Australia Zoo is a beautifully laid out and well planned spacious open concept animal sanctuary. It's much more than just another zoo because their vision is for conservation and animal rescue.
A great part of their mission is to protect endangered species by educating people in an entertaining way through animal shows. There are daily shows including getting up close and personal with crocs at the 5000 seat Animal Planet Crocoseum.
Although there isn't a great variety of animals the quality of the enclosures and the care for the animals is second to none.
Steve (dec) and Terri Irwin live the lives of Wildlife Warriors and if I ever become an endangered species I want to live at Australia Zoo. When I visited Australia Zoo it was about a month after Steve's untimely death and tributes were still pouring in.
Admission prices -
Child (3-14) $29.00
Child under 3 Free
Family - 2 Adults, 3 Children
(Gate offer only, exclusive to Australia Zoo)
Australia Zoo is situated on the Glasshouse Mountains Tourist Drive near Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast and it is approximately a 60 min drive from Brisbane via the Bruce Highway.
On the way up to O'Reilly's Guesthouse, there was a little cafe and Alpaca farm that we stopped in at. There some beautiful views as we sipped our drinks and enjoyed the crazy alpacas doing Alpaca things.
Then, out of nowhere, a cardboard alpaca jumped out and required Sarah to take a picture with it... I really think this was gross commercialization, and that this alpaca was being forced into these pictures, but it did not seem like there were any other humans forcing this alpaca to do such things.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has over 27 hectares of landscaped surrounds and bushland which is home to over 1400 mammals, birds and reptiles.
You can see native animals close up in their natural surrounds and feed the many brightly coloured wild lorikeets either during the morning or late afternoon feedings. A perfect place to also have a cuddle with a koala and have your photo taken. 27 km from Surfers Paradise.
Located on the Gold Coast Hwy.
At the Lone Pine Sanctuary....
So, what's so special about this place, you wonder. Well, for a start, a large part of the Sanctuary's appeal is the opportunity to walk amongst several species of Kangaroos, Wallabies and handfeed them (like what I'm doing in the pic below). These cute animals are extremely friendly and very used to humans and will eat the specially prepared pellets right from the palm of your hand. You must buy these pellets sold inside the park.... and never feed them with one of your left-over food! Specially formulated kangaroo food is available for purchase from the Sanctuary Kiosk at a cost of 50 Australian cents (approx. 30 US cents).
Your reward? Don't miss the look of glee written in the faces of these young Joeys in the pouch!
Some of the animals found inside the Sanctuary include the Dingos, Tasmanian Devils (er... I don't mean the cartoon variety)... and many species of native animals and birds, including the comical Scrub Turkeys.
Now that I've enticed you a little... You can choose from several tour companies that offer such day trips to the Sanctuary. Please check directly with your hotel Concierge.
For a memorable not-to-be-missed opportunity to view Australian wild life in their natural habitat, go visit the LONE PINE SANCTUARY.... in Brisbane. Don't panic.... yet. Brisbane is really not that far away from the Gold Coast. A shuttle bus ride can solve all your problems. Alternatively, you can hire a car.
Well, let me just share what little I know about this lovely sanctuary. Located at Fig Tree Pocket in a bush land area of approximately 60 acres, the Lone Pine Sanctuary boasts of the largest population of captive bred Koalas (130... if I heard correctly) in Australia. Through the work of the sanctuary, much has been accomplished for the Koalas in Brisbane and the greater Queensland area, including bans on hunting and extensive research into the feeding, mating and breeding aspects of the Queensland Koala population. You see, I'm a Koala lover in real life. :-)
For a small sum of A$13.00, visitors can have their photograph taken, holding a Koala in their arms. An extra A$8.80 gives the visitor an email disk with photos stored in gif or jpg format. Alternately, a short film in mpeg format is available. Don't worry, nobody laughed at my best friend and I when we did all of the above! :-)
Here's their official website: LONE PINE SANCTUARY (Brisbane)