Socialise with squirrel monkeys, mingle with meerkats and check out the cheetahs at Hunter Valley Zoo.
The past few months we have been all about experiencing the wonderful local attractions our region has to offer, and this month was no different as we stopped by Hunter Valley Zoo for a day amongst the animals.
Located in Nulkaba just outside of Cessnock, NSW Hunter Valley Zoo is a picturesque sanctuary of natural environments built for the care and safety of its animal residents.
From mammals to birds and reptiles from Australia and around the globe, it’s an experience that you’ll never forget.
My mum and I were lucky enough to spend a Monday in the sunshine amongst ring tail lemur, Tasmanian devil, meerkat, capybara, American alligator, African lion and so many more amazing creatures big and small.
Upon entry to the zoo, we received ice cream cones full of food to feed the ostrich, goats, sheep, fallow deer and dromedary camels and off we went to find some furry and feathered friends.
We started our loop at the meerkats and watched these extraordinary little mammals scamper around and play together. A fan favourite at Hunter Valley Zoo, you can also participate in an animal encounter where you can get up close and personal with the meerkats as they climb over your lap looking for food.
As we continued our adventure past an array of gorgeous animals, we were delighted by the care and hard work that has gone into each and every exhibit to ensure the animals feel right at home.
When mum and I reached the ostrich, goats and camels we were excited to pull out our animal feed cones and stick them out to give them a nibble. Needless to say, these cheeky buggers tower over humans in size and a nibble quickly turned into munching the entire cone of food out of our hands.
We thought we had learnt our lesson as we made our way to the walk through goats, sheep and deer enclosure…well my mum certainly did. “You head in first,” my mum said with a grin.
Little did I know mum had visited the Hunter Valley Zoo a few months earlier and knew just how mischievous they can be.
Nonchalantly I made my way in and quickly found myself surrounded, with a goat’s head up my skirt. My mum was in stitches.
Saving our favourite experience for last, we finished off our day with a booked animal encounter with the squirrel monkeys. We were given a tube of food each and sat down in the enclosure where we were given 20 minutes of messy, monkey mayhem. It was an experience of absolute bliss as the little cuties jumped up onto our laps, arms, legs and shoulders to grab their snacks and treats. Our lovely zookeeper also sat in with us to answer all our questions. Fussy eaters, the squirrel monkeys pulled out food from the tube and if they weren’t interested in it, you guessed it, they threw it straight back at us.
As the day concluded, we made our way home covered in a couple of monkey treats and filled with lifelong memories. If you’re looking for something unique and excited to do, head to Hunter Valley Zoo. You won’t be disappointed.