From Our Editors
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo offers two unique attractions—the Kentucky Down Under animal park and the Mammoth Onyx Cave—in one spot. Original owners Bill and Judy Austin are to thank for this union, joining forces to celebrate both of their hometowns (Bill from Kentucky and Judy from Australia) in the name of their business.
At the animal park, guests not only learn about animals and their habitats, but they also have the opportunity to interact with some of the critters. Expert guides teach groups how to approach Red and Eastern Gray kangaroos before letting visitors pet the furry marsupials. Visitors can also spy other outback-dwelling animals such as emus, sculcata tortoises, and a Patagonian cavy, or turn their eyes skyward in the aviary to experience the songs and colors of rainbow lorikeets as they sip from cups of nectar. The friendly birds are prone to landing on guests' heads, shoulders, and arms, making for fun photo opportunities.
The other prime attraction is Mammoth Onyx Cave, which was discovered in 1799 by a young girl named Martha Woodson. Since 1922, the cave has been under the auspices of the Austin family. Filled with spectacular formations, the cave runs an eighth of a mile. On cave tours designed for kids and families, tour guides use rustic lanterns to paint a picture of what life was like in the cave in the 18th century.