You don’t have to leave the South of France to travel to the other side of the world. The inhabitants of Le Parc Australien in Carcassonne make you feel like you’re in Australia. Meet the cutest kangaroos and wallabies and learn all about their habits. And more! At this park, emus, ostriches, kookaburras and budgies call the South of France their home.
As Oldest had already started school, it was the twins who joined me on a day trip before their school started. As they weren’t sure if my day out included hiking- although I assured them it didn’t- the twins were a bit sceptical. However, when we arrived at Le Parc Australien, the first animal we met was an adorable two-week-old baby kangaroo. And after that, the twins both couldn’t wait to visit the rest of the park. We started with a little bit of history by following the informative aboriginal path. The (English) app I downloaded gave us even more explanation.
Le Parc Australien is a private park- not a zoo- that biologist and Australia passionate Carole Masson set up in 2001. If you want your visit to be more educational, you can join a guide for free. This way, you can enter some of the enclosures and see the animals up close. The twins and I learned everything about various kangaroo races. Did you know, for example, that the word kangaroo actually means ‘big feet’ in the Aboriginal language? Or that a baby roo is born after about one month, hardly bigger than a jellybean? And then crawls to the mother’s pouch to stay there comfortably for a few months to completely develop?
Besides kangaroos and the smaller wallabies, Le Parc Australien is also home to some bird species. With the guide, we first entered the enclosure of the brightly coloured budgerigar, nicknamed budgies. And they were waiting for us, or rather the seeds that we would give them. They were not the slightest bit shy, and after their bellies were full, they took off again. On to the ostriches, who needed feeding as well. While holding the feeding cup tightly, we came pretty close to these impressive animals. Not sure if they were happy though, given their always long faces…
Being with kids meant that we could do the treasure hunt, including gold prospecting! During the summer months and holidays, there are more workshops that take place. It’s worth keeping an eye on their website if you’re planning to visit. Walking around Le Parc Australien, you can tell that Carole Masson and her team care a lot about their animals. And not only the ones at the park, as Carole committed to help the injured and orphaned kangaroos after the 2019 – 2020 bushfires that hit Australia. With her fundraising, she collected over 30,000 homemade pouches to protect burned kangaroos.