April 23, 2014
We’re building a new Australian Adventure! Phase I is already underway and includes a new Ice Cream Shoppe, expanded seating for the Outpost Grille, new restroom facilities, and a new entrance near the train station. Oh, and speaking of the train, crews are installing a new grade-level train crossing complete with authentic railroad crossing gates.
The Australian Adventure first opened in 1987, funded entirely with donations. The new Australian Adventure will be built with donations as well. Construction for Phase I of this $7 million project is well underway, and we’ve already raised more than $5 million toward our goal. You can help by purchasing an engraved Recognition Tile with your contribution of $400. Contributions of $1000 or more will also be recognized on a permanent aluminum plaque.
Your Recognition Tile will be part of a one-of-a-kind sculptural display near new Australian Adventure entrance. We’ll engrave your tile with your family name, the names of your children or grandchildren, or in memory of a loved one.
What will Phases II and III have in store? Plenty! Here’s a condensed version of the plans:
Welcome to Stingray Bay
See eye to eye with gentle stingrays as they glide across a shallow pool in a brand-new exhibit that’s sure to be a highlight of the new Australian Adventure. Housed in the former Australia After Dark building, Stingray Bay features up-close viewing opportunities and state-of-the-art life support systems. A limited number of guests will have the chance to touch the stingrays under the guidance of zoo staff – a truly amazing experience!
Splash in Crocodile Creek
Go ahead – kick off your shoes and wade into Crocodile Creek! Like a cool oasis in the Australian Outback, Crocodile Creek beckons with clear water and large boulders. Kids wade in the shallow water, building dams with small rocks or making tiny rafts from sticks. Shaded benches await nearby for those who prefer to rest.
Dive in the Great Barrier Reef
From the Australian Adventure Plaza, stroll over to Stingray Bay or the completely remodeled Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, showcasing the diversity of the world’s largest coral reef system.
New themed displays and interactive elements enliven your experience among our ocean wonders. Sharks, jellyfish, and tropical fish benefit from all-new life support and filtration systems designed to keep the salt water tanks crystal clear.
The Land of Birds
Cross the bridge into the Outback and experience the magic of Australia’s vast, desert interior. Encounter a few of Australia’s 800 species of birds, including the strikingly-colored galah, also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo. Walk through a brand-new aviary teeming with cockatiels and magpies. Brightly-colored rainbow lorikeets nibble on nectar, just like they would in the wild.
Nearby, four-foot-tall emus strut across their yard, showing off their shaggy gray feathers. In the background, you hear the distinct call of a flock of kookaburras. Hoo-oo-oo-oo-ah-ah-ah!
Meet the Reptiles
Have you ever encountered a shingle-backed skink? How about a spotted python? These and other Australian reptiles greet you in the renovated Australian Adventure. Stop by the tin-roofed hut and get nose-to-nose with these scaly creatures.
Meet the Mob
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo was among the first to unveil a walk-through kangaroo experience when the Australian Adventure first opened in 1987. This one-of-a-kind journey continues as you stroll among our mob of eastern grey kangaroos, which is one of the largest in any North American zoo. Watch for ‘roos hopping across the path in front of you!
Say G’Day to the Dingoes
As Australia’s top predator, dingoes have been persecuted and hunted for bounty. The zoo’s dingo pack is among the largest in the country. On cool summer mornings, watch as the energetic dingoes explore their exhibit bordering the Outback Adventure River Ride.
Float on the River Ride
You’ll be drawn to a relaxing float on the Outback Adventure River Ride. Already the most popular ride in the zoo, exciting improvements will make the ride even better. Authentic Outback details – as well as a few surprises – bring out the explorer in you! Like all zoo rides, the Outback Adventure River Ride generates important income to support your non-profit zoo.
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