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Caversham Wildlife park Caversham Wildlife Park review, October 2015

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Hix, 17 Dec 2016.

  1. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    20 Oct 2008
    Christmas Island

    Caversham Wildlife Park

    A short half-hour drive north-east of Perth is Whiteman Park, almost 4,000 hectares of natural bushland consisting of some eucalypts, banksia, grass tree, paperbark and other small shrubs adapted to growing in sand. But this is also a recreational park containing a village with manicured lawns and picnic areas, walking and cycling trails, dog exercising areas, a tractor museum, car museum, art gallery, pottery shop, lolly shop, handicraft centre, cafe, tennis courts etc. And in one corner is the Caversham Wildlife Park.

    The brochures I had seen for Caversham displayed images of people in contact with the animals - holding wombats, feeding roos and wallabies, patting koalas - and promoting Molly's Farm, with images of farm animals, shearing etc. So I had some idea of what to expect, and my expectations weren't high. I imagined this would be a small working farm with a few enclosures with some common natives, an aviary with some common cage birds, and a paddock or two for some macropods. But I was wrong.

    I spent four hours at the park and was very impressed. Privately owned and run they have an impressive collection of Australian fauna, with a more diverse bird collection than most of the major zoos in Australia. The paths are thickly planted and lush, as are many of the enclosures, resulting in a cool shady environment which is in contrast to the hot dry environment throughout most of Whiteman Park.

    The eastern quarter of the park is Molly's Farm, and it's a typical small farm with lots of farm animals most of which the public can come in contact with - sheep, goats, cows, horses, chickens, geese, rabbits, guinea pigs, alpacas, and a llama. They also had fancy doves, guineafowl and a pair of ostriches.

    The rest of the park was all native wildlife. In the centre is a large walkthrough macropod enclosure with Red and Western Grey Kangaroos, and Agile Wallabies. Around this central enclosure are four zones displaying the fauna of that zone - North-eastern Australia, the South-west, North-west and South-east. And there's also a small but modern Reptile House.


    Although the Wildlife Park was moved here in 2003, very few of the enclosures look old. There are some very new enclosures that have been well-planted but the plants haven't yet established and really started to grow, and there are new aviaries nearing completion and a new penguin enclosure which looks almost complete. And these exhibits are not small; like many of the existing enclosures they are quite sizable and give the occupants adequate space.

    I had a very enjoyable time wandering the grounds; with its narrow winding paths and many enclosures/aviaries, it reminded me of Featherdale or Gorge. My only criticism would be that some of the signage needs to be updated, although probably only a pedant like myself (and a few other ZooChatters) would notice, with one exception - a label for Kori Bustard on the Australian Bustard aviary.

    If you ever find yourself in Perth, do yourself a favour and make the effort to visit - I think you'll be as suitably impressed as I was.



    For the record (and because Chlidonias likes to add to his lists) I'm including a full listing of all the wildlife on display with the exception of the Farm. I compiled this list by photographing every label on every enclosure, and photographing anything I saw in an enclosure that wasn't labelled (although I usually saw the mammal or bird in another enclosure as well, this time with a label).

    Reptiles - all in the Reptile House unless noted as 'outside'

