Brisbane is the chill & cool River City everybody loves. A modern playground of fantastic rooftop and riverside dining, legendary shows and events, famous theme parks, and world-class accommodations. Yet there is also so much more to discover… beyond the city, where nature and scenic beauty abound.
More and more visitors from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – the biggest Asian visitor markets to Brisbane – are discovering the fantastic world of wildlife parks, zoos and animal sanctuaries that await just outside the city. They’re getting up close and cuddly with loveable koalas, hand-feeding dolphins, riding camels, and walking with llamas. Take a look at the wide range of memorable experiences on offer, and it’s easy to see why.
A WORLD OF WILDLIFE WONDERS WAITING TO BE EXPLORED!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is both Brisbane’s favourite native animal sanctuary, and the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Here, in picturesque surroundings, you can get up close and personal with the resident population of over 100 koalas, hand-feed kangaroos without barriers and encounter other Australian wildlife like platypuses and owls.
Entry is cheaper purchased via the Brisbane Visitor Information Centre on 07 3006 6290. Open daily, 9am-5pm.
Daisy Hill Koala Centre
Located 25km south of Brisbane in the Daisy Hill Conservation Park, this koala education facility is a wonderful place to learn about koalas and their conservation. You can’t hold or touch the koalas, but can see them up close from viewing platforms and there is a daily koala keeper talk.
Entry is free. Open daily, 10am-4pm. Suitable for wheelchairs.
Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre
Just 12km from Brisbane CBD on the edge of the D’Aguilar National Park, this wildlife centre is home to native wildlife kept in exhibits mirroring their actual habitat. Take a glimpse inside the nocturnal house or walk through the subtropical aviary that replicates lush rainforests.
Entry is $7.70 adults/$3.70 children/$19.50 family pass. Open daily, 9am-4pm.
Birds of Prey, O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
At O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, at the Birds of Prey show you can see predators of the sky like owls and Wedge Tail Eagles in free flight performing amazing aerobatics. You’ll also have the chance to meet the stars of the show and get photos.
Show is $20 adults/$12 children/$55 family. Held on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 1pm-1:45pm.
Tangalooma Island Resort
A trip to Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island is a must for all animal lovers visiting Brisbane. Hand-feeding wild bottlenose dolphins is a highlight here. There are whale watching tours from June to October. Other activities include boat trips to the Tangalooma Shipwrecks, Desert Safari Cruise, Marine Discovery Cruise, and daily kookaburra and sea bird educational presentations by the Eco Rangers.
Day cruises include lunch and start from $89 adults/$49 children. Most overnight accommodation packages include a complimentary Wild Dolphin Feeding encounter.
FRIENDLY FARM ANIMALS AND FANTASTIC ZOOS
By far the biggest animal park in the Brisbane region, this 100-acre zoo is just an hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Owned by the famous Irwin family, Australia Zoo offers the chance to view many different species from crocodiles, wombats, and Tasman devils, to snakes, rhinos, tigers, red pandas and cheetahs.
Entry is $59.95 adults/$39.95 children/$182.95 family. The Brisbane Visitor Information Centre sells express tickets to help you skip the queues. Animal experiences cost extra. Open daily, 9am-5pm.
Summer Land Camels
At Australia’s largest wild camel training centre and dairy operation, you can feed and ride the camels, and learn about the anti-ageing and immune health benefits of camel milk. Camel skincare can be purchased from the farm shop, while delicious country fare can be enjoyed from the cafe, including camel milk gelato, and even a camel sausage roll or camel pie.
Prices start from $30 for varying camel experiences. Farm Tour & Taste starts from $25. Open daily, 9am-3pm.
Towri Sheep Cheeses
Say cheese! Sheep cheese, that is. Bus tours for groups of 30-plus people to the Towri Farm can be arranged on weekdays. This includes a milking demonstration, cheese platters, access to the French-style gardens and cuddle time with the sheep! Towri Sheep Cheeses is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month. For those who really love cheese, a cheese-making workshop can be arranged.
Group bus tours Monday-Friday are $35 per person. Bookings are essential. Open to the public on first Saturday of the month, 10am-2pm.
Lyell Deer Sanctuary
Lyell Deer Sanctuary at Mount Sansom is home to rescued deer, and here you can get close to these gentle creatures in a peaceful setting. You can cuddle them, sit with them and feed them.
Entry is $5 adults/$3 children. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Weekdays by appointment.
White Ridge Farm
White Ridge Farm offers a fun farm experience for all. There are llamas, alpacas, horses and other animals to see. You can feed the animals, and there’s an interactive bunny and guinea pig area, an adventure playground, and a picnic area.
Entry is $25 adults/$14 for children/$75 family and includes mini golf, animal food and hay ride. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-3pm.
Tommerup’s Dairy Farm
Tommerup’s Dairy Farm in Kerry Valley is a sixth-generation working dairy farm, where you can enjoy an authentic overnight farm stay and participate in daily activities, or simply kick back and relax.
If you don’t want to stay overnight, you can visit the farm open days held on specific dates.
Mountview Alpaca Farm
Within the grounds of Canungra Valley Vineyards, is Mountview Alpaca Farm. Here you can interact and walk with the alpacas, and even enjoy a picnic in the picturesque surroundings.
Open Monday to Friday, 9:30am-3:30pm and Saturday & Sunday, 9am-4pm.