We have been signed up to attend A Wild Day Out in WA for a while now and Squirt was really looking forward to it. We were met at the door by some friendly volunteers and a very energetic Michael from Critters Close Up. They were very organised and handed all the kids coloured wrist bands so it was easy to tell what groups they were all in.
The kids had an opportunity to run around and check out Nargebup (the Rockingham Regional Environment Centre) a little before we all gathered in the amphitheatre for our introduction. The introduction was high energy and short enough that the little ones remained engaged and soon enough we were all off to our individual stations.
Scales and Tails
Our first stop on our wild day out in WA was Scales and Tails where Cyndi introduced to a few of The Snake Whisperer’s different snakes and lizards. Our group only had 7 children in it which meant all of them had opportunities to ask and answer questions (when we could get Squirt to stop answering them!!), and even better have an opportunity to hold the animals (if they wanted to). A few kids were a little reluctant and Cyndi did a great job of encouraging them without pushing them and won a few of them over.
We loved the chance to watch Rambo the carpet python slither across the ground and seek out its natural habitat (a tree) while Cyndi talked to the kids about what to do if you come across one in the wild.
Fur and Feathers
Next up for us on our wild day out in WA was Fur and Feathers, hosted by West Oz Wildlife. I was amazed to walk in to see a dingo there for us to pat! Yappers was a beautiful sandy coloured dingo who was incredibly docile and happy for all the kids to have a pat. Squirt even snuck in a hug but I don’t think that’s recommended. I don’t recall ever having the opportunity to see a dingo so close up.
Yappers was just the start of what West Oz wildlife had to offer and they followed up with a beautiful black cockatoo, a surprisingly active koala and a stinky but adorable young wombat. All of the animals were accompanied by narrative about their habitats, eating habits (do you know what baby koalas eat!?!), ways to ensure we can continue to protect these animals in the wild and even stories about where each of these animals had come from.
We reluctantly left these beautiful creatures to head out for lunch. Some of the wonderful Nargebup volunteers had been busy cooking up a sausage sizzle for us and the kids were excited to get their free snags and head over to the playground to run amok. There’s also a little canteen as well as drinks and ice cream. You may want to take extra water though as they don’t have access to a lot of water on site. Also, when they mention drop toilets in the introduction, don’t be afraid. Nargebup has to have the nicest drop toilets I’ve ever seen!
Critters Up Close
Our third station was Bugs and Beach run by Michael from Critters Up Close. The props looked a little boring so I was blown away by the way Michael managed to make this session incredibly fun, engaging and entertaining. The names he has for all his critters and bugs amused me and you’ll never guess what he called his sea cucumber! The environmental lessons continued in this session but I don’t think the kids even realised that they were learning, they were all so enthralled by the presentation.
A Wild Day Out in WA
We wrapped up our wild day out in WA in the Happy Habitats with Wild About Nature. The kids got to do a little bush walk scavenger hunt where they put in to practise some of the lessons they learnt in the other sessions, stomping to scare away snakes! After the bush walk the kids were able to choose one of 5 animals to create a habitat for them from both natural and manmade materials. I loved that the boys chose to create a snake habitat which involved them throwing sticks, leaves and grass haphazardly in a box. Meanwhile some of the girls were styling and decorating a beautiful space for a Carnabys Cockatoo!
After the habitats were created, Bob the Bobtail Lizard came in to check them out and gave them all the tick of approval! It was such a treat for the kids watching Bob settle in to the habitats they had created.
The program tells me that each of these wild day out in WA sessions ran for almost an hour but it did not feel long and boring and all the kids remained engaged and interested. Parents were also given the opportunity to hold and pat the animals if they chose to and it was such a treat for me to be that close to a koala and a dingo!
We had to keep it quiet from Moo as she LOVES animals but was a little too young for the full wild day out in WA so a lovely friend looked after her for the day. We did find out that there was a half day event for the little ones though, so maybe next time I’ll take her along to that one.
For More information on these great WA Wildlife attractions, visit wildaboutnature.net.au , crittersupclose.com.au and westozwildlife.com. You will receive fantastic discounts to each of these attractions with your KidzaBuzz book or app. Purchase KidzaBuzz today and start saving!