Our review of Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo and why you should go

by | Last updated Sep 11, 2023

Have you ever wanted to pet a kangaroo? Little did most people know, there’s a kangaroo petting zoo in little ole’ Kentucky. Who would’ve thought?

If you’ve ever been traveling up and down interstate 65, you’ve probably seen the billboards advertising Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo. It’s a “zoo” that you don’t want to miss.

As Kentuckian residents, we’ve visited Kentucky Down Under a few different times. Each time we always say we’re never coming back, but we eventually do. It’s full of live animal exhibits, exotic wildlife, gem mining, a petting zoo and even an underground cave that you can tour.

If you are looking for something to do around Mammoth Cave and the Bowling Green or Horse Cave area, then check out Kentucky Down Under. Read more about our experience and visits below.

What is Kentucky Down Under?

Kentucky Down Under is a 75 acre park and adventure zoo that contains many live animal exhibits, an underground cave tour, gem mining and the opportunity to pet and feed a kangaroo. It was opened in 1990 as a tourist attraction by Bill and Judy Austin but has history dating back even further than that.

The park contains Mammoth Oynx Cave, which was founded in 1799 by a ten year old girl named Martha Woodson. The cave was available for tours in 1922 and has been a steady tourist attraction in the area for over 100 years.

The park is open daily rain or shine from 9am to 5pm central standard time zone only closing Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

How much does it cost to get in Kentucky Down Under?

The ticket price is a little steep for what it is, but it’s a tourist attraction off the major Interstate 65, so naturally it’s priced higher.

Adults (15+) are $25.95

Children (4-14) are $15.95

3 and under are free.

There are discounts for military, first responder, college students and AAA members. You can get in for around $20.

The price includes entrance to Kentucky Down Under as well as the Onyx Cave. There are additional fees if you’d like to buy feed for the kangaroos and other animals, but you can do that with cash inside of the park.

You can usually score a discounted ticket on Groupon so make sure to check that out before you get to the park.

Our experience at Kentucky Down Under

Like I said earlier, we live close to Kentucky Down Under and have made the drive over from Bowling Green on a few different occasions.

Kaci and I went on a quick trip before we were married. We then took the kids a couple years later. Then we took the kids and both sets of grandparents. I think Kaci has even been again with her nieces.

We’ve always had really good weather on our visits besides the fact that you might experience some levels of humidity in Kentucky, but we’re pretty used to it.

Kentucky Down Under is a very laid back zoo. There’s not many staff members around, but the ones that are available are willing to answer any questions and point you in the right direction. That’s the thing about us Kentuckians…we are the friendliest and down to earth folks and love to help out when needed.

When you first enter the property, you must walk through the visitor center and gift shop to purchase your tickets and get your map. I’d also recommend the golf cart rental if you have elderly or small kids. There is a big hill you must walk up to get to all the animals and attractions.

The first exhibit you come to are the reptiles and all the live animal exhibits. There are owls, talking parrots, reptiles, peacocks and even a large wolf. If you keep walking, you get to the bird exhibit where you can enter and let the lorikeets feed off your hands. They will fly all over you and even land on your head. It’s a pretty funny experience and the kids (and adults) get a kick out of it.

Keep on walking down the hill and you come to the concessions, petting zoo and the star of the show….the kangaroos. Kentucky Down Under is one of the few places you can pet a kangaroo in the state of Kentucky.

In order to walk in and pet and feed the kangaroos, you must walk through the gate and get the rules from one of the staff members. There’s a small sidewalk into the fenced in area, but it stops quickly and you start walking right on the dirt and grass.

The Mammoth Onyx Cave is also onsite and we went on the cave tour on one of our visits. However, I did not snap but one photo while I was down there.

The cave tour is only accessible with a guide at specified times. It’s a large underground cave that can be dangerous, damp and very dark. You must watch your kids and your step if you go on this cave tour. But it is very interesting to learn the history of this cave discovered by 1799 by a 10 year old girl.

A few insider tips we recommend: Rent a golf cart, bring plenty of water, and bring cash and dollar bills for animal feed.


Kentucky Down Under is a must visit attraction near Mammoth Cave and a short drive North from Bowling Green. If you’re already in the area visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, then take the short 10 minute drive to Kentucky Down Under.

It’s always a good time when I visit Kentucky Down Under. The kids love it, especially the petting zoo and seeing the kangaroos up close and personal. The park is stroller friendly and has paved paths to the main attractions and it takes about 2-3 hours to see everything.

You can visit the official site for more information.

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1 Comment

  1. Kate

    Kentucky down under is a humorous place, definitely a Kentucky sideshow attraction


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Trey Copeland

Trey Copeland

Founder & Editor

Hello folks! I’m Trey Copeland, founder and editor of Stay Bluegrass, along with my wife Kaci. We’ve been fortunate to travel to many countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica, but our true roots remain here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.

Our goal is to help you live like a local while traveling and exploring the great state of Kentucky. We want to help you find the best places to eat, the must see and do attractions and more.

Hey! I'm Trey

Hey! I'm Trey

I live in Owensboro, Kentucky and have traveled around the Bluegrass state with my wife Kaci.

Read more about us

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