The state of Queensland is a very popular tourist destination in Australia for many reasons. Known for its pristine beaches and bustling city centres, there is are also many theme parks, zoos and animal parks located within the state. These places make for a fantastic day out for families and backpackers alike.
Australia Zoo is known as ‘home of the Crocodile Hunter’, which was a popular wildlife documentary series created by the late Steve Irwin. Located in Beerwah on the Gold Coast, the zoo is approximately 100 hectares, making it one of the largest in Australia. Due to its size, there has been a mini bus service implanted within the zoo to reduce lengthy walks.
One of the most popular features at the zoo is the crocodiles. There are talks, shows and feeds daily. As well as the crocodile exhibit, Australia Zoo has one of the largest wildlife collections in Australia. Not only does it feature lots of native Australian wildlife but also exotic species such as cheetahs, elephants, red panda and tigers. The zoo has a strong focus on animal conservation and educating children.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Gold Coast suburb of Currumbin, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its daily feeding of huge flocks of free-flying wild rainbow lorikeets. Visitors can buy trays of bird feed and be surrounded by the lorikeets, along with several other types of birds, while they feed enthusiastically. The Wildlife Sanctuary also has the largest walk through aviary in the southern hemisphere.
There are many other animal exhibits at the sanctuary, including dingoes, Tasmanian devils, crocodiles and a reptile house. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has a special focus on Australian native species. There are also behind the scenes features, such as a veterinary clinic and rehabilitation hospital.
Underwater World is located at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. It is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, aquarium and wildlife sanctuary. Attractions include seal shows, other shows, stingray reef talks, shark guided tours and dugong shows. Another feature is the crawly creature exhibit, an interactive journey from land to deep sea, featuring a variety of crab species.
Similar to Sea World, and other ocean themed parks, there is a large aquarium, with a moving walkway. Here visitors can experience the aquarium overhead and side to side. There are also various hands on marine displays. Underwater World also acts as a rehabilitation centre for turtles, dugongs, dolphins and seals.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a perfect option for visitors on a holiday in Brisbane who do not have the time or means to travel to the Gold or Sunshine Coast. Located in the Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket, it is the world’s oldest and largest Koala Sanctuary. It is extremely popular amongst tourists because it is one of the few sanctuaries where visitors are allowed to hold koalas.
The wildlife park includes various Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas and various reptiles. Along with being able to hold koalas, visitors can also pet and feed kangaroos in an open area kangaroo reserve. There are also a wide range of birds, such as kookaburras, emus and cockatoos.
Alma Park Zoo
Alma Park Zoo is located north of Brisbane in Dakabin. Compared to some of the other zoos and sanctuaries, Alma Park Zoo is a relatively small park. However it is filled with native Australian wildlife, interspersed with some exotic international species. It is most known for its landscaped gardens, shady lawns and rainforest-like walking areas.
Tickets to any of the above zoos, animal parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be purchased in advance or on the day. There are many other activities to do in Queensland, such as various adventure theme parks.