Take Flight is the beautiful animal experience every child should have these school holidays.

Scenic World
Thanks to our brand partner, Scenic World

Image: Feathered Friends

Do you hear that?

That’s the sound of Term 3 whooshing past you, meaning that another set of school holidays isn’t far away.

For most NSW schools, the holidays will start at the end of September, going into the second week of October. All parents know those two weeks can go quickly… but they can also go very, very slowly.

There’s only so much bowling, going to the movies, and ‘home days’ (aka, device days) you can do before you hear the dreaded “I’m bored!”

Yes, as a parent myself I know how challenging it can be to find engaging, interesting holiday activities. But they do exist, and here’s one very good one.

Many of you will have visited or heard about Scenic World in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains. It’s just a 90-minute drive from Sydney, and it’s packed with as much fresh air activity, and device-free time, as you can handle.

It’s home to the Scenic Railway – the world’s steepest train – and also offers the astonishing Scenic Skyway, Cableway and Walkway so you can explore the incredible natural environment from every angle.

There’s a good reason why it’s the most visited privately owned tourist attraction in Australia. And now, there’s another reason to take the family there.

Beginning these school holidays, Scenic World will be hosting Take Flight, an interactive bird show under the rainforest canopy.

Run by Feathered Friends, a sanctuary for sick and injured birds in Western Sydney, Take Flight showcases some of Australia’s most spectacular bird species, as they fly overhead. The colours are a lot more interesting than the blue glow of an iPhone!

If you ask Alex Saleeby, Take Flight host and Manager at Feathered Friends, it’s an incredibly special experience.

“Birds are amazing,” Alex, who has been involved with Feathered Friends since he was a child, says. “I’ve always had birds – they’re my favourite, because there’s a wild element to them.

“If you visit an animal in a cage, it’s there because of the boundary. But birds can fly, they have freedom. So if they’re around you, it’s because they want to be.”

scenic world blue mountains
Alex with Griffin, a wedge-tailed eagle. Image: Supplied.

Alex adds that the sanctuary birds in Take Flight are full of character– and absolutely adored.

Like Finn, a Sooty Owl. Finn is full-sized, even though he’s only 10 months old. He was born as part of a breeding program - but his mum rejected him.

Alex thinks this is why whenever Finn sees his carers, he’s very “vocal”.

“He’s so noisy, because expressing himself is part of his development,” Alex explains. “But it can be very loud. He’s by nature a bird of prey, so he’s got a lot to say.”

Here's Alex with one of his owl friends:

Alex explains that birds are highly intelligent – much more than is generally known.

“We have birds here who can open padlocks, open doors. What they can learn to do is incredible.”

Georgie Junior - an Eclectus male parrot – holds a soft spot for Alex.

“Georgie’s a young guy – he’s only six years old, and parrots can live up to even 50 years,” Alex shares. “He’s my favourite because his parents were pets, and were surrendered to us at the sanctuary, so he’s special to me.”

Alex reveals that as pets, the parents were taught how to speak by their owners, so they could talk in full sentences, and were always doing so.

“Georgie’s mum was crazy with talking,” Alex laughs. “We exposed her to Japanese at one time, and she picked it up straight away. Georgie takes after her.”

Apart from the birds, sugar gliders Banjo and Clancy will also make a special appearance at the Native Animal Encounters held after the show.

It’s clear that Alex loves the animals as his own family – something all parents and kids will appreciate in the show.

The Take Flight show is fun, interactive and informative (but maybe don’t lead with that last one when you tell the kids about it!).

It's a unique nature experience that should be the perfect day trip to stave off the “I’m boreds”.

Take it from Georgie Junior!

Take Flight runs for 20 minutes at both 11am and 1pm during the school holidays from September 28 to October 13 (excluding the October Long Weekend October 5-7).

Entry to the show is free after admission to Scenic World but spaces are limited.

Discounted Earlybird Passes are available for the school holidays exclusively online. Family Passes start at $110 for 2 adults and up to 5 children under 14yo.

Families can also book small group-only Native Animal Encounters, where you can get up close with a Sooty Owl, Diamond Python and Sugar Glider, which can be pre-booked online.

For more information, visit Scenic World at

Scenic World

With a reputation for delivering unforgettable experiences, Scenic World in the Blue Mountains is an easy school holiday destination. Escape the city - and screen time - for epic panoramas of World Heritage wilderness, waterfalls, and escarpment. Discover the thrill of riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. Glide between cliff tops with 360°views. Experience strolling under the canopy of an extraordinary temperate rainforest on the Scenic Walkway. Book online for the ultimate Blue Mountains adventure - all Family Passes include entry for 2 adults + 5 children under 14yo.

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