This engaging 4-acre child-centered zoo adjacent to Gan HaShlosha National Park has as its focus the wildlife of Australia, in particular its kangaroos. There is much to keep children engrossed, including feeding free-roaming kangaroos that are incredibly tame, feeding parrots, a petting zoo, and watching realistic, moving, sound-making dinosaurs while walking through a maze. For adults and older children, there is interesting information to read in Hebrew, English or Arabic about dinosaurs and the wildlife of Australia. Did you know, for example, that to date over 1,000 species of dinosaurs have been discovered, of which 400 are carnivorous?
VISITING THE ZOO
Time: Allow at least 2 hours, and substantially more if the children want to feed the animals.
Directions: Enter “Gan Garoo Zoo“ into Waze. There is a free parking lot close to the entrance.
Admission: Hours from July to August on Sunday to Thursday and Saturday are 9:00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., and on Friday and holiday eves 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. During the winter, hours are Sunday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3.00 or 4:00 p.m., on Friday and holiday eves 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on Saturday and holidays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But check on these times on their website during the appropriate season as the information is not totally clear. Admission is 59 NIS for adults and children over 2 years, and 47 NIS for seniors. There is a brochure in Hebrew, but all you will need is the enclosed map. Their phone number is 04-648 8060. This is their website.
Public transport: Enter “Gan Garoo Zoo" into Moovit. There are frequent buses between Afula and Beit Shean. The bus stop is only a short distance from the zoo.
Their gift shop sells hot and cold drinks and snacks. There are WCs. The facility tries its best to keep people comfortable in hot weather and there are mist sprays on the paths. There is a fridge by the park entrance to keep your packed lunch cool. There is a recommendation to come after 5.00 pm during the summer, as the weather is then cooler and the animals more active.
I recommend walking around the park in a counter-clockwise direction. There is much to keep children occupied. This includes the maze with realistic dinosaurs, many of which move if you press the nearby button, and of course feeding the kangaroos. At the entrance you are given change in shekel coins so you have money to pay for the kangaroo feed at one shekel a handful. Guides are continuously present in the kangaroo compound.