The Must See Bilby Experience Attraction | Charleville | QLD
The Bilby Experience
Did you know that the iconic Australian Bilby is actually apart of the desert dwelling bandicoot family? These gorgeous mini marsupials have a unique look- a compact little body covered in the softest light-grey fur but sporting a very distinctive black white tipped tail. Then there are those signature pointy long thin ears that stand tall like little radars resting on the most adorable face, with two beady black eyes and ending in a pointed snout, it is so easy to see why your heart swells at the site of them.
But in the background of their unique appeal there is a serious side to why the bilby species is so special. These native marsupials have been under extreme environment stresses for decades, back in 1990’s the species was almost completely wiped out. Of the six bandicoot species that once inhabited the arid/ and semi-arid deserts of Australia, the bilby is the last remaining.
The concentration now is on the preservation of the bilby species, using a very special captive breeding program founded by the incredible work of the ‘Bilby Brothers’- Frank Manthey and Peter McRea. With the success of the breeding program, as the numbers increase the bilbies are going to be slowly introduced and released into the a large predator-proof fenced enclosure in the Currawinya National Park in QLD.
What made it so special for us on the day
On our recent visit to the Charleville Bilby Experience, the ‘Up Close & Personal Experience’ was a must for our family. We couldn’t wait to learn all about the bilby; things like where they live, what they eat, breeding patterns (most women would wish to have the bilby’s gestation period), who their main predators are and how the protection and conservation programs of the endangered bilby population are proving a great success.
After our very well presented introduction to the bilby session we got to visit the nocturnal house where the Bilby Experience have 3 fluffy bundles living onsite.
We got to see them in action- cruising around in a recreated natural habitat, it’s a really great way to get to see their little personalities coming out. Our experience was then topped off with getting to meet ‘Sarah’ the 4 year old hand raised Bilby. Getting to grab a cheeky pic and some very special pats (from the safety of the keepers arms).
This was such a precious unique experience- getting to see an endangered species up close is something we will never forget and something you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
Attraction related fact.
The bilby’s greatest threats in the wild are the roaming feral animals (rabbits, cats and foxes) along with mans environmental impact on habitats. The rapidly multiply wild rabbits and the European red fox are considered two of Australia’s major agricultural and environmental pests species along with the feral cat. These three animals make up the biggest threats to the bilby due to either their hunting instincts (fox and cat) or food resource competition (rabbit).
What was it all about
Save the Bilby Fund is a not-for-profit organisation that has created The Bilby experience as a way of bringing education of the species and sharing the impressive hard work being done to help save it from extinction. The bilby species are considered a high level endangered species with there being less than 2000 left in the world- majority of those being in Northern Australia.
Donations are what keep this foundation running. Proceeds raised through the Bilby Experiences, along with a portion of all bilby merchandise sold (in store, online and the Bilby chocolates at Easter time) go directly to the Save the Bilby Fund to continue the vital work of the volunteers and committed save the bilby family.
The amazing work of the bilby founders, dedicated staff, supporting companies/ and patrons along with us- the visitors are what keep this crucial campaign expanding.
Price and Appeal
There are two offers you can choose from; the Bilby Experience $35/F and the one we did the Up Close & Personal Experience (the initial experience plus meeting the bilby) $70/F. Remember the fund are not-for-profit so all proceeds raised go to help the Save the Bilby Fund. So why not go get your cute and fluffy on, gain a greater understanding and help save the Bilby.
We just need to acknowledge the incredible work of the entire Foundation but in particular wonderful Lisa who was our guide for our bilby encounter. Your knowledge, passion and genuine nature was warming, engaging and made our experience better than we could have imagined.
The dedication to your passion reflects in your work and we are very grateful to have had you present.