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6 Totally Wild South Coast Animal Adventures!

Holiday Haven
24 Apr 2023

In Hugh Lofting’s famous book, Doctor Dolittle could talk to the animals. And while you may not be able to have full conversations with all creatures great and small on your next visit to the Shoalhaven, finding an amazing animal experience will also require YOU to ‘do little’ yourself – thanks to this handy guide. Say “HI” to these SIX sensational experiences now:

1: Shoalhaven Zoo

Located in North Nowra, alongside the beautiful Shoalhaven River, this animal sanctuary invites you to explore your wild side – with a huge range of native and exotic animals, including lions, kangaroos, monkeys, koalas and plenty of reptiles and birdlife. They also specialise in offering ‘up close’ encounters with lions, monkeys, meerkats or the ‘Aussie experience’ of koalas, kangaroos and more. In addition, feeding shows are held daily, with the park open every day except Christmas Day.

Say “HI” to the: water buffalo and camels!

2: The Woods Farm

Fancy more of an authentic farmyard experience? Then head to The Woods Farm, boasting 40 acres of fun for the kids, with a playground and farm animals that include pigs, peacocks, rabbits, chooks, wallabies, sheep, ponies, mini cows, horses, goats and alpacas all on hand to get up close to meet and feed. The farm is open 9am – 4pm and also has a cafe on site, with animal feeding at regular times on weekends. And there are even on-site cottages for special events and functions, for a complete experience!

Say “HI” to the: peacock!

Mogo Wildlife Park - Image: IG:// @lillyraemedia

3: Mogo Wildlife Park

Established in 1989 and open daily 9am-4pm, Mogo Wildlife Park is highly regarded for its diverse collection of exotic wildlife. This includes gorillas, rhinoceros, silvery gibbons, giraffe, zebra, meerkats, cheetah, cotton-top tamarins, Sumatran tigers, Nepalese red pandas, ring-tailed lemurs, oriental small-clawed otters, siamangs and white lions. They’re also BIG on education, with informative keeper talks on lions and gorillas or memorable up close encounters and animal feedings (including giraffes and kangaroos!). Mogo is a must-go experience!

Say “HI” to the: Bolivian squirrel monkeys!

4: Whale & Dolphin Watching

May to November is the ideal time of year to spot migrating humpback whales in and around Jervis Bay. And all year round you can spot dolphins and other marine life up close in purpose-built boats from operators including Jervis Bay Wild and Dolphin Watch Cruises – both award-winning charters offering excellent on-water experiences. This kind of viewing experience is unique in the world, with migrating whales often stopping into Jervis Bay to thrill onlookers in the calm bay’s waters. The resident pod of around 120 playful bottlenose dolphins are also always on hand/fin to provide a friendly wave and an experience to remember.

Say “HI” to the: friendly dolphins!

Image: IG:// @woebegone_freedive

5: Woebegone Swim/Snorkel/Dive Tours

Sitting and watching from a boat simply not ‘immersive’ enough for you? Well, the only way to get closer is to truly immerse yourself by jumping into the clear waters of Jervis Bay with the friendly team at Woebegone. They offer a bunch of tours – including life-changing swimming with whales, snorkelling tours and even a free diving course for the ultimate underwater experience. You can bring your own gear or rent theirs – with all-year-round snorkelling (from beach or from boat) and diving tours to join and explore the beauty that lies below the surface.

Say “HI” to the: slippery seals!

6: Horseback riding

Nothing beats the experience of riding a horse – whether it’s for the first time or the continuation of a love of all things ‘equine’. And the Shoalhaven offers a unique backdrop to your ride, such as with Valhalla Horse Riding Tours – located in the hinterland with family-friendly trail rides (from one-hour) through the Aussie bush. Alternatively, live out that ‘riding on horseback along the beach’ fantasy with the team at Regal Riding School. They’re based just on the outskirts of Shoalhaven Heads and offer an amazing way to see Seven Mile Beach from a different perspective – on horseback! So saddle up, don’t say “nay”!

Say “HI” to the: horseys!

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