Urimbirra Wildlife Park is located only 5 minutes north of Victor Harbor and is the home for over 400 Australian animals, like kangaroos, koalas, snakes, lizards and birds. There are also farm animals like chooks, rabbits and guinea pigs and you can get up close and personal with most of the animals. They also have a kiosk and souvenir shop onsite and you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to cook up on their electric BBQ and enjoy it in the Park.
Urimbirra is an aboriginal word meaning ‘to preserve’ or to ‘take care of’, which is very appropriate. The Park was opened in 1975 by the local council and went private in 1992. It sits on land with a rich Aboriginal history, which is evident in the canoe trees on the property.
The first thing you’ll see as you walk through the park is the range of birdlife, including devious rainbow lorikeets. The emus are curious creatures with eyes that are bigger than their brains. They are the second largest bird in the world and can be a bit intimidating, but the ones at Urimbirra are tame enough to hand feed and peck at the folds of skin in your hand as you offer them food. The cassowary, on the other hand, is a little more aggressive and was separated by a fence, and for good reason. They are known to jump and kick your guts with their long and strong legs, usually aiming for disembowelment. The young cassowary got a little upset when Juz called it Testicle Neck.
The Park’s echidna was an active little guy who was busy licking up the ants that were scurrying around his food plate before marching around his pen and diving into his burrow. The wombats were a little more sedate but came out for lunch.
The Park also breeds lizards, snakes and tortoises. The Reptile house has a variety of lizards and snakes, including the Tiger snake, which causes the most deaths in Australia, and the Brown snake, which causes the most bites in the state.
We made it to the crocodile enclosure just in time for the feeding.
Fresh water crocodiles range from 1.2 metres for females to 2.5 metres for males. They have a longer, more slender snout which is perfect for gliding through the water to catch fast little creatures like fish. They pose minimal threat to humans but if approached, they might close their eyes, which makes them look like they’re sleeping, but they’re actually protecting their eyes from danger and are ready to ‘defend’ themselves and deliver quite a bite. Andy, the onsite handler, has been bitten a few times. He said that flesh wounds aren’t too bad, but if they hit a bone then it really hurts. Ouch!
Salt water crocodiles eat larger animals like duck and geese, but once they reach 3 metres long, they’ll attack anything, like cows and horses. They are much faster in the water than on land, prefer murky water so they can ambush their enemy, and usually kill larger animals to defend their territory. They are very aggressive and are definitely a danger to humans.
We had the opportunity to touch and pose with these guys. Their fur is thick and soft but a little wiry and they were mostly oblivious to the hands that reached out to pat them.
These days, koala numbers are dwindling due to death by cars and dogs, whereas back in the day, their main threat was the dingo. Check out our post on the Koala.
Urimbirra have a variety of kangaroos, like Eastern Greys and Kangaroo Island roos. They are super friendly if you had a bag of feed so make sure you get one when you pay for your ticket to get into the park.
They also had an albino kangaroo that was fenced off with the Tammar Wallabies. This poor fella looked a little sad because the other kangaroos would beat him up. He’s been sectioned off for his own safety. Urimbirra also breed albino peacocks, which are native to Sri Lanka, and only 1% survive, which means they get one every two or three years.
Also known as the Inland Carpet Python, this cute little Murray Darling Python was brought out so everyone could have a good look at his beautiful scaly skin. These non-venomous snakes are usually found in eastern Australia and feed on small mammals, birds and lizards. They are popular as pets because they’re not very aggressive.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Entry to the park is $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Because the park is privately owned, all fees go towards education and maintaining the park. Koala shows are at 11am, 2pm and 4pm, while the croc feeding is at 1:30pm and the snake petting is at 4pm.
Phone: 08 8554 6554