I was a bit torn writing this post because I'm not a big fan of zoos, however, a friend of mine pointed out to me that Zoos also help with conservation and are a crucial part of keeping the world's animals in existence. That is true and certainly gives me a new perspective! So if you are looking to have a holiday in Port Macquarie or just passing through Billabong Zoo is a great place to visit.
Note: some of these photos are not too clear because the animals are behind glass and cage, so please forgive me for this.
It was a rainy day when I did my tour of Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie, but that did not stop me wandering around in awe of the animals that I had a chance to meet up-close and personal.
Billabong Zoo breeds koalas and provide genetically strong, healthy new bloodlines of koalas to other zoos and sanctuaries in Australia. The zoo has up to 20 koalas at any given time, passing them onto zoos throughout NSW, Victoria and Queensland to enhance their breeding programmes. I had the privilege to give this gorgeous koala a pat. What really struck me here was that the koala's minder was very protective of his marsupial and the koala was clinging on to the safety of its human.
I adore penguins and last year I was one of the first of the public permitted to get up-close and personal with penguins in the Sydney Aquarium. I was equally delighted with these little penguins at Billabong Zoo Port Macquarie.
Billabong Zoo has over 4 hectares wildlife. The zoo originally opened in 1986 primarily as a breeding centre for koalas, together with a wallaby and kangaroo hand-feeding area. It is now world-renowned for its koala breeding programme and is also a significant regional zoo with a diverse range of Australian and Exotic animals and birds. It has been voted the region’s Top Attraction on a number of years as well receiving other Awards for service and value. Billabong Zoo exhibits over 80 species and cares for over 220 animals.
It is not only the animals, reptiles and birds at Billabong Zoo that is interesting; there's a lot of beautiful fauna as well as ponds to look at.
Yes! This is a meerkat. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I had to look through glass, mesh and sometimes I could stand on something to give me a more clear view.
There are lot of birds at the park; some in open pens like this and many in cages. I laughed a lot when I walked up to a cage of cockatoos and they started to talk to me.
Going back to the koalas...they sleep a lot!
When I saw the crocodile I was in awe. Sorry this photo doesn't do justice as I had to stand up on some steps and couldn't get a good angle. Just believe me it was huge! I did wonder how this huge reptile gets to swim in such a small enclosure? That worries me a bit. I respect crocodiles the same way I respect sharks. The water is their territory and it is up to us, as humans, to make good decisions where we swim.
Due to the rain and poor lighting I have not shown all the animals, reptiles and birds that I could have. I think Billabong Zoo is probably the best I've been to because there are open areas to feed and touch animals, you can get really close to them. This photo of the lion above was taken when I was only about a metre from the cage.
Billabong Zoo is easy to get around, it feels natural and next time I visit (hopefully on a sunny day) I will take more time in exploring. s independently paid for.