Tag Archives: ballarat wildlife park

It’s Not a Bear. And That’s Not a Bat.


This is the cute and cuddly Australian animal post!

But first, a topic that is quite important and serious:

Okay, so not that serious, but now you know that a koala is not a bear!

They may look cute and cuddly like teddy bears; but koalas are marsupials. You know, the mammals that carry their undeveloped young {called joeys!} in their pouches. {Well, the females do.} So yes, in that sense, koalas are like kangaroos.

Now… On to the koalas at the Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Koalas tend to sleep 18 to 22 hours per day! Perhaps that is one reason why they look so sleepy and adorable. They need their down time. Therefore, they are not loose about the park like ‘roos and emus. Instead, you can spot the koalas in in trees inside the enclosures.


But, there are a couple ways you can get closer look!

The Wildlife Park has guided park tours and shows throughout the day. A guide will bring out one of the koalas and tell you everything you didn’t know about them.


You may even get to pet one!


The other way to get a closer look is to book an Animal Experience! 254

When we found out it was only around $20 for an “experience” with a koala, we were all in.


It may feel like it’s a bit expensive or an extra cost to get a closer look when you’ve already paid your entry fee into the park. But it truly is due to the welfare of the animals. They need to make sure that there is a koala who is available, awake and receptive.


During your koala experience, you can take as many photos as you want. Our koala is named Matilda. {That immediately had me thinking of the song Waltzing Matilda.} She was so sweet! In Victoria, you can’t hold or carry around the koala. That can only be done by trained professionals. That’s okay, because we had heard that they pee on you! Instead the guide will put her on a perch and hand her some gum branches to nibble on. Then you squeeze in next to her and stroke her fur. I will never forget the smell of the eucalyptus leaves as she munched on them!


The photographer told us not to be shy. He said that we should get as close as we could because she wouldn’t mind the cuddle!photo(3)

The cost of the animal experience is a steal, really, because up to four people in your party are welcome to go inside the enclosure to meet the animal. Trust me, the koalas just might bring about a permagrin, just like the kangaroos!


The photographer was kind enough to take a photo of us with Barb and Tony and Matilda with our camera.

And here’s a photo of our professional take-home photo:



Then, it was on to the wombat, which is not a bat at all. I asked my nephew this weekend if he wanted to see the picture of the wombat I held in Australia. When I showed him this photo he said, “Hey! That’s not a bat!”


Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with the wombat until going to Australia. A wombat is another marsupial! Obviously, we chose to do the Wombat Experience as well, that is why we got to hold Pickles the Wombat.

When I posted some photos for my friends and family on Facebook, some said she looked like a big rat. But she felt was oh-so cuddly!


Others told me that I was squeezing poor Pickles to death. But that is how we were told to hold her! Just listen in our amateur video:

And I just might still have that permagrin


Now wombats are not bats, but something we saw later in Cairns are… They are called flying foxes. Figure that one out! 😉

Other posts on our Australia trip:







Permagrin, Australia {Or That Time We Fed the ‘Roos}


No, there is no city or place in Australia called Permagrin.

Or at least not that I know of…

Some definitions of permagrin:

  • A state of being. Appearing to be in a permanent state of grinning or smiling, despite your circumstances or state of mind. {Source}
  • A smile that lasts for a long time, despite any negative occurrences. {Source}
  • A word we use to define a long lasting, blissful grin. {Lost my source.}


This post was going to be choc full of photos and videos of one or our favorite days in Australia, thanks to Barb & Tony! Then I realized I had too many ‘roo photos to share. So this post is dedicated entirely to them. {Don’t worry, you’ll see plenty of koalas, crocs, a wombat and even a Tasmanian devil in upoming posts!}

You just might adopt a permagrin, too, after reading this post and. If not, you be the judge if these photos captured my utter state of bliss!


When Barb and Tony said we’d be going to a Ballarat for the day with a stop at the Wildlife Park, Rob and I were looking forward to seeing the kangaroos and koalas. But what happened next was not what I expected…

As we were paying our way at the entrance…

Barb: “Carrie, you and Rob will need at least four bags of kangaroo feed.”

“What?! We get to feed the kangaroos?” I thought to myself.

Me (to the cashier): “Two adult tickets and four bags of kangaroo feed, please.”

We opened the door to the entrance, went through the gift shop, and into the park.

And the kangaroos were right there… right outside the door.

My jaw dropped and I thought to myself again…

“Is this real life?”

Yes, the moment I stepped out of the gift shop into the wildlife park, the kangaroos were waiting for me. (Okay, not just for me. But they were… right there!)

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It’s almost like they were mythical creatures until I had the opportunity to touch them.

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Here’s a video of my first feeding! {We fed many that day.} I apologize for the amateur video. We’re new to the whole video-on-the-phone thing and Rob was just as surprised and excited as I was. He tried to figure it out as fast as he could to get some footage.

Check out the joey in the pouch, too!

Squeee! Again, this is not what I was expecting. I thought the ‘roos would be behind some fence or gated in somehow. But they were lounging all throughout the park!


If they get tired or didn’t want to be bothered, there is a designated resting area where they can go to avoid visitors:


Keep in mind, these are small, tamed wildlife park kangaroos. You wouldn’t go up to a kangaroo in the wild and try to feed nor interact with it. Not a good idea. They can be vicious. Their tails are so strong that they can lean back and balance on it before using its hind legs to tear you up.


Spooning ‘Roos

The kangaroos in this park are somewhat spoiled. I didn’t see much hopping. Most people just come to them with feed. Or they’d use their front legs along with the back ones to move around. And those lazy Joeys don’t always stick their heads out first like this one…

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They crawl right down in those pouches to keep warm and sometimes you see just feet, sometimes feet and ears!


Just look at the way they use their paws… hands? to grab my hand and eat out of it.

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We don’t look happy at all, do we?

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Ask me six months before we left if I thought I’d be feeding kangaroos. Nope. Never would have crossed my mind. I wouldn’t have even known we’d be going to Australia! {It was only in April that I realized we’d have enough miles for free flights by May.}

And Rob’s feeding:
{another amateur video}

Is it silly to say that this may have been one of the happiest days of my life?

Don’t tell me if you can do this in any zoo back in The States. Frankly, I don’t care. I was in Australia. It was my first time seeing ‘roos and I got to feed them – for as long as I wanted. It was the perfect day. And I definitely had a permagrin.

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Other than your wedding day or the day your child was born, what was one of the happiest days of your life?


I’ll post about more wildlife from our beautiful day at Ballarat Wildlife Park… Stay tuned!

Other posts on our Australia trip: