A visit to Australia is never complete without seeing the cute local animals like the Koala, Kangaroo and Wombat. There are a few parks in Perth where you can see these animals and also many different tours you can join. With good reviews, we booked our tour with Explorer tours Perth for a full day tour covering Penguin island and Caversham wildlife park. The tour costs SGD 189 for adults and SGD 129 for a child with lunch included.
Like the other tour, Explorer tour Perth will send a text message confirming the tour with you the day before and also share the name and contact of your guide. Our guide for the day was Claire who picked us up in front of our accommodation. The pickup was slightly late because of the delay from picking up other customers. Claire was very nice to attempt at least twice to pick up one of the customers but in the end, we had to leave without him. The drive from downtown Perth to Caversham Wildlife Park took about 30 mins and throughout the drive, Clarie shared many interesting stories and information about Perth with the group. The moment we reached the Park, we were passed to the guide from the park who brought us to the daily show
The daily show started with the host and his assistant who came into the show area on a horse. We were introduced to the horses, sheep and sheepdogs within the farm and how they work.
They also engaged the audiences to have their hand at swinging a tin tea and whipping a cowboy whip
The sound of the whip is much louder on site
We were also shown how a sheep is being sheared on the spot and it all took less than 10 mins
Here’s the cowboy in action
Volunteers were also picked to try their hand at feeding baby sheep
Our guide was very experienced therefore as soon as the show ended, he brought us straight to the koala enclosure which is one of the most popular enclosures in the park. It was also crucial to see the koala when there are fewer people as the koala tend to be more shy and emotional when it gets too crowded. As our group was the first to arrive, the koalas were active and we all managed to get good photos with it
As more people started to come towards the koala enclosure, we moved towards the tent where the wombats and other animals are placed for photo-taking opportunities. The tent was not the actual living enclosure of the animals but sort of like a display tent where you can queue and get pictures with different animals at one spot
One of the most popular animals with a long queue is the giant wombat. Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m in length with small, stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae.
Here are some of the animals we saw inside the tent enclosure as well as the other areas around the area. We also visited the penguin enclosure but according to the guide, the penguins are quite spoilt so they were hiding from the sun the entire time and we could not see them at all.
The other highlight is definitely the kangaroo enclosure where there were so many big, small and pregnant kangaroos freely roaming around. They were some very unique ones like the white colour ones I was feeding and according to the guide, you can only find them here.
There was a huge bucket of dry feed where we are allowed to grab them to feed the kangaroos freely. Because there are so much visitors, the kangaroos are usually quite well-fed and it is not easy to find one who will come up to you easily to eat the feed on your hands. You have to really make your way to the corners where the more shy kangaroos are hiding. You just need to lower your palm to their height and you can actually slowly pet them while they eat as they are all quite docile. Just do not give them a scare as that is when they will really attack you.
After the park, we were driven to the Margaret River chocolate factory in Swan Valley as it was 15 mins drive away.
There were 3 huge bowls of dark, milk and white chocolate chips where customers can freely take for a free tasting. There are spoons for scooping the chocolate so it is very hygienic.
This factory is slightly different from the other one I visited on the other tour and you can actually see how the chocolate is being made on the conveyor belt machine.
This is the other window where you can see the chocolate come out from the conveyor belt. The chocolate sold here is creamy and more strong in taste compared to the other chocolate factory. There was also another building next door selling some jams, olive oil and sauces made from local produce. I tasted them and they all taste awesome with very natural flavours but the price tag was also higher than usual.
The next stop was supposed to be to Penguin island with a cruise but due to the weather, this part of the itinerary was cancelled and replaced with a Mandurah Dolphin cruise. We were informed of this the day before of the possible replacement and confirmed again in the morning when we boarded the bus. This was still a highlight to many of the people on board but for me, it was a sad disappointment as I just did my own Mandurah cruise just the day before. The only plus point was that I had the experience of where to sit on the cruise and get the best pictures and videos.
Overall, the tour was well conducted and the guide Claire was very helpful and informative. The itinerary was changed due to the weather which is not the fault of the agency but just untimely on my part. The park visit itself was good but I found it a bit too rush and it would have been good to plan a visit without a tour so you can roam around freely. I personally felt that the price of the tour is a bit on the high side.