The Zoo has undergone massive transformation becoming one of NSW’s best regional zoos for close-up, intimate encounters with animals. Visitation has more than doubled in five years to around 100,000 people a year, making it the region’s fastest growing attraction.
Passionate Owners, Mark & Danena Stone, and their dedicated team, opened a range of new exhibits for cheetahs, snow leopards, a monster crocodile, penguins and red pandas. “The arrival of the snow leopards saw an increase in turnover of 62% last Summer, so we are anticipating the cheetahs will have a huge impact this year. Everyone just loves the big cats.” said Mark Stone, Manager, Billabong Zoo. “We have also just welcomed new lions to the Africa Exhibit”, added Mark.
Billabong Zoo is spread over 10 acres and is privately owned. It features a variety of native and exotic animals, regular keeper presentations every half hour and hands-on animal interaction. It is also a world-renowned breeding centre for koalas, where upon entry you can pat a koala.
For a small extra fee people can have amazing up-close ‘personal encounters’ such as hand-feeding the snow-leopards or Meerkats, have a one on one with a koala, draping a python around you and play with the penguins.
So who is new at the zoo?
The new arrivals – two African Lion cubs Milo (male, born 18.4.16) & Misty (female, born 5.4.16) are now out of quarantine and tentatively making their first appearances in their new home. Over the coming weeks visitors will be able to view Keeper interactions with the cubs as they form a close bond with these very special animals. Keeper times are at 10.30am, 1.00pm and 3.30pm – they use the interaction to form a close bond with the cubs & to give them confidence in their new surroundings. Daily updates will be posted on the Zoo notice board at the front entrance & on the Billabong Zoo Facebook page. With any new arrival at the zoo, especially young animals, the Zoo is very careful not to rush or put any undue stress on them as they become accustomed & feel secure in their new surroundings.
Two cheetah brothers ‘Warrior’ and ‘Vongani’ have arrived. Vongani is a ladies man, quite charismatic, while Warrior is just a big softy. Cheetahs are well known for their long-legged, slender bodies with a beautiful golden tan coat that is covered in around 2,000 black spots. They are the fastest land mammal on the planet and currently listed as critically endangered.
‘Rato’ and ‘Tito’ are super cute and cheeky, and one of the planets most threatened species.
‘Bido’ and ‘Pongo’ are mischievous meerkats who love nothing more than to munch on as many grubs and worms as they can during their keeper presentation.
You can come inside the enclosure to meet and greet their very own ‘happy feet’ and take some amazing up close photos.
A new Jurassic Pond exhibit is home to a 4.6metre monster croc called ‘Shrek’ with underwater viewing of the 50 year old salt water crocodile. The 12.30pm feeding show is a must-do on your visit.
‘Kamala’ and ‘Sabu’ have big fluffy paws, a huge tail and weigh about 35 kilos, They are one of if not the most endangered big cat on the planet and with only 3 other zoos in Australia to house these magnificent cats their new home at Billabong zoo is a must see.
Billabong Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. It is located at 61 Billabong Drive, Port Macquarie (at the junction of Pacific & Oxley Highways).
The region has a diverse range of espresso bars and cafes where you can get your daily cuppa and tantalise your tastebuds. No holiday is complete without doing the hard yards to discover a favourite! So warm up your appetite and get out there and start testing them out today!
The pristine white sand beaches are a drawcard for visitors and residents alike. Whether you’re looking for the ideal spot for a leisurely family picnic, a weekend BBQ with friends, a long lazy afternoon, the chance to get your 4WD off the highway and onto the sand, or an opportunity to learn how to surf - a day at the beach is just what you need.
Drive through rich green pastures and quiet villages to waterfalls and picnic spots, go bush walking, horse riding, mountain and trail biking, or visit a producer at the farm-gate. The hinterland offers many delights for those keen to explore...
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