road trip travel Uncategorized with kids

Kentucky Down Under

Have you ever wanted to feed a kangaroo? How about just petting one? Well you can do both at one of the most unique and amazing placesand it’s in Kentucky of all places.

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo Horse Cave, Kentucky

Kentucky Down Under is located in Horse Cave, Kentucky. Trust me when I say that this is the place you want to visit. Not only can you pet and feed kangaroos. You can also pet and feed emus. But wait that’s not all.

At Kentucky Down Under you can also tour a cave and feed some birds. Never in my life did I think I would ever be able to feed a kangaroo and take a selfie with one. Nor did I ever think I could walk out and have birds just come and land on me. Both were amazing experiences that my daughter and I will remember for a lifetime.


Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo is located at exit 58 of I-65 in Horse Cave, Kentucky. We ended up spending the night about five miles away in Cave City, Kentucky at the Baymont by Wyndham. It made for an easy trip to Kentucky Down Under but you could also stay right at exit 58 in one of the hotels there. I just found there to be more food options and it was closer to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Kentucky Down Under Map

You can purchase tickets online or when you get there. In my experience on my recent Covid Road Trip I would suggest getting tickets in advance. You never know when everyone else will have the same idea as you. I bought my tickets in person with no issues. Than again I was there 15 minutes before they open.

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo also offers many discounts on tickets. Some of the most discounts I have ever seen at places like this. You have your normal child, military (includes veterans), and a senior discount. But they also offer a First Responder, college student, AAA member, and a Commercial Driver License discount. I am not sure if they always have these discounts or if it is just due to the current Coronavirus Pandemic.

Either way it is a great discount to have and shows that they honor and respect the people on the “front lines” of this pandemic. Speaking of the Pandemic they do require you to wear a mask when indoors and to practice social distancing while in the zoo itself. There are not many indoor places that you have to worry about. You have the two gift shops and the cave for your indoor mask wearing.

As for the social distancing part. That’s pretty easy because this place is pretty big. It’s so big that they offer golf cart rentals.

golf carts at Kentucky Down Under

Now we didn’t rent a golf cart. My daughter and I are both walkers so we left them for families with young kids or folks who can’t get around as well. If you do plan on renting a golf cart I would get there early. They do run out of them quickly.

One other thing to note is that your walk up to the main area (right by the cave) is a slight uphill walk. It is nothing to bad but you will be walking uphill. If you have trouble with that you might want to rent a golf cart.

Mammoth Onyx Cave

Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

I forget the exact number of caves in the area but it is many. I also believe they said that this area in Kentucky has the most caves in it in the entire United States. You will see signs for cave tours everywhere you look.

Now Mammoth Onyx Cave isn’t the biggest cave there is. I know with a name like Mammoth you would think it would be huge. It’s a nice size however.

It takes about 30 minutes to go through the guided tour. Now when I visited the guide needed a volunteer to close the door to the cave when everyone got in. I volunteered to be that person. I wanted to make sure I kept my distance from other people and I didn’t want to hold people up as I took some photos.

Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

Now like I said this cave isn’t huge but it has everything you would expect to see in a cave. This even includes a moonshine still. Apparently back in the day in Kentucky the moonshiners would make their whiskey in caves. It helped prevent the cops from finding their stills.

Other than the moonshine still you will also see your typical cave formations like stalagmites and stalactites. You will also get to walk past an icy cold cave lake or pond. I’m going to call it a pond.

pond in Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

Some areas you might get dripped on if it rained recently. Some areas are a little tight to get through. But all areas are nicely lite.

While it’s not the brightest light in the world it is good enough to see. No need for a flashlight here. If you have young children or you yourself is scared of the dark. Fear not! At no point was it too dark.

stairs in Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

There are however, many and I mean many steps to walk up and down. Overall, it wasn’t bad at all. The guide stopped a couple of times to give some history of Mammoth Onyx Cave. Point out different formations and to remind people not to touch the cave walls.

At one point he even stopped to answer any question the group might of had. On of the common questions the guide said he is asked is how the water taste. If I remember correctly he said it wasn’t bad but about five minutes later he was in the bathroom. Soooooo….. yeah don’t try the water unless you want to clean out your system.

Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

So while it’s not the biggest cave in the world. It was still a fun experience and a perfect place to take kids for their first tour of a cave. Just remember that currently mask ARE required when you are in the cave since social distancing at times can be a challenge.

Mammoth Onyx Cave at Kentucky Down Under

Feeding Kangaroos

While the cave is a good time the main draw at Kentucky Down Under is the petting and feeding of kangaroos. I remember petting a kangaroo at Busch Gardens Tampa but I don’t ever think I’ve been able to feed one if we did we weren’t so close to them. At Busch Gardens I remember the kangaroos being behind a fence.

feeding kangaroos at Kentucky Down Under

At Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo you are walking around with them. You can get so close to them and take a selfie. Most of them will just hop on over to you. Let me tell you watching them hop towards you is a WOW moment. At least for me it was.

