There are quite a few farms and zoos that are right on the Central Coast or only a very short distance away. They’re worth a visit during the upcoming school holidays or for a fun family day out on the weekend.
Located at the back of Narara Nursery, this small farm is the most budget-friendly activity in this article. The owners rescue surrendered and orphaned ducklings, mice, calves, goats, chickens, pigs and rabbits and and only charge $4 entry fee which goes into feeding and caring for the animals. Kids can feed animals bottles or out of a cup and there’s also an outdoor play area with some animals walking around and a jumping castle. It’s open every day during the school holidays and Thursday to Sunday during the school term.
For people who live in the Hunter and Newcastle areas, there are similar farms that are closer. Oakvale Farm is just outside Port Stephens with a few more animals such as koalas, lambs, snakes and Tasmanian devils and a new water play and barbecue area opening in a few weeks. Hunter Valley Zoo also has lots of other animals such as meerkats and monkeys. Admission for kids is $13.50 for Oakvale and $15 at Hunter Valley Zoo.
This park in Calga allows you to get up close to many of their animals, except for ones that need to be caged for safety reasons (such as the venomous snakes and dingoes) but many roam free such as the kangaroos, emus and turtles. The fact that the animals walk around freely is what makes this park unique but some kids will love this and some kids may not, so just be aware before you go. They have talks throughout the day and you can also book encounters with certain animals.
There is a lot to see at this park and you could even make two trips, one during daytime and another at night to attend a nocturnal tour when animals such as wombats, owls and possums, will be awake. General admission is $15 for kids aged 3 to 15 and $25.00 for adults. They’re open every day from 9am to 5pm, except for Christmas Day.
Although this is a reptile park, they have almost all of the same animals as the other parks such as kangaroos and koalas, but they are the only park on this list to have crocodiles, alligators and a platypus. You can pay extra for tours where you can hold certain animals and have your photos taken, but there are regular shows that take place at different times which are free as part of your entry fee. It costs $19 for children aged between three and fifteen to enter, and $35 for anyone over fifteen. It’s located in Somersby.