Cleland Wildlife Park would have to be one of our favourite places to spend the day, as not only is it conveniently close to the city of Adelaide, it is one of the most tranquil places to get a taste of the Australian bush and all it has to offer.
A major tourist attraction in South Australia since 1967, the wildlife park is nestled within Cleland Conservation Park which is also home to another of our favourite places and things to do – walking the famous Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit trail. The park is adjacent to Mount Lofty Summit and provides 35 hectares of natural, open bushland habitat filled with Australian wildlife.
The park has had new exhibits added over the years including several aviaries and now a butterfly aviary (Dec 2018). You can read about it here.
It’s a good idea to set aside an entire day to get the most out of your visit to Cleland Wildlife Park as it is bigger than you might expect. There is just so much to do from wandering through the different areas, stopping to feed the animals, listening to keeper presentations and taking a break for drinks and snacks.
One of the park’s unique features is the open space with very few animal enclosures. Visitors can walk amongst kangaroos, wallabies, emus, potoroos and water birds with many allowing you to pat and feed them.
You can purchase special animal food at Cleland to hand feed the animals.
The wetlands area is home to various bird breeds and includes a large swamp aviary to walk through. On our last visit we had a mother duck and her family of ducklings leave the water and waddle up to us for some food.
One of the must do activities here for children is to stop and sit down for the ‘WILDSHOW’ presentation – an interactive and educational experience presented by one of the keepers. Children are taught numerous facts and safety aspects of different wildlife species with a lucky few called upon to volunteer out the front. Our audience was very enthusiastic during question and answering time and even the adults learnt a thing or two.
If you have visitors from overseas, this is the place to bring them if they have ‘hold a koala’ on their wish list. Cleland Wildlife Park is famous for its koala experiences and there are just so many of these adorable animals here to admire. Cleland is one of the few places in Australia where you can actually hold a koala. Additional fees apply for this experience, but imagine the memories you’ll take away! It is quite magical to have a cuddle, feel their fur and you’ll be amazed at how heavy they are!
If you are hoping to just pat a koala, the ‘koala close-up experience’ is included as part of the entry fee and this opportunity occurs twice daily. Bookings are not needed, but you may be required to line up for some time during busy periods.
The Cleland Café is licensed and open each day from 9.30am until 5pm. They offer everything from a hot coffee, snacks and ice cream to main meals. There’s a lovely wood fire to enjoy on cooler days and an outdoor area to enjoy in warmer weather.
There are also outdoor tables throughout the park and plenty of lawn to throw down a picnic rug. Cleland’s gift shop is well stocked and has a good collection of souvenirs that will remind you of your visit.
For more information and all enquiries visit the Cleland Wildlife Park website.
What: Cleland Wildlife Park
When: Open Daily 9.30am – 5.30pm (except Christmas Day)
Where: Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers (see map)
Who: All Ages
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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