I must be honest here, and admit that when it was first mooted that we move to Bunbury my initial reaction was a little negative, to say the least. It’s taken me a while to stop longing for the tropics, for which we may have been destined, and the colours of Africa from which we’d departed, but now my mind has stopped comparing scenery and become connected to the here and now, it’s amazing how much treasure I’m finding, literally, ‘in my back yard,’ despite the fact that it’s always been there.
And yesterday, letting the child in me free, I discovered again how important it is to live in the moment, when we stopped by at The Big Swamp Wildlife Park, 5 minutes from the centre of Bunbury. (If you have young kids the Wildlife Park is a must-do).
Arriving after a long bike ride I was ready to eat the 50c a packet bird seed myself. My not-so-trusty-steed, Priscilla, Queen of the Trail, had uncharacteristically let me down with a flat tyre – so after our pat-the pets excursion I had to be rescued like a damsel in distress by He Himself who kindly raced home on his bike at sunset to get the car.
The Wildlife Park itself is not extensive, but you do feel removed from humanity. There’s a large free flight aviary where birds swoop and dive – if you’ve got bad memories of the Alfred Hitchcock film, this is not a good spot because the sweet little things will more than likely land on your head. Ok, on the Richter scale of adrenalin rushes, this may not be huge, but believe me it makes you smile.
Various breeds of parrots, resplendant in rainbow plumage were gorgeous and just a reminder of how lucky we are in Australia to have so many varieties flying wild in the forests, if you look up and pay attention.
Kangaroos a-plenty occupy the parkland enclosure. You can feed them with Roo food from the cafe. They grip you with little marsupial claws (so cute) as their soft muzzles nuzzle the palm of your hand.
They say that travel writing shouldn’t ignore a writer’s locale, after all what’s usual to you, is most unusual to someone else. I hadn’t thought much about visiting the Big Swamp Wildlife Park until yesterday, but what simple, unadultered fun it was.
In addition to the birds and kangaroos, there are wallabies, emus and possums. The park is open daily from 10am to 5pm, and you’ll find it on Prince Philip Drive, Bunbury.