Australian koalas and kangaroos – take all the koala pictures you want right in Sydney at a zoo, wildlife or koala park. One is especially recommended.
Best Times for Koala Pictures
Koalas are nocturnal creatures. They can sleep up to 20 hours a day. All Sydney zoos and parks feed them at set times during the day to encourage (train?) them to be awake when visitors are around.
So the very best time for seeing more active koalas is around their feeding time.
Taking Pictures of Koalas – What’s Allowed
Of course we’d all love to cuddle up to a koala. But it is not a domesticated pet.
Wild animals get stressed from constant handling by humans. In most parts of Australia today, and definitely in Sydney and New South Wales, you can no longer be photographed holding a cute koala.
Sad as this may be for potential cuddlers, our desire for a photo opportunity has to give way to the animal’s right to freedom from molestation.
So please don’t pressure park owners and keepers to give way ‘just this once’. Multiply that by hundreds (because we’d all love to do it) and the animal has a very stressful life.
A Sydney Zoo Koala Picture
Taronga zoo – the main Sydney zoo – has both an enclosure and an encounter area for koalas. There is interesting information about their development, habitat and the dangers they face today.
The enclosure has a circular walkway around it, which gives you a good look at the animals from different heights and distances.
The koalas sit on their branches and anyone being photographed is a distance away. Although this is probably the gold standard for the animal it is not really that satisfactory for the visitor who wants to get up close and personal.
You need to book a koala encounter to get a closer look. It’s pricey – around AUD$25, which includes your picture taken with a koala. It’s available between 1100 and 1445 (11 am and 2.45 pm) daily and you must be 12 years or older.
Koala Park Photos
There is a Koala Park in West Pennant Hills, one of Sydney’s north-western suburbs less than an hour’s drive from downtown Sydney.
Here it’s the complete opposite of Taronga Zoo. People’s wants are privileged over the animal’s needs. You’ll decide for yourself where you stand on this. I didn’t enjoy my visit.
You can see from the photo that the koala is surrounded very closely by a bunch of people with flashing cameras who also poke, prod and pat the animal.
The sessions go on for quite some time. There’s lots of touching.
The park has feeding times at 1020, 1145, 1400 and 1500 every day.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Featherdale Wildlife Park seems to have found the happy medium between the rather rigid approach of the zoo and the anything goes attitude of the koala park.
It’s also in the outer suburbs of Sydney, this time in Doonside, near Blacktown in Sydney’s west. Again it’s just under an hour from the city centre. Use your Opal card for getting there.
Entry fees are about half those of the zoo, and fractionally higher than for the koala park.
Walking through the wildlife park you’ll see much more than koalas. You can feed an emu and chat to a kangaroo. Or admire the koala’s closest relative, the wombat – and check out the crocodile too.
Last time I was there I was fascinated by a wallaby who was hopping around quite freely among the visitors. Only as she left did I realise that a young joey was sneaking the odd peek out of its mother’s pouch.
Koala Bear Information
Featherdale Wildlife Park has information boards dotted all around. They’re easy to read and understand. Here’s part of one of them.
There are also knowledgable people to answer your questions.
Still, the reason most people are there is to see the animals. And there are plenty to see.
The enclosures are visitor-friendly while still respecting the animals’ rights.
Koala Pictures at Featherdale
I found the koalas here to be more lively than anywhere else. I don’t know why.
So you can get more photos of them doing fun things – cute koala babies climbing out of their enclosures to explore the bigger world, the adolescents having fun together and the smart young things pestering the wise old ones to play.
If you want to take photos with a koala this is easily done.
There’ll be a koala in a tree branch – just like at the zoo – but the branch will be much lower. So you can actually get right next to the animal while still not stressing it out.
One of the keepers is usually there as well, just to make sure the animal is ok.
For me, Featherdale Wildlife Park is the pick of the Sydney Australia places to visit for koala pictures.
You can get really close, there’s lots of information and koala pictures are a snap. It’s much cheaper than Taronga zoo and you’ll also get to see and interact with kangaroos, wallabies, emus and other native Australian wildlife. It’s a good size, big enough to have what you need yet small enough to get around easily.
For more information go to Featherdale Wildlife Park
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