Animal encounters at Cleland Wildlife Park

Cleland Wildlife Park.

This award winning wildlife park is tucked away in the Mount Lofty Ranges that surrounds Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

Since its opening in 1967, Cleland has been a popular destination for local families and tourists from around the world looking to tick of their Australian animals bucket list.

Two Koalas sleeping in a tree
Sleepy Koalas

Free range animals

The beauty of Cleland is that almost all of the animals are approachable, which has made this park a family favourite among South Australia’s zoos and wildlife parks.

If you want to pat a Kangaroo you can. Feed an Emu? You can do that as well.

Baby Kangaroo Joey in her mothers pouch
Baby Kangaroo Joey

This freedom to interact with the animal is all due to how the park is setup.

The park is basically one large open enclosure, separated by a system of gates, which houses a wide variety of native Australian animals.

Well built pathways wind their way through these large open enclosures, highlighting a few different Australian habitats.

These habitats range from the bird filled wetlands, to the rocky mountainous terrain of the Rock Wallabies, and the Australian plains full of Kangaroos, Wallabies, Echidnas, Wombats and Emus.

Wombat having an itch
Itchy Wombat

The animals at Cleland are very tame and used to visitors. They genuinely seem to enjoy spending time with visitors and getting a pat or a scratch and they certainly love you feeding them.

And if they don’t feel like being social, they have the space to go off and do their own thing and avoid the pesky humans.

[alert type=”info” dismiss=”no”]Animal food can be purchased at the park.[/alert]

Why we love Cleland

One of the best things we found about Cleland was there was plenty of open space to roam.

This means you can have up close and personal experiences with the animals, without the typical large groups of people all trying to interact with the same animals or look at the same enclosure at once.

It almost feels like you’ve enter an exclusive wildlife park just for you.

There is one little downside to this of course, and that is its very easy to get engrossed with petting and feeding the animals.

You’ll eventually look up and realise you’re an island surrounded by a sea of curious animals and an hour has flown past.

But that’s not a bad problem to have, is it?

Australian Grey Kangaroo
Australian Grey Kangaroo

[alert type=”info” dismiss=”no”]Be prepared to do some walking! The park is pretty large.[/alert]

Ocean to Outback Interpretive Centre

Not all the animals at Cleland are cute, cuddly and approachable.

Some are small, fragile or skittish or just to dangerous with their pointy teeth, sharp claws and venomous bites.

Inside the Ocean to Outback Interpretive Centre you’ll find a great collections of animals that live in South Australia’s harsh environment.

These animals range from insects, small mammals, native lizards to some of Australia’s most venomous snakes, including the stunning but deadly Red-bellied Black Snake.

They also have everyone’s favourite, the nocturnal Bilby and the adorable Spinifex Hopping Mice.

Red-bellied Black Snake
Red-bellied Black Snake

Don’t miss the Potoroos!

Easily overlooked but seemingly always close at hand are the Potoroos.

We found these rabbit sized kangaroo looking marsupials to be a highlight of the park and sort of the unofficial mascot of Cleland.

Finding them is fairly easy around the parks entrance where they bounce around looking for food. But they also seem to be scattered around the entire park and pop out of nowhere to pay you a visit.

Potoroos are a favourite for the kids as they are small, cute, curious and fun to interact with.

Combined with some of the animal food available for purchase at the park and you will soon find yourself surrounded by the awesome little critters.

Young boy standing with Potoroos
Ronin and his Potoroo gang

Getting there

Due to its location in the hills surrounding Adelaide, the easiest way to Cleland is by car. It’s around a 25 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD. The park has ample free car parking available.

The second option is public transport. Buses to Cleland can be caught from the Adelaide CBD, but the journey time to reach the park is around 1 hour. Check the Adelaide Metro website for departure times.

Australian Red Kangaroo
Australian Red Kangaroo

Opening times

The park is open everyday (except Christmas Day) from 9:30am to 5pm.

[alert type=”warning” dismiss=”no”]Due to bush fire danger, the park will be closed during catastrophic fire danger ratings.

Check the rating on the CFS website for the Mount Lofty Ranges.[/alert]

Entry Fees

Prices at Cleland are about average for a wildlife park/zoo in South Australia.

  • Adults $25.50 AU
  • Children (4 – 15 years old) $12 AU
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children ) $61 AU

Check the official website for up to date prices.

Rock Wallaby
Rock Wallaby
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2 thoughts on “Animal encounters at Cleland Wildlife Park”

  1. I particularly like the sharp photos of the snakes. Great work.
    I think the last time we went to Cleland was in the 70’s. We need to check it out.
    Thanks for posting this.

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