By Kaia Wallis
There aren’t many places you can sit down and enjoy a local wine with kangaroos, peacocks and wombats just metres away – but Glen-Forest Tourist Park in Port Lincoln is allowing visitors to do just that.
The animal park, which is also home to Lincoln Estate Wines, has recently expanded its kiosk, decking, and seating area to incorporate an additional 200 visitors.
The kiosk also houses a cellar door for Lincoln Estate Wines, and guests can now sit back with a glass of wine and overlook the vineyard on the newly installed decking.
“The wine is a bit more of a drawcard for some people, visitors are sitting down with a wine and there’s a kangaroo right next to them,” says Kym Turvey, manager of Glen-Forest Tourist Park and Lincoln Estate Wines.
Set just 15 minutes out of Port Lincoln, the park also offers mini-golf and segway hire, while construction of an adventure maze is set to begin later this month and be open by the end of 2018.
Kym believes the park’s new inclusions have helped bring in more visitors from both the local community and from tourists visiting the Eyre Peninsula.
“Winter has been quiet, but we’ve definitely seen an increase in visitors throughout summer, probably around 15%,” Kym says.
The park has welcomed two new employees following its expansion and Kym expects to hire more once construction of the adventure maze is completed.
Kym says local tourist operators from Port Lincoln are ensuring the park is accessible for visitors by providing transport options and tours.
“Lots of people come here and they don’t know what to do,” he says.
“Now, the tour guides are helping people see more of our town. Just last week a group of 12 came here on a Tasting Eyre tour.”
The animal park first opened in the early 1980s before being purchased by his family in 1997 to plant the vineyards.
The Turvey family soon went on to expand the animal park, which is now home to camels, sheep and koalas, among others.
Kym says the park has always been popular with tourists and locals alike and says he strives to keep prices affordable.
“There is very strong community support, we probably see about 50% locals and 50% tourists,” he says.
“We want the average family to come and enjoy the park without breaking the budget, so we try to keep things pretty cheap.”
Segway hire, mini-golf and the soon to be built adventure maze tickets are separate to the animal park – meaning visitors are able to enjoy a game of mini-golf without paying for the animal park as well.
“People aren’t always looking to do the animal thing, so the add-ons are a bit of a drawcard for other people,” Kym says.
“Not everyone is looking to do the animal thing, so now, people can come, use the Segway’s and then have a wine and some cheese.”
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