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Exploring the Wild Side of Australia: A Journey Through Iconic Wildlife Sanctuaries

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Australia, often called the Land Down Under, is a continent brimming with unique wildlife found nowhere else on Earth. From cuddly koalas to colourful parrots, and from the awe-inspiring crocodiles to the mysterious kangaroos, Australia is a wildlife enthusiast's paradise. During my adventure in 2022 to this enchanting land, I embarked on a thrilling journey to some of the most iconic wildlife sanctuaries, including Australia Zoo, Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld Kuranda, and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.


Join me as I recount my unforgettable encounters with Australia's magnificent creatures.


Kuranda Koala Gardens: Embracing the Cuteness of Koalas

A short journey from Cairns, Kuranda Koala Gardens is a small, yet delightful sanctuary dedicated to preserving the iconic Australian koala. I visited here on my day trip to Kuranda when I jumped on the SkyRail towards the hidden village in the rainforest!


The encounter with a koala was an unforgettable moment. It was the first time I properly got to see a koala up close. The knowledgeable staff shared insights into the koalas' lives and the conservation efforts in place to protect them and their habitat.

The Koala Gardens were full of plenty of other animals, so you can definitely spend a couple of hours wondering around and within my ticket I had entrance to Birdworld, where I visited after.




Birdworld Kuranda: A Symphony of Feathers and Colours

Parrot at Bird World in Kuranda

Just a stone's throw away from Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld Kuranda is a haven for bird enthusiasts. Walking into this lush aviary felt like stepping into a tropical paradise filled with the sounds of chirping, squawking, and melodic bird calls.


Here, I encountered an array of colorful, exotic birds, including lorikeets, cockatoos, and parrots. The highlight was the chance to hand-feed these vibrant creatures, their plumage as vibrant as the rainforest surrounding us. It was a great experience and one I definitely recommend.



Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: A Koala Cuddle and More

Koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

After picking up my van in Brisbane, I decided to head to Lone Pine before continuing my journey to Noosa. My next stop... Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.


The world's first and largest koala sanctuary, nestled on the banks of the picturesque Brisbane River. As the sun dipped below the horizon, I arrived at this sanctuary with high expectations, and I was not disappointed.

At Lone Pine, I had the opportunity to not only get up and close with the koalas but also witness an array of Australian wildlife, from wombats to Tasmanian devils. The sanctuary's dedication to koala conservation was evident, and I learned about the critical role they play in protecting these iconic marsupials from their keepers who wonder around during the day.



Australia Zoo: The Kingdom of Crocodiles and More

My wildlife adventure ended at Australia Zoo on the day I was flying back to the UK. Driving back to Brisbane to end my road trip I knew I couldn't not visit the most iconic zoo on the planet!


Australia Zoo is situated on the stunning Sunshine Coast of Queensland. This conservation haven, founded by the legendary Steve Irwin, is not only a tribute to his legacy but also a paradise for animal lovers. As I wandered through the park, I couldn't help but marvel at the sheer size and power of the resident saltwater crocodiles. The Crocoseum, a vast open-air amphitheater, offered a heart-pounding show where skilled handlers demonstrated the incredible abilities of these ancient reptiles. The adrenaline rush was undeniable as these prehistoric giants leaped out of the water, their jaws snapping shut just inches away.


Australia Zoo doesn't stop at crocs. The park is home to a diverse range of animals, from adorable wombats to majestic tigers. But the highlight for me was getting up close and personal with kangaroos and wallabies, hand-feeding them and learning about their fascinating behaviors from knowledgeable keepers.


Purchase your Australia Zoo ticket here with bonus Wildlife Hospital entry too!



Australia, with its incredible biodiversity and dedication to wildlife conservation, offers a remarkable opportunity to connect with nature in a unique way. Visiting Australia Zoo, Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld Kuranda, and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary allowed me to forge unforgettable connections with some of the world's most iconic animals.


If you're planning a trip to Australia, make sure to include these wildlife sanctuaries on your itinerary. Not only will you be supporting critical conservation efforts, but you'll also create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Australia truly is a wild wonderland waiting to be explored, and I can't wait to return for another adventure with its incredible creatures.


Where will you be visiting on your trip to Australia?


Within the blog I've highlighted my tickets - all purchased either through Get Your Guide or ExperienceOz.

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