My five-year old son, like most small boys, is a fan of all things creepy and crawly while his little sister tends to err to the fluffy and fluttering. Needless to say, looking for activities that can keep both of them happy can sometimes prove a challenge.
Enter wonderful WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo at Darling Harbour which delivers on all counts. As Rafferty fearlessly comes face to face with the deadliest and most dangerous snakes, lizards and spiders he can find (it’s amazing how brave a nice thick piece of glass can make you), Marlo happily hops after kangaroos and wallabies, cuddles up with koalas and goes all aflutter with the pretty critters in the butterfly house.
The Tasmanian Devil faces a very real threat of extinction in the wild and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s two Tasmanian Devils are part of a long-term commitment to safeguarding the species’ population. They too prove a hit with both kids.
Rafferty is thrilled to learn that, with one of the strongest bites of any mammal, they are suitably vicious. Marlo just wants to cuddle one. Maybe not, little one.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s brand new exhibition, WILD Discovery Zone proves to be the attraction’s most interactive. With a variety of activities on offer, the kids get the chance to touch Australian animal artefacts like crocodile skin and echidna bones, participate in some kid-friendly craft activities and get a closer look at what makes Australian animals unique through microscopes and x-rays.
And the opportunity for a meet and greet with animals as varied as lizards, pythons and enormous hand-size insects makes for more fun.
But it is Rex who comes in at a unanimous number one on the critter countdown.
Rex is a behemoth of a crocodile who weighs in at about 750kg and measures around five metres in length and who the kids get eyeball to eyeball with in an underwater cavern. Rafferty is in awe of the colossal croc. Marlo, bloodthirsty wee thing that she is, suggests he should put his hand in so the crocodile can bite it off. Thankfully, that’s not an option.
After our creature featured day out the kids are begging for more and, with the upcoming “deadly and dangerous” school holiday program that WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo has planned, who am I to say no?
Out & About With Kids Magazine editor, Aleney de Winter, is mum to two frequent-flying tiny travellers, son Rafferty 5 and daughter Marlo 2.