Memorial Day begins the unofficial start of summer. With fuel prices soaring and constant economic grumblings, more and more people are choosing to spend their summers closer to home. With that in mind, we begin our series, 90 Days of Summer. This series will bring you exciting, unique and incredible summer experiences in the south that can be had in a day or weekend trip.
When Kentucky born Bill Austin met Judy, a native of Australia, little did either of them realize that a chance meeting would lead to a marriage, a melding of two worlds and the creation of one of the Southeast’s most unique family experiences.
Just 1.5 hours from Nashville, Kentucky Down Under, allows visitors the chance to pet a Kangaroo, feed a flock of birds from your hand, learn to play centuries old Aboriginal music and tour one of the state’s most diverse and assessable caves, Kentucky Caverns.
Although you can easily spend the entire day there, you will need to allow a minimum of 3-4 hours to enjoy each of the exhibits, tours and presentations. Ticket prices include a 45 minute tour of Kentucky Caverns, an active cave, still producing new formations with each rainfall. Keep an eye out for special deals and coupons that offer reduced pricing and Family Packs that provide substantial discounts on admission.
While they have a variety of reptiles, birds, and other animals, there is no mistaking that the kangaroos are the reason everyone goes to Kentucky Down Under. To experience one of the symbols of Australia first hand, the Outback Walkabout is the place to be. There you will get up close to kangaroos, wallabies, emus and more during a guided tour. You will also see black swans and a crane-like bird called an Ibis whose name dates to the time of Moses.
Children and adults who are young at heart will enjoy the Woolshed, filled with domestic and baby animals. There, you may get chance to milk a cow, feed a baby goat or just visit cuddly creatures.
The Outback Cafe overlooks the Woolshed and Outback Walkabout areas and offers snacks and full lunches. Their menu changes with seasonal availability and the Cafe may be closed at certain times of year. If you are planning on lunching in the park, call ahead to ensure they will be open. As an alternative, pack a lunch and snacks and enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas.
Much of the park is paved, with a few mulched areas, allowing wheelchairs and strollers easy access. Although Kentucky Caverns is not accessible by stroller or wheelchair, if you are able, the park does have a safe to store these items while you are taking the tour.
Kentucky Down Under works hard to maintain itself as a family park and specifically prohibits foul language, alcohol, unruly behavior, weapons, spitting or throwing objects. In other words, put on your Party Manners when you walk in the gates and be respectful of the animals, staff and other visitors.
Location: 3700 L & N Turnpike Road Horse Cave KY 42749
Price: Adults 15 to 61 $22.00 ~ Children 5 to 14 $13.00 ~ Preschool 4 and Under FREE ~ Senior 62 and Over $19.30
Hours: May 27 – Aug. 11, 2011 / 8am-6pm