The wombat is a short-legged, muscular marsupial found only in Australia. For the first time ever, I met one up close & personal at Caversham Wildlife Park.
ABOUT CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK:
Caversham Wildlife Park showcases the largest private collection of native wildlife in Western Australia. Here, you can hand-feed the kangaroos, join in the interactive farm show, touch a lizard or possum, meet a wombat like I did, catch the keeper talk and have photos taken with the koalas too. You can really get up close to wildlife here.
All the shows, keeper talks, photo opportunities and animal food are included in the entry fee. There is no extra money needed inside the park (excluding the cafe, of course).
Caversham Wildlife Park is proudly owned and operated by a Western Australian family. They don’t receive any Government assistance; the park is solely funded by visiting patrons and donations.
MEETING WOMBAT AND FRIENDS
Meeting Wombat and Friends is an interactive experience held in their exclusive Australian Homestead arena. They carefully select a variety of Australian iconic animals for visitors to meet, allowing you to take as many photos as you like at no charge.
They have the show on daily at a few different timeslots, so make sure you don’t miss it, because this is where you get the chance to meet the famous resident wombat, like I did below:
SO WHAT’S A WOMBAT YOU MAY ASK:
Well they may look like little bears, but they are not bears. Wombats are marsupials native to Australia and are about 1 m (40 inches) in length, with small stubby tails. They are members of the family Vombatidae, but evolution of the family is not well understood. Wombats are estimated to have diverged from other Australian marsupials relatively early as long as 40 million years ago, while some estimates place divergence around 25 million years. They are adaptable and habitat tolerant, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of South-Eastern Australia (including Tasmania) as well as an isolated patch in central Queensland.
There are some theories that place wombats as miniature relatives of Diprotodonts (such as the rhinoceros-sized Diprotodon, pictured below) but more recent studies place the Vombatiformes as having a parallel evolution, hence their current classification as a separate family.
WOMBAT FAST FACTS:
- Native only to Australia
- Mammals & marsupials
- There are two basic kinds of wombats: the ‘bare-nosed’ wombat and the ‘hairy-nosed’ wombat
- They are nocturnal grazers
- Wombat teeth grow continuously to compensate for their wear caused by their diet tough grasses
- They live in large burrows up to 30m long
- Usually give birth to single young, but twins can occur
- They are good swimmers
- They are extremely strong and very proficient diggers
- They can range in colour from a sandy to brown, black or grey
- The average wombat is about 1 metre (40 inches long) and weighs 25kg (55 pounds)
- Wombats can live from about 5 years to over 30 years
- Wombats are generally solidarity
- Despite their thickset body and stubby legs, wombats can run up to 40km/hr (25 mph) over short distance, covering 100m in less than 10 seconds
- Most Australians have never seen a wild wombat
- Man is the wombats greatest enemy, with destruction of their habitat (as well as hunting, trapping and accidental poisoning) has severely reduced their population, with crossing roads and getting hit by vehicles another main cause of death
I also got to meet some owls up and close and personal too during the Meet Wombat and Friends show. This owl in particular was all eyes at me! I’ve never been one to shy away from a stare-down though, and immediately rose to the challenge of a stare-off of which I lost to, of course.
Another great experience there was their Australian Farm Show, where you watch sheep shearing, crack a stock whip, milk a cow, bottle feed a lamb, meet a stockman on horseback, swing a billy, watch sheep dogs mustering the sheep all while being on an actual Aussie-like farm inside Caversham Wildlife Park. They also ask for volunteers; kids and adults can get involved. You are also allowed to take as many photos as you like with your own camera, at no charge.
Check out more awesome pictures from their Instagram below:
It was a fun and educational day out with my friends, giving me great close encounters and experiences with Australian wildlife. Very family friendly and informative friendly staff, and you can tell they are really passionate about all the animals there. It only takes a 30-45 minute from Perth to get there. With so many things to do once you are in the region of Swan Valley (like wineries, breweries, restaurants and more) consider making it a whole day of sightseeing in the area or maybe even staying up there for the weekend.
Caversham Wildlife Park, Whiteman Park, Whiteman, WA, 6068
Caversham Wildlife Par is located inside Whiteman Park. To enter Whiteman Park, please use either Lord Street entrance or Beechboro Road entrance.
Entry into Whiteman Park is free and there is also free parking available in Whitman Park. You will want to park in car park 8 in The Village for closest access to Caversham Wildlife Park. Do not leave valuables inside your car, just to be safe. Not saying it’s a dangerous area, but if people were going to target somewhere, they’re likely to target a carpark where they know people won’t be returning back to their car for a long while.
For those catching transport, there is a train from Perth to Bassendean. Catch bus number 955 or 956 from Bassendean to Ellenbrook, get off bus at Whiteman Park.
For Bus & Train times call the Trans Perth Info Line on 136 213.
For more interesting information and facts about wombats, check out the website Wombania.
Have you been to Caversham Wildlife Park? If so, how did you find it? Share your experiences below.