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Sandy Sep 18th, 2002 05:19 PM

Featherdale Wildlife Park
Hi - I'd love some information on this park. How far from Sydney? Are there tours to take to get there? Can we book it at the hotel? Isn't it where you can "breakfast with the kangaroos?"<BR> Thanks in advance.

Jane Sep 18th, 2002 07:15 PM

I recently went there and enjoyed it immensely. Not sure about breakfast with the kangaroos. It is near Olympic Park, I guess about 45 minutes from Sydney. I went on a tour with AAT Kings as it was part of a tour day to the Blue Mountains (another great side trip from Sydney). A couple of hours at the park should be adequate. You get to pet a koala. Contact me if you want more help. I work with the Australia Tourism Commission helping with travel to Australia.

Wendy Sep 18th, 2002 10:06 PM

Hi Jane,<BR>Where do you work out of and who do you work for? Are you in Australia or the USA?<BR>Thanks W

Alan Sep 19th, 2002 03:38 AM

Hi, Sandy!<BR> Featherdale is a nice little park, and it's easy to get to by fast train from the city, but it is not, alas, the place to "breakfast with kangaroos"... this is Euroka Clearing, in the same direction but twice as far west, and unless you have a car, you can't get there without a tour. But to get to Featherdale, simply hop on a Mountains train and get off at Blacktown Station. You could walk from there, but you'd probably prefer to get a taxi for a few dollars... five minutes drive. You can be photographed with a koala, and see some Australian animals in fairly natural surroundings... plus some not-so-Australian animals, such as two ostriches. I like Featherdale, but be warned... Sydney's west is flat and hot, and the park is best seen early in the morning.... if you're smart, you'll try and get there at about the time the tours are collecting people at their hotels. By lunch time, you often can't park in the car park because of the tourist buses, and since it's only a small place, you can imagine what that means for the crowds around the exhibits. Have a great time!

Sandy Sep 19th, 2002 06:39 AM

Hi all - Thank you, thank you, thank you. Going by train rather than a tours sounds great.

Jane Sep 19th, 2002 08:39 AM

Message for Wendy:<BR><BR>I am an independent travel consultant who does this more for enjoyment than $ as I also am a fulltime educator. I am trained with the Australian and New Zealand Tourism Commissions to help people with their travel. I book and help people plan their trips down under.

Jane Sep 19th, 2002 08:40 AM

More for Wendy. I am based in U.S. and do not represent specific suppliers.

Jane Sep 19th, 2002 09:41 AM

Another reader was upset by travel professionals posting here so rather than be attacked I will decline from sharing information about Australia and New Zealand travel.

Liz Sep 19th, 2002 01:00 PM

Thank you Jane for declining to share your travel knowledge on this site. There are 18 or 20 Million of us you have a lot of information to share so I am sure we can help people find out what they need to know.

Alan Sep 19th, 2002 05:58 PM

Hi again, Sandy!<BR>I'm really glad you've decided to go by train... I get so annoyed when I see tour operators in Sydney promoting their "services" when there is such a great lot of public transport ready to do it faster and cheaper than they can, and at YOUR convenience, not theirs. Harbour cruises are another bone of contention with me... for three or four dollars you can take just about any ferry in Sydney... for $13 you can take a whole days' worth -- and you will have a great time at your own pace; yet people insist on paying thirty or forty dollars to go by private operators, who make you meet THEIR timetable (let it rain! Who cares?) and have nothing more to offer except a commentary you could well do without! Anyway, here are a couple of tips to get you by train to Featherdale. <BR>There's really not a full day to be had at Featherdale, so by lunch time you will be looking for something else to do. For that reason it may pay you to buy a DayRover ticket when you set out at Sydney terminal. For $13.40 you can get on and off as many trains or ferries as you like, and you may decide to head west after seeing Featherdale and have a look at the lower Blue Mountains. I think your DayRover is only good as far as Emu Plains (at the foot of the mountains), but you can always buy an extension at the stop where you get off, if, in fact, it's a station with an attendant. Just walking around the mountains in the late afternoon is very pleasant, and stations like Woodford have short walking trails very close to the train.<BR><BR>The best trains to get to Blacktown are the intercity trains which go to the Blue Mountains, as they hardly stop at all between Sydney and Blacktown. They only depart hourly, however, about three minutes after the hour. Try to make the 8:03 a.m. If you miss it, you don't need to wait an hour for the next one... just go downstairs to the suburban trains and get a Penrith train, as they leave much more frequently (and stop more often, too.) In this case, you would be best going one stop past Blacktown, to Doonside. You will pass right by Featherdale and you can judge whether or not you want to walk back... it's a bit closer than walking from Blacktown. Doonside is just a tiny place, and you may not get a taxi so easily if you decide that walking is not for you (but it's less than a kilometre, and it's totally flat).<BR>One stop past Doonside is Rooty Hill, and it is the "jumping-off" point for Australia's Wonderland, which is a bit like a mini-Disneyland, and is very popular in spite of the fact that the admission prices are pretty steep, according to the locals. However, since you're out that way anyway, you may care to combine the two trips.<BR>I hope you have a wonderful time!

Sandy Sep 20th, 2002 06:49 AM

Hi Alan,<BR> You're really being very helpful. If you ever come to New York, I'll have to return the favor and tell you how to get around. <BR> I think the it stands now, is to do Featherdale in the morning and return for a late afternoon Bridge Climb. That sounds terrific to me. :)

Alan Sep 22nd, 2002 07:23 PM

Hi, yet again, Sandy!<BR>Thanks for the offer... I was in New York, with my kids, just last December (during that week of "Indian summer" when everyone was walking around in their shirt sleeves), and I can't wait to get back. Getting around New York is easy... whichever way you go, there's something great to see... you can't miss!<BR>I checked the walking distance to Featherdale from those two stations for you. It's a bit further than I said.... 2 and a quarter km from Blacktown Station, one-and-a-half from Doonside. The walk is, I fear, less interesting than walking from the Woolworth Tower across the Brooklyn Bridge, so I would recommend that taxi.

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