"Cuddle and Feed Wallabies in Waimate" Top 5 Page for this destination Canterbury Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2
Canterbury Things to Do: 33 reviews and 68 photos
A lady named Gwen Dempster-Schouten has hand-raised orphaned wallabies since 1977 but only in October 1999 she opened her wallaby park, named EnkleDooVery Korna, to the public. It was so successful that Gwen was able to extend her park by adding some enclosures. Actually (June 2007) she has 65 tame wallabies that wait for the visitors to feed them. Well, most of them. Some hop away at speed at the sight of people with food in their hands - most likely in the afternoon when the wallabies are not hungry anymore.
Others behave in exactly the opposite way. They cannot get enough. Some stand upright and even hold your hands, so you cannot pull back before the animals have not eaten all the pellets provided.
When you arrive Gwen gives a short introduction and tells you what to do and what not to do when you meet the wallabies with the food bag provided. For example to pay attention when opening the gates between the enclosures, so they all stay in their homes (otherwise they start to fight), not to step onto their tails, not to cuddle their heads, only the backs, and not hold their hands. But what should you do when some of the wallabies hold your hand? LOL
It is an absolutely cute experience. The wallabies take the food pellets carefully from your hands with their lips, so there is not a lot of licking (and leaking ;-) and absolutely no biting. One wallaby was so lazy that it did not even stand up to get food, it laid stretched out like a sunlover on the beach and grabbed the pellets from my hand. Had I not reached out to him he would not have been interested in feeding.
Gwen has more cute pest animals in her park, like ferrets and possums, and also bantams, ducks, geese, sheep and a miniature pony.
The park is open from 20 September until the first Monday in June (Queen's Birthday), from 10am to 5pm. Admission is NZ$8, cash payment only.
If you want to visit in winter give Gwen a call. If she is there (which is the case most times) you will get an appointment and she will let you into the enclosures.
Address: EnkleDooVery Korna, Bathgates Road, Waimate
Directions: From north: turn left into Bathgates Rd before you reach the town. - From south or west (Kurow): drive to town centre, turn right/drive straight ahead towards Timaru, turn right after Berry Farn into Bathgates Rd. Park is on the left after several 100m.
Phone: (03) 689 7197
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