Featherdale Wildlife Park

Koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park

Photo Spot Summary

Country: Australia

Category: Wildlife

City: Doonside

GPS Latitude: -33.766907

GPS Longitude: 150.884064


Featherdale is located at 217 Kildare Road, Doonside, Sydney NSW. From downtown, take a North Shore and Western line train to Blacktown then bus 725 (board at stand 9) for 10 minutes to the main gate.

Photo Spot Details

One of the more interesting things to do when visiting Australia from abroad is to check out the native wildlife. The big, crowded Taronga Zoo in Sydney is fine, but for a more intimate experience take the time to travel to Featherdale Wildlife Park. Featherdale is much smaller and less crowded than Taronga, but even better is the fact that you can get up close and personal with the animals. You can literally walk around in the same space with wallabies and kangaroos! Other animals are behind some sort of fence, but you’re close enough that you probably won’t need anything longer than a 70-200mm to bring home some great shots. The staff is super-knowledgeable and friendly and because the crowds are small there’s plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Tasmanian devil at Featherdale Wildlife Park
NIKON D600 + 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 195mm, ISO 720, 1/200, f/2.8

Travel and Gear Tips

  1. Most useful lens here for animal portraits is a 70-200mm. A 300mm f/4 might be fun if you like to get close. I also really like the wide-angle, close-up wallaby shots I got with a 16-35mm.
  2. Kangaroos and wallabies both hop around in the “human area” but wallabies are much friendlier. It’s probably safer to keep a short distance from the kangaroos and save the up-close-and-personal time for the wallabies.
  3. Featherdale is open 9am – 5pm. Tickets are purchased at the door.
Wallaby at Featherdale Wildlife Park
NIKON D600 + 16-35mm f/4 @ 29mm, ISO 560, 1/250, f/5.6

Photography Tips

  1. This is a good place to test your skills at capturing fast moving objects! If you’re not up-to-speed on all your camera’s fast-action focusing modes, read up in your manual on the train ride there. (The Tasmanian devil is super-quick and a fun challenge.)
  2. A fast aperture, like f/2.8, is good for keeping your shutter speed up and throwing the background out of focus.
  3. A shutter speed of at least 1/200th is a good place to start to freeze motion. Review your images at 100% throughout the day to make sure you’re not getting blurry shots.

About Jason Waltman

Jason Waltman is a technical artist, software developer, and avid photographer. He loves to travel the world in search of inspiring things to see and tasty things to eat. See more of his travel and food photography at jasonwaltman.com.


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