    1. Splendid Tree Frog

    2. Green Tree Frog

    3. Macquarie Turtle - outside

    4. Northern Red-faced Turtle

    5. Plate-shelled Turtle - outside

    6. Northern Spiny-tail Gecko

    7. Banded Knob-tailed Gecko

    8. Central Bearded Dragon

    9. Boyd's Forest Dragon

    10. Frilled Dragon

    11. Eastern Water Dragon - outside

    12. Ridge-tailed Monitor

    13. Merten's Water Monitor

    14. Lace Monitor - outside

    15. Perentie - outside

    16. Northern Bluetongue Skink

    17. Centralian Bluetongue Skink

    18. Blotched Bluetongue Skink

    19. Shingleback Skink

    20. Olive Python

    21. Stimson's Python

    22. Water Python

    23. Black-headed Python

    24. Woma

    25. South-west Carpet Python

    26. Brown Tree Snake

    27. Death Adder

    28. Johnstone's Crocodile - outside


    1. Echidna

    2. Long-nose Potoroo

    3. Rufous Bettong

    4. Brushtail Bettong

    5. Red-necked Pademelon

    6. Red-bellied Pademelon

    7. Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby

    8. Northern Nailtail Wallaby

    9. Quokka

    10. Parma Wallaby

    11. Tammar (Dama) Wallaby

    12. Agile Wallaby

    13. Bennett's Wallaby

    14. Swamp Wallaby

    15. Western Grey Kangaroo

    16. Red Kangaroo

    17. Wallaroo

    18. Southern Brown Bandicoot

    19. Squirrel Glider

    20. Sugar Glider

    21. Brushtail Possum (all those I saw were the golden Tasmanian variety)

    22. Common Wombat

    23. Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

    24. Koala (at least 18)

    25. Spotted-tail Quoll

    26. Tasmanian Devil

    27. Spectacled Fruit Bat

    28. Black Fruit Bat

    29. Grey-headed Fruit Bat

    30. Red Fox

    31. Dingo


    1. Ostrich (in the Farm)

    2. Southern Cassowary

    3. Emu

    4. Black Swan

    5. Cape Barren Goose

    6. Australian Shelduck

    7. Hardhead

    8. Black Duck

    9. Blue-billed Duck

    10. Chestnut Teal

    11. Radjah (Burdekin) Duck

    12. Plumed Whistling Duck

    13. Magpie Goose

    14. White-faced Heron

    15. Cattle Egret

    16. Nankeen Night Heron

    17. Glossy Ibis

    18. Buff-banded Rail

    19. Bush Thick-knee

    20. Black-winged Stilt

    21. Masked Lapwing (with chicks in two separate enclosures)

    22. Banded Lapwing

    23. Crested Tern

    24. Golden Pheasant

    25. Brown Quail

    26. Black-breasted Button Quail (not labelled, but glimpsed a pair in an aviary)

    27. Australian Bustard (1.4)

    28. Australian Brush Turkey

    29. Black-breasted Buzzard

    30. Wedgetail Eagle

    31. Nankeen Kestrel

    32. Southern Boobook Owl

    33. Masked Owl

    34. Lesser Sooty Owl

    35. Barking Owl

    36. Grass Owl

    37. Barn Owl

    38. Tawny Frogmouth

    39. Crested Pigeon

    40. Common Bronzewing

    41. Flock Bronzewing

    42. Wonga Pigeon

    43. Torres Strait Imperial Pigeon

    44. White-headed Pigeon

    45. Emerald Dove

    46. Rose-crowned Fruit Dove

    47. Superb Fruit Dove

    48. Diamond Dove

    49. Peaceful Dove

    50. Bar-shouldered Dove

    51. Spotted Turtle Dove

    52. Rainbow Lorikeet

    53. Red-collared Lorikeet

    54. Musk Lorikeet

    55. Purple-crowned Lorikeet

    56. Varied Lorikeet

    57. Elegant Parrot

    58. Scarlet-chested Parrot

    59. Western Rosella

    60. Port Lincoln Ringneck Parrot

    61. Regent Parrot

    62. Superb Parrot

    63. Princess Parrot

    64. Budgerigar

    65. Red-capped Parrot

    66. Eclectus Parrot

    67. Cockatiel

    68. Little Corella

    69. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

    70. Galah

    71. Pink Cockatoo (aka Major Mitchell or Leadbeater's)

    72. Gang Gang Cockatoo

    73. White-tailed Black Cockatoo

    74. Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

    75. Laughing Kooaburra

    76. Blue-winged Kookaburra

    77. Splendid Fairy-wren

    78. White-winged Fairy-wren

    79. Yellow-throated Miner

    80. Blue-faced Honeyeater

    81. Satin Bowerbird

    82. White-browed Woodswallow

    83. Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike

    84. Crimson Finch

    85. Masked Finch

    86. Star Finch

    87. Gouldian Finch

    88. Zebra Finch

    89. Double-barred Finch

    90. Red-browed Firetail Finch

    91. Painted Firetail Finch
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2016
    zooboy28 likes this.
  2. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    10 Apr 2008
    sw england
    I wonder whether Caversham ended up with a large chunk of Perth Zoo's bird collection with the closure of the 'World of Birds' area. Very impressive collection.
  3. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

    16 May 2014
    Warsaw, Poland
    Great review, Hix, I agree completely with your comments.
    What is interesting to note is that on my visit in July 2016, the collection was even larger with about 20 more birds and 10 more mammals. That list can be seen here: Caversham Wildlife Park On Show Species List, July 2016 if anyone is interested.
  4. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    20 Oct 2008
    Christmas Island
    That's primarily because I didn't include the domestics in Molly's Farm.


  5. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

    16 May 2014
    Warsaw, Poland
    Oh yes, good point. Though it seems there were a couple of new bird species in particular.