Roaring Canberra: Up close and personal

With the holiday season around the corner and direct flights from Newcastle Airport to Canberra available several times a day, why not head to the nation’s capital for a long weekend or an entire week?

For a trip to the wild side, you can’t go past Canberra’s Jamala Wildlife Lodge. Whether you’d like to meet lions, tigers, giraffes, cheetahs or bears, there’s the Jungle Bungalows, the Giraffe Treehouses or the aptly named Capuchin Rooms to choose from.

For the ultimate experience, bring some friends and book into uShaka Lodge. It’s the owner’s former residence and boasts its own shark tank, a stunning lounge and dining area, pool, spa and tropical gardens.

If your kids are between four and six years of age, there’s special Family Nights once a month with the young ones going on a fun aquarium tour while mum and dad enjoy a leisurely gourmet dinner.

The Shark Grand Suite sits on a private floor with an adjoining terrace directly above the shark tank to meet and greet the predators of the ocean. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it’s ideal for families or two couples.

For total privacy – apart from a few hundred animals – book the Seclusion Package with gourmet dinner and breakfast delivered to your room and a personal guide for an afternoon tour to meet your four-legged neighbours.

Whatever you choose, you are in for a truly wild encounter of the personal kind.