary is their home. Feeding encourages unnatural behaviour including stealing food from visitors which can be scarey, and even dangerous, for small children.
Australian animals also breed more or less frequently depending on conditions so, if you feed them they can respond by overbreeding causing overpopulation and too much strain on the bush. Only at a sanctuary like Walkabout Park can the public see native animals feeding naturally in a wild environment.