It’s not every day you have lions, tigers and gibbons on your doorstep, but on Sunday morning it was my reality as an overnight guest at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The adventure began on Saturday. The Billabong Camp is situated about four kilometres along the circuit of the zoo, providing guests a chance to look at a large chunk of the exhibits before they check-in to camp.
As the name suggests, the surprisingly large camp is on the water, providing amazing views to the campers. The tents are basic. As part of the premium package I was supplied with a pillow, linens and toiletries but there are different options available.
Rest assured, the facilities are incredible.
After checking in there’s time to simply sit on your camp chair and enjoy the serenity. The children at the camp amused themselves playing hide and seek while parents had the option of getting a beer or glass of wine.
It’s not too long before campers get their first up-close animal experience. As the nibbles are brought out so too are some native animals, such as Dull the children’s python.
Dinner is meat cooked on the barbecue and a range of salads (try the chicken – yum!). While everyone is finishing their meal the children are given yabby nets and a piece of sausage to throw into the river.
Then it’s off to the most highly-anticipated event of the evening: the spotlight search for some native animals. Wallabies, koala joeys and an echidna are just some of the creatures found in the Aussie Walkthrough.
There’s a bit of stargazing, a check of the yabby nets and supper before everyone hits the hay for the night.
As the sun rises the next day so do the campers. A continental breakfast in on offer before it’s time for the morning walk.
The walk takes everyone on a behind-the-scenes look at the Sumatran Tiger exhibit. It’s an incredible sight with the tigers only a metre away. The keepers talk about the tigers and answer the crowd’s questions, then it’s off to look at the white-handed gibbons and hear the call of the Siamang Apes.
When the walk comes to an end it’s sadly time to pack up and leave.
The overnight Billabong Camp experience was provided to the Daily Liberal free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Do you want to win a family stay at the Billabong Camp? Fill out the form below. Terms and Conditions are under the form.
Terms and conditions:
Competition opens on Sunday April 15, 2018, and will close at 3pm on Monday, April 23, 2018.
The winners will be contacted by telephone and announced on the Daily Liberal Facebook page.
The major prize is one night at Billabong Camp for a family of four (two adults and two children). The premium package includes accommodation in tents, zoo entry, a barbecue dinner, continental breakfast and two behind-the-scenes walking tours. Valued at $599.
Runner up prizes: three double passes to the zoo, valued at $96 each.
Correspondence will not be entered into.
Only only entry will be permitted per person.
The winners of the prizes will be randomly chosen from the top ten responses, as determined by the Daily Liberal staff.
Fairfax Media employees are not permitted to enter the competition.