If you're an animal lover at heart, there is a lot to enjoy in Adelaide and just out of the city. You can meet a range of animals, get up close and personal with an encounter and enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of the region.
Gorge Wildlife Park
This is an amazing attraction if you want to meet native animals. The park has many birds, monkeys, alligators, otters, meerkats and more. See native animals such as koalas, dingoes and a Tasmanian Devil. Across 14 acres of land they live freely, and you can witness them in their natural habitat while wandering along the many paths.
Some highlights of the park include the sheer number of birds, from Ostriches to the tiny Fairy Wren and Rainbow Lorikeets. Be sure to also check out the reptile house, that is home to reptiles, colourful fish and creepy crawlies.
Every day at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm there is an opportunity to cuddle a koala and get a few snaps of you and your new furry friend. The keepers will also be able to tell you more about this animal and answer any and all questions that you have.
Take a picnic along and enjoy lunch in the park, or make use of the barbecues. On your way out stop in at the kiosk and souvenir shop to pick up a memento or two.
Hahndorf Farm Barn
For an amazing experience for kids, head to this attraction. Here you'll find a combination of farmyard and wildlife park, where a whole range of animals live. Seize the chance to get hands on with the animals – the farm ban offers encounters where you can hold, touch and feed them in a safe environment where your comfort and that of the animals is top priority.
You'll find bunny rabbits, guinea pigs and kangaroos. Milk a cow, have a pony ride, feed camels and lambs, and wander through the park at your own leisure. Your experience will be complete with chances to learn all about the animals, including how they are born, grow and live. All of the team members are friendly, knowledgeable and approachable.
There are also ample places where you can enjoy a relaxed lunch with your loved ones in a picnic spot or at the barbecue areas.
Open every day from 10am – 4pm and situated on Mount Barker Road in Hahndorf, which is about a half hour drive from the city. Hiring a car and venturing out to the farm might be just what you need on your holiday.
Cleland Wildlife Park
An established attraction since 1967, this park is a wonderful place to visit. With a abundance of native fauna across 35 acres of virgin bushland, the park provides the opportunity to interact with animals and be embraced by nature and animals of this vivid country.
In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the park won the Significant Tourism Attraction award for their stunning faculties and opportunities. For instance, there are exciting and educational keeper talks, discovery trails which you can discover on your own, and personal encounters. The Interpretive Centre is where you'll find nocturnal animals including bats and native lizards.
The licensed cafe is a great place to wind down and recharge with a warm coffee and tasty snack. The shop is right next door, and a great place to get a couple of gifts.
When you've met the animals and you want to spend more time in the area, check out the surrounding Cleland Conservation Park, which is visited by more than 100,000 people a year and is notable for the Waterfall Gully-Mount Lofty Summit trail, which has garnered a reputation for being a once in a lifetime experience.