The Tasmanian Safari Bus Tour belongs to the ZooDoo Wildlife Park, which is 6km from the historical township of Richmond, Tasmania. Forget historical; more like hysterical when you land at this attraction!
ZooDoo Wildlife Park: Safari Bus Tour
Before we get to the Safari Bus Tour, we must admit, the wildlife park does look a little tired (just like the Tasmanian Devil pictured below!). Several exhibits are bare, including the miniature pony-racing arena. And for the $56 family ticket, adults would probably expect the weeds to be removed and all the rides to be in fully functioning order.
That said, I can appreciate the difficulties, especially after three years of drought and the introduction of exotic animals, like tigers and lions, to a zoo in Tasmania. Devils, koalas and possums don’t eat that much compared to a 250kg cat!!
And kids don’t care one iota about weeds. They can share their time between the mini merry-go-round, the sagging jumping castle, the caged animals and those roaming in the paddocks.
The ZooDoo Highlight: the Safari Bus Tour
After a picnic lunch in the grounds (I had my own, but they do have a cafeteria), I joined the queue for the safari bus tour. The bus makes its run several times daily, so you can schedule your trip between lion-feeding shows.
One thing I would recommend to the managers of ZooDoo Wildlife Park: get some bus-station seating. The wait for the Safari Bus Tour could be a long one on a busy day.
The gruff instructions from the driver include the order to hold tightly to the bag of chaff you are given. “Any lost bags will result in a $50 littering fine”, he said. Turns out, that’s a huge joke. Have you ever tried to keep your grip on a paper bag when a ravenous emu is grabbing at it with its pointy beak? If you survive the emu-feeding, you are challenged by the ostriches, and then the camels on the home straight.
A mid-tour dismount to pat goats and horses leaves you wondering if you should…
- hold your handbag tightly to your chest
- leave it unguarded on the safari bus, or
- just throw it out and stand back!
Where’s that Calm Koala?
Honestly, it’s the kind of experience that evokes screams of laughter from some, and terror from others. Thankfully, I returned with all fingers intact and only a little camel dribble in my hair. Needing something a little more sedate I returned to the peaceful, sleepy koala.
For a fee, you can have your photo taken with the koala or a wombat, or even have your image merged with that of a tiger. There are plenty of opportunities to take your own photos, especially if you buy a bag of chaff – attract a crowd of animals in one shake. International tourists can fill their albums with snaps of Australian wildlife.
So… are you brave enough for the safari bus tour?
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