A Real Australian Experience

Feeding the crocs dailyDavid Fleay Wildlife Park – West Burleigh

The first thing you notice when you arrive at David Fleay Wildlife Park is the tranquillity of the location and next is the ramp.

It’s a very impressive structure and looks like it would facilitate bus loads of people.

The park is a about 7.45 ha not a huge park but large enough along with the addition of the Mangrove Boardwalk and Tallebudgera Conservation Park walking track to provide a real unique ‘Australian experience’ right on the coast.

And when you consider the park only houses Australian Fauna… it provides a wonderful opportunity for Australians and overseas visitors to enjoy a low key tranquil day out on the Gold Coast, in a bushland setting easily accessible by Bus or car.

Where is David Fleay Wildlife Park?

Cnr. Loman Lane and West Burleigh Road, West Burleigh Queensland

View Where is David Fleay’s Wildlife Park? in a larger map

If you are looking for exotic animals from Africa they won’t be here, only Australian native fauna.   The solitude of the location is inviting, there are no big commercial money spinners, no merchandise in your face; and you’re not funnelled through a maze of Australiana for sale.
After paying a very reasonable entry fee and studying the park map it was off to the ‘Nocturnal house’ which opened at 11am. I would have spent over 30 minutes just observing these unique nocturnal species.

The slogan goes

More than 70% of Australian animals are nocturnal…Don’t let them disappear into the night.

Gillian CallcottStanding at the ‘Feather Tail Glider’ display and not seeing much, a large shadow was thrown over the glass partition.

Looking for something large, I missed the real action below, what had happened was a tiny Feather Tail Glider barely half the size of a small mouse had made its entrance by running in front of one of the over head lights.

But now my eyes had adjusted I could see these delicate creatures (weighing between 10-14g) feeding on sweet water melon below.

They were truly fascinating to watch with their large eyes and dainty long feather like tails.

You can understand how vulnerable these small marsupials would be to feral cats, let alone their natural prey.

Next it was on to the Bilby display, again my perception was based on photographs and the drive in recent years in Australia to replace the ‘Easter Rabbit’ with the chocolate covered ‘Bilby’, so in my mind this marsupial was maybe a little smaller than a rabbit.

How wrong I was yet again! What I saw was a small delicate timid creature with large ears and a very long tail.

Goes to ‘show that a picture isn’t always worth a thousand words’

Feeding the crocs is a great sessionI followed the Cassowary Pathway to the Rainforest Habitat, I love this spot it reminds me so much of North Queensland, and the overhead noises from the birdlife is intriguing.

I wonder what an overseas visitor would think of the sounds of the jungle (rainforest).
The crocodile talk presentation was scheduled for 1.00pm and I didn’t want to miss it.

I remembered from my last visit seeing this huge salt water crocodile named Mojo peering into the Moon Dam waters looking for him, I was startled to realise him staring straight back at me, with his head resting on the bank.

Once eye contact was made he slipped slowly back in the ochre coloured dam water and disappear.

You can see how people in North Queensland can get taken by these huge reptiles, they are quiet and allusive.
During the Crocodile talk they lured him out of the water, his massive body moved effortlessly over land, it was hard to believe his size and reflecting back to when I first saw him a few minutes before there is no way I would have imagined he was so large.

There are many Presentations to see..

Fur, Feathers and Scales, this is designed for young children featuring some typical backyard wildlife, but I suspect that many adults and visitors will be equally intrigued.
Nocturnal house which is open at 11.00am each day. Rare and endangered species that only can be seen at night are housed. Keep quiet when entering this area and no flashes allowed.

  • Crocodile Talk – an interesting presentation of these prehistoric reptiles along with a small feed.
  • Snakes up Close – having a healthy fear of snakes but realising that are an integral part of the scheme of things.
  • Tree-kangaroo capers, a talk about this fascinating animal that looks like a combination of possum, monkey and kangaroo.
  • Platypus feeding – at the Nocturnal house a duck-billed, egg-laying aquatic mammal that detects electric currents generated by its prey?

What a fascinating place Australia is, tiny Feather tail Gliders one of the smallest gliding mammal in the world, smaller than the tiniest mouse (10-14g), huge salt water crocodiles and duck-billed, egg-laying mammals. Download the brochure at this link..( if the link is broken let me know)

When are you going to visit David Fleay Wildlife Park? There is much more to see.

I finished my afternoon with a coffee and cookie in the Café and it didn’t disappoint. I had what I call a Jam drop, an old biscuit/ cake recipe that my mother used, I was half expecting grandma to come out of the back kitchen.

It was a nice finish to a lovely afternoon a traditional cookie on the back veranda at David Fleay Wildlife Park, and the noise of the rainforest still lingering below.

Now you might think that the day is over but there is still things to do, you can walk along the boardwalk through the Mangroves and if you continue you will be in Tallebudgera Conservation Park.

See you on my next walk….

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