VISITORS to the Macadamia Castle will be able to interact directly with the park's kangaroos for the first time from today with the launch of a new Roo Walk Thru.

Maca Castle owner Tony Gilding said the revamped enclosure was built with the help of construction crews from Pacific Highway upgrade contractor Baulderstone Hornibrook after noise from the construction works began distressing the park's population of 12 eastern grey kangaroos and two emus.

"The construction noise from the Pacific Highway upgrade started to affect our beautiful kangaroos and emus and they started to do really funny things," Mr Gilding said.

The new area is a radical departure from the old walk, which had visitors walking behind a high chain-wire fence at the top of a forested valley that was sometimes hard to spot slumbering roos in.

Now the forest has been partially cleared, creating a lawn area in front of a creek, creating an environment park manager Nick Bourke says better suits the kangaroos while making it easier for visitors to see them.

Adding to that, the high fence has been replaced with a low fence and a path that terminates in a shared area where visitors can mingle with, and even feed, the kangaroos, if the 'roos choose.

The Roo Walk Thru will be open daily from 8am to 5pm with keepers giving talks on the animals daily at noon. It is one of several modifications being made to the park, thanks to a Federal grant - including a new barbecue area, a cov- ered outdoor lecture space, and a new indoor area looking over the park for functions.


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