The Kangaroos were so cute too. They would come over and eat the food out of your hand. Some of them would even grab your hand while they were eating. My daughter and I thought that was pretty cool and we think you will too.

hand feeding kangaroos at Kentucky Down Under

Now you do have to pay for the food but you can also enter without buying any food. They sell three different size cups. They are $1, $5, and $10. We ended up with the $10 cup which lasted us about 30 minutes.

It could have been longer or shorter. It all depends on how you want to spend your time inside. My daughter loved it in there and was so happy to see a Joey in the pouch of it’s mother.

Feeding a kangaroo with a joey in it's pouch at Kentucky Down Under

I must say seeing the baby was pretty cute. At times he was hiding so good. Other times you would only see his two paws. Than of course, there were times when you thought he would fall out.

This area also had at least two emus and one turtle. The emus were practicing social distancing from the kangaroos so you had to walk over to them. Let me just say they are some weird looking animals.

Even though I found them to be a little weird we went to feed them anyway. My daughter didn’t really care for the way they would grab from from here hand. The kangaroos were gentle.

feeding an emu at Kentucky Down Under

The emus would peck. It did feel a little weird but I never worried that it would hurt. It was just an odd feeling. Plus one of the experiences the two of us will remember for years to come.

Feeding kangaroos at Kentucky Down Under

Land of Lorries

Much to my surprise the Land of Lorries had to be my favorite part. Petting and feeding kangaroos was an amazing experience. Having birds just fly right to you and land was something else.

I could’ve spent a lot of time in there and spent a lot of money too. They sell some kind of sugar water I think for $1 a cup. If you don’t have one there is a good chance the birds won’t come to you.

There was one bird that would hang out right above the door and wait for people to come in. If they didn’t have a cup in their hand he wouldn’t move. However, if they did he was usually the first one to it.

guy with lorries sitting on shoulder at Kentucky Down Under

When I came out he was the first one to land on my hand. I must of had 5 or 6 of them on me at one time. Two on my hand. At least two on my shoulder and one on my head.

I was such a great time that I wanted to do it again. My daughter was a little freaked out at first when they landed on her. Their claws can be a little sharp but it didn’t break through our skin. It’s just an odd feeling we weren’t expecting but a great one.

If you are visiting Kentucky Down Under make sure you visit the Land of Lorries. It’s right in the middle of the zoo and not too far from the kangaroos. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this.

Bird Garden

Parrot on fence at Kentucky Down Under
Say something and I will talk to you

In the Bird Garden at Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo you will find Birds of Prey and Tropical Birds. Just remember to keep your fingers away from the cage or the birds might try and get a taste.

There had to be about a dozen birds in this area. You will see many different species like hawks, parrots, and my personal favorite the Laughing Kookaburra.

Laughing Kookaburra sitting on a branch at Kentucky Down Under

I don’t know what it is about this bird but I find them to be amazing. Anytime I have come across these birds they are sitting so still. Almost like they are a stuffed animal and not alive. Plus they are really beautiful birds.

The Bird Garden is another area that should not be missed. The birds were very active the day we visited. One of the birds of prey was in the middle of eating lunch. It looked to be a mouse.

The parrots were actively “talking” and squeaking. While the hawk was just standing watch. Like the other places at Kentucky Down Under do yourself a favor and spend a couple minutes in each area. You never know what you will encounter.

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo was one of the highlights on my recent Coronavirus Road Trip. It was a fun place to visit that had plenty to see and do. From the wonderful Mammoth Onyx Cave to the feeding of Lorries, Emus, and Kangaroos. We couldn’t have asked for a better time. The history of Kentucky Down Under is pretty amazing too. Check it out on there website that we linked to it HERE.

Have you ever visited Kentucky Down Under? Let us know in the comments below.

Planning a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park? If you so make sure you put Kentucky Down Under on your list of places to visit in the area. You won’t be disappointed. This place is not only good for kids it’s great for adults too. So grab your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife and take a trip.

Be sure to check out our day by day Pandemic Road Trip we recently took. It was five days, eight states, and over 2,000 miles of travel. Make sure you are following us on our different social media accounts to see when everything gets posted. We are also planning on doing a Covid-19 road trip guide. Thanks for reading!

As always, please remember to follow us on our different social media accounts. It helps you so you know when our next post goes live. You never know what the next guide might be about. Don’t forget to follow our travel board on Pinterest for all your travel needs.

Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo Horse Cave, Kentucky


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