December 24th 2014
Gan Guru Australian Park offers a small taste of Australia in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Created especially as an attraction for families and children, the complex is primarily a zoo for imported Australian animals. It’s the place to go to see kangaroos, koalas, cassowary birds that don’t fly and foxes that do, along with kakadus, emus and more – all in a replica of their natural Australian habitat. Kangaroos roam free at Gan Guru, and at the onsite petting zoo, children can feed them. Special food is sold, and the kangaroos in the petting zoo are tame enough to be fed by hand.
Guided tours take visitors through the Australian foliage and offer lots of information about the Australian animal breeds. Don’t miss the baby kangaroo on display. Zoo keepers believe it was a twin that was rejected by the mother, since there is only room for one baby kangaroo to be raised in a mother kangaroo’s pouch at a time. If you want to see the koalas being fed, try to time your visit so you’re there at noon. The koalas generally spend the rest of the day quietly sleeping on tree branches.
Gan Guru Australian Park is located on Kibbutz Nir David at the bottom of Mount Gilboa in the Jezreel Valley. The kibbutz’s Muza restaurant, which faces the waterfalls of Gan Hashlosha, boasts a rich menu of fish, salads, pasta, homemade desserts and coffee.
In addition to the zoo, Gan Guru offers a labyrinth maze, a children’s playground and a shop for purchasing souvenirs. Aborigine-style face-painting workshops take place here during periods of school vacation. When schools are on summer break, it’s possible to join an evening tour, coupled with country lodging among the high quality wood cabins for rent on the shores of the Asi River.
The Asi River itself is a scenic spot for a day of family leisure. Take advantage of the many features designed to help enhance the guest experience at Kibbutz Nir David, including a heated and shaded pool, changing rooms, saunas, areas for relaxation (pillows provided!) and spa treatment tents.