Australian Reptile Park This park (reptilepark.com.au), 65km north of Sydney, just off the Pacific Hwy before the Gosford turn-off, offers photographic opportunities with koalas, and has roaming kangaroos, though its real stars are the reptiles, with native Australian species well represented and visible all year round thanks to heat lamps in the enclosures. The highlights are Elvis, New South Wales’ largest saltwater crocodile, and the sizeable perentie lizard of central Australia. There are reptile shows and talks throughout the day, including giant Galapagos tortoise feeding, alligator feeding and a crocodile show, featuring Elvis.

Featherdale Wildlife Park Located 30km west of Sydney off the M4 motorway between Parramatta and Penrith, at 217 Kildare Rd, Doonside (featherdale.com.au). There are feeding sessions and talks throughout the day focusing around koalas, flying foxes, dingoes and other animals. Train to Blacktown Station, then bus #725.

Koala Park Sanctuary Established as a safe haven for koalas in 1935, the sanctuary (koalapark.com.au) has since opened its gates to wombats, possums, kangaroos and native birds of all kinds. Koala-feeding sessions are the photo-opportunity times. Around 25km north of Sydney, not far from the Pacific Hwy on Castle Hill Rd, West Pennant Hills; train to Pennant Hills then bus #651 or #655 towards Glenorie.

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