Zoos, Wildlife and Farmstays
One of the undisputed things about Australia is that we have the cutest native animals. Where else can you see kangaroos, koalas and platypuses? NSW is blessed with a number of zoos where you can see these creatures and even get up close and personal with them.
There are three overnight options at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. The self-contained Savannah Cabins offer a truly wild stay at this zoo in Country NSW. There’s also the Zoofari Lodge and Billabong Camp, where you stay in the friendly native wildlife section.
At Altina Wildlife Park, south of Griffith, you can see rare white lions and other exotic animals as well as native kangaroos and goannas. The park is near the Murrumbidgee River, a popular spot for fishing and canoeing. Stay in a cabin or pitch a tent at the Darlington Point Riverside Caravan Park.
On the enchanting Central Coast, near Sydney, watch funnel web spiders being milked for life-saving anti-venom at the Australian Reptile Park. You'll also meet Elvis, the resident saltwater crocodile. Nearby is the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park, where rangers lead encounters with native animals and you can stay overnight in self-contained cabins.
Whales migrate along the NSW coast between May and November and you can spot them from most prominent headlands, which make great vantage points. There are whale watching cruises that also operate from Byron Bay on the North Coast to Eden on the South Coast.
On the South Coast, kids will be delighted by the little penguins and seals at Montague Island, 9km off Narooma. From there, head 50 minutes north to get to Mogo Zoo, near Batemans Bay. This zoo specialises in looking after endangered species, such as lowland gorillas, tigers and snow leopards.