As soon as you step through the stunning flying winged wrought iron gates welcoming visitors to Raptor Domain, you can tell this is no ordinary wildlife attraction. In true Irwin style, Leeza and Dave Irwin (yes, apparently they do share the same gene pool as Australia Zoo’s Steve Irwin) have years of wildlife experience between them.
Featuring amazing Australian raptors and slithery reptiles, Raptor Domain is one of the most interactive wildlife experiences I have ever seen. Visiting Raptor Domain is definitely one of the top attractions on Kangaroo Island for wildlife lovers and a great place to get a close look at raptors.
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Since it opened in 2010, Raptor Domain has proven to be much more than just a wildlife tourist attraction.
It prides itself first and foremost as being a 150-acre educational, environmental and rehabilitation centre for wildlife.
Their primary purpose is to give the public an appreciation for our feathered wildlife, in particular, but also an awareness of the ultimate importance of the Kangaroo Island habitat.
“Species minus habitat equals extinction” is their catch-cry, which applies to both humans and wildlife.
“We bring the wildlife to you,” they say.
And boy, is it true.
Raptor Domain has over 30 birds.
Most, if not all were at one time injured, orphaned or rescued and some have been with them for over 25 years, including Jedda, a Wedge-tailed eagle.
Raptor Domain Birds Of Prey Shows
There are two shows a day at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm.
The birds are only trained to demonstrate their natural behaviour.
The focus of the shows is to educate guests on the value of our wildlife and the need to maintain its habitat.
Included in their beautiful birds of prey are a Hobby falcon, a Nankeen Kestrel, Slim the Black-breasted Buzzard, a White-bellied sea eagle and two majestic Wedge-tailed eagles Nelly and Jedda.
The small and somewhat intimate open-air auditorium set in natural bushland lends itself to a very rare and dynamic interactive wildlife experience.
Audience members help fly the birds, stroke or have them sit on their lap.
You can even hold some of them, including the sea and wedge-tailed eagles, at the end of the show.
A family of Australian owls also join in the fun.
Enter Shush the Barn owl, Boo the Boobook owl, a very chatty Barking owl, Omen the Sooty Owl and a Masked owl called Matilda.
There’s Maggie, the clean-up magpie, as well as a bunch of laughing and blue-winged kookaburras.
Not all of the birds are good performers.
Which bird performs in which show on what day depends on the mood the birds are in and whether the bird’s weight is optimum on that particular day for food rewards during the show.
So, get up close and personal with birds of all kinds and take home a central message of conservation and rehabilitation.
You won’t regret it!
Raptor Domain Fang-Tastic Reptile Show
Not only are there interactive shows of the feathery kind, but go one-on-one, if you wish, with a choice of Australian reptiles.
An experienced reptile handler conducts a 45-minute daily 1 pm show, where you can learn about, hold, stroke or be draped with whatever you can tolerate (before using your panic word)!
See a spiky bearded dragon or a shingleback or blue tongue lizard.
Wrap yourself in a python, hold a baby crocodile or stroke large goanna.
I dare you to test your wildlife adventure spirit!
Venom Pit Experience
While you are in a creepy reptilian mood, go for the trifecta and do the 45-minute show at 10.30 am with some of Australia’s deadliest creatures.
If you thought Fang-tastic pushed your tolerance buttons, then why not challenge yourself by meeting a few venomous snakes, spiders and scorpions?
Learn all about venomous creatures and their venom up close and personal.
Where to eat at Raptor Domain
Kestrel’s Rest is in main reception and offers light snacks and drinks. Tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes, as well as noodles or soups, are included in your admission ticket.
You may even see some bird training in the background as you eat and drink if you are lucky!
If you need something more substantial, pop into the KI Tuckerbox next door.
Their food is homemade and cooked fresh with ingredients from local Kangaroo Island growers.
Perhaps see if you can manage a huge Dave’s Dog or even a Predator Burger layered with thick lashings of Predator Sauce.
The KI Tuckerbox is open from 11 am to 2.30 pm, seven days a week also, except in the cold winter months between June and August.
How To Get To Raptor Domain
Raptor Domain is 6km north of Seal Bay on the corner of Seal Bay Rd and South Coast Road.
It’s open every day from 10 am to 4 pm, except Christmas Day. For more information, private shows and experiences, go here.