Take inspiration from the Irwins and get up close with koalas at Perth’s wildlife parks. With the school holidays approaching, you can nip the cries of boredom in the butt early and create lasting memories with a day spent with these Aussie icons. Sadly, the bushland in WA doesn’t provide a sustainable home for koalas, making these locations all the more special; they are the only wildlife parks that safeguard the sleepy creatures here in Perth. Kids and adults alike will have a blast with these cuddly marsupials!
Cohunu Koala Park
You’ll have the rare opportunity to cuddle a koala at WA’s longest running private koala park. The husband and wife duo behind Cohunu Koala Park have been running the park for the past 50 years. What started out as a small park with just four koalas has since grown into a bigger sanctuary with a total of 13 happy animals. There are also babies to be expected in the coming months, so April visitors might see one or two bubs climbing on their mamma’s backs.
Seeing koalas in their natural habitat will make any child’s day, and there’s the option for visitors aged 7-and-up to hold a koala in their arms. Bring a camera so you can capture the moment! During the school holiday period between 11am – 2.30pm, you can even take a ride on the mini railway train.
Don’t let the name fool you, Cohunu offers more than just koalas – free-roaming emus and ponies will give your visit that country life feel. If spontaneity runs in your family, you’ll be pleased to know that no bookings are required, and parking is free.
Entry into the park is $15 per adult and $5 per child (12 years and under).
Caversham Wildlife Park
See not one or two, but 50 koalas lazing around at Caversham Wildlife Park. It truly is koala galore at this laid-back family run park. Since it is home to both Northern and Southern koalas, you’ll find fuzzy friends ranging from 5kg to 12kg here.
Breathe in the aroma of eucalyptus when you visit the newly renovated koala exhibit. Watch the koalas sleep or munch on leaves, or if you want to get more involved, the ‘Meet the Koala’ sessions are a must. With two sessions daily at 11.30am and 3.30pm, visitors can give them a pat and take some snaps. Koala holding is also offered at Caversham and for an additional $30 kiddies at least 140cm can enjoy the experience.
There are some babies currently at Caversham and they will emerge from their mum’s pouches between June and September this year. Allow three hours to experience all the park has to offer and head there before last entry at 3pm. If you wander in after this time, you risk missing some of the attractions.
Entry fee for adults is $30 and for children between 3 and 14 years of age it will cost $14.
You could spend hours looking at all the iconic Aussie animals and exotic species at Perth Zoo. The koalas can be found on the Australian Bushwalk section of the zoo. Although they spend most of their days sleeping, you will get a kick out of seeing them climb around the trees and nibble on eucalyptus leaves.
Be sure to keep an eye out for one of the eldest koalas in the enclosure, 13-year-old Wanda. You might even see the koalas interact with the zookeeper.
Save the hassle of trying to buy tickets at the entrance while your kids are bursting with excitement and pre-purchase them online. Big days out with children can be more struggle than fun, but don’t let the idea of exhausted children deter you from visiting the zoo. If you’ve got little ones who tire easily, you can hire a two-seater wagon for the day.
Entry fee for children aged four to 15 is $16.50, while adults are $33.
Yanchep Koala Boardwalk
Tucked away in Yanchep National Park is a koala viewing boardwalk where you can see the koalas roam about in the trees. The 240m boardwalk gives visitors a glimpse of seven koalas in an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat, who receive daily care from the rangers.
The koalas move around at different times during the day, but around 10am daily, you can expect them to come down from the top of trees to feed on the Eucalyptus. Be there at 3:15pm for the ‘Koala talk’, where you can unleash all of your koala questions on their caretakers. There are signs throughout the park with information about the animals and directions to navigate your way around the park.
Beyond the koalas, there’s lots to see and do at Yanchep National Park and you can easily spend a day here. Some of the attractions include Cave tours, Walk trails, Tree Adventures (ziplining) and Aboriginal cultural tours.
Park entry fees apply $15.00 per vehicle. A 12-month local Pass for Yanchep National Park can be purchased for $25.00. If you are City of Wanneroo resident, you can purchase a 12 local pass online for $15.00.