Located in South East Queensland, Sunshine Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle. But it’s also home to several tourist attractions such as The Big Pineapple, Aussie World, Sea Life and the world famous Australia Zoo.
The Australia Zoo was made famous by Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) and his saltwater crocs being the main attraction. What is less known is the zoo’s strong conservation focus and role in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Steve alongside his wife, Terri established a non-profit organization designed to support the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife. They also opened the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital which is now Australia’s largest wildlife hospital and has treated over 70,000 sick, injured and orphaned wildlife since opening.
The zoo is managed by the Irwin family, and it always has been. The Australia Zoo has expanded over the years and is now spread over 105 acres, and is home to over 1,200 animals from Aussie crocodiles, Tasmanian devils, wombats and dingoes, to dinosaur-like cassowaries, Komodo dragons, otters, lemurs and their newly migrated meerkats. Australia Zoo is also home to safari animals like Asian elephants and Sumatran tigers. The zoo can accommodate ten thousand people on any given day!
Parking for the zoo was fairly easy as there are many car parks side by side. Inside the zoo the first thing we noticed is how open and relaxed it feels. It was not busy at all and all over the place were zoo keepers holding a variety of animals for us to touch and talk about. Lizards are roaming freely around the park waiting for people to drop food or venturing off into other areas with animals to steal food. Upon entry we were handed a map with a daily schedule. There were many animals, experiences, and shows so it was hard to know where to begin.
Our favorite part of the day was meeting some of beautiful animals up close. Koalas are a big attraction here in Australia. At the Australia Zoo you can get up close and personal with the Koalas and are able to pet them or observe them in one of several koala areas. Their diet consists of Eucalyptus leaves and when they are not eating, they are sleeping up to 22 hours a day. What a life!
Another highlight of our trip to the Australian Zoo was the expansive Kangaroo enclosure. We were able to get up close and personal with four varieties of Kangaroos and Wallabies. They are all super friendly and love being given attention.
The event we couldn’t miss was the Crocoseum Show. It was quite an experience seeing the zoo keepers bait the saltwater crocodiles by holding a chicken and having them chase their lunch.
Following the visit to the zoo we enjoyed a nice evening dinner on Lake Kawana. It was a peaceful little getaway where we could unwind and enjoy the quiet evening.