Following on from last week’s post about some of the many attractions here in sunny Perth (see here), I thought Caversham Wildlife Park deserved a post of its own. We had a good couple of hours or so here with our 2 little granddaughters, before the lure of the paddling pool at neighbouring Whiteman Park proved too much for La Petite # 1! Despite our slightly curtailed visit, we really felt we got our money’s worth. Although the entrance fees are quite expensive – $27 for an adult, $12 for children aged 3 to 14 and $19 for student and senior concession card holders – you don’t pay for anything else once inside (except food and gifts of course). There are also pass outs available so you can come and go during the day if you want to.
Caversham, a privately owned family business, is situated in a beautiful bushland setting to the north east of Perth city centre. It is home to many different species of Australian fauna and there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the animals (the “safe” ones that is, no one is obliged to cuddle a snake!). It is well run and considerable care and attention has been given to the overall animal experience. Several special shows are run throughout the day at various times. Our highlight would have to be the Farm Show held at Molly’s Farm – we felt the entrance fee was worth it just to see the Farm Show alone! Held in a huge traditional Australian farm shed, we were talked through the activities by Geoff, a genial stockman, who had plenty of anecdotes and engaged his audience well.
The grown ups could try their hand at cracking a farm whip (definitely not for the kids!), the kids could feed the little lambs and also have a turn at milking Brenda the Cow (for some reason her stall had Minty on it – Minty was euphemistically mentioned so I think she has sadly passed on!). We were also introduced to the wonderful working dogs of the farm, Jack a 9 year old Kelpie, his son Billy aged 3 and their red haired cousin Rusty. Jack gave us a display of his sheep herding skills – there were a couple of recalcitrant ewes but he managed to get them safely back into their pen in the end. Amazingly for all his hard work he was rewarded merely with a brief pat, which Geoff assured us was standard practice. The dogs wish to please and Jack certainly looked happy enough with a pat from his master. I couldn’t help thinking that Winston Le Schnoodle, our pampered pooch back home, would not only have caused havoc by chasing the poor ewes everywhere, but would not have settled for anything less than copious amounts of edible doggy treats at the end of his efforts! Working dogs are indispensable to farm life and seeing them in action was a real treat.
The light was not the best for taking photos so please excuse the poor quality of some of them. It was also very hot inside the shed but it did help us to understand how difficult conditions are out in the bush and how far removed the way of life out there is from the luxuries and comforts of the city where fans and air conditioning are de rigueur during summer!
Geoff was also an accomplished sheep shearer and gave us a demonstration of his skills!
Apart from the Farm Show you can meet “Neil The Wombat and Friends” at another huge shed – shows run 3 times a day like the Farm Show. Photo opportunities are aplenty and children and adults alike can pat and stroke some of the animals under the watchful eye of their keepers.
In the Reptile House we had a close encounter with a South-western Carpet Python who came over the say hello – thankfully he was behind the glass!
There is a kiosk, which sells basic refreshments including ample supplies of water but according to our elder daughter (who has been there several times) the cafe/restaurant in the adjacent Whiteman Park is a much better bet and serves excellent food. We decided, however, to treat ourselves to a late lunch at nearby Oakover Grounds and Winery after our morning’s exertions at Caversham and a quick detour to the Whiteman Park paddling pool with La Petite. Oakover was the perfect place to relax by the lake and reflect on our fabulous visit to Caversham. Highly recommend the Caversham Wildlife Park if you’re ever in Perth (as well as Whiteman Park and Oakover)!
Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved