150623 ♡ Australia Zoo (warning: image heavy)

Australia Zoo
1638 Steve Irwin Way
Beerwah, QLD 4519
  • Admission Prices: $35 – $48 (RACQ members get a 10% discount if you book directly through their website, which includes admission to the Animal hospital (which would otherwise cost $2pp), as well as 10% off on all retail outlets throughout the park – excludes food.)
  • Open from: 9:00AM – 5:00PM
As a celebration of the end of exams – and technically the end of my 4.5 years of university – we took a 1.5 hour car trip up to the Sunshine Coast, past the Glasshouse Mountains to Australia Zoo, the home of the late crocodile hunter.
The weather wasn’t looking too promising in the morning, with there being a bit of rain/light showers along the way and the sky being pretty cloudy the whole way to the zoo. But luckily, the only time it slightly rained was when we were at the Crocoseum watching the midday show, where we were able to move towards the seats in the back that were undercover.
This was also the first time I took my Sony a6000 outside for a trip (w/ 55-215mm lens) and I’m pretty happy with how that went! All animal photos were taken with that camera, whilst scenery/basically non-animal photos were taken with the old trusty dsc-hx9v.
Like most other zoos, Australia Zoo is split up into several ‘areas’:
  1. Roo Heaven: Kangaroos, Wallabies, Echidnas
  2. Wetlands: Brolgas, Emus, Jabirus, Wetland Birds
  3. Africa: Southern White Rhinoceros, Zebras, Giraffes
  4. South East Asia: Tigers, Camels, Red Pandas
  5. Bindi’s Island: Tortoises, Macaw, Boa Constrictor, Alligator Snapping Turtle, and Lemurs that run freely around the island
Other animals not listed in those categories include: lizards, crocodiles, Tasmanian Devils, Cassowaries, Otters, Wombats, Birds of Prey, Snakes.

Food Options

There’s one main food court which provides a lot of food options (breaskfast & burgers, sushi, Italian and Chinese, sandwiches, and a Peters ice-cream parlour) and plenty of seating.
Bringing your own food is definitely a more economical option, which is what we opted to do. Meals started from $15+ and ranged to around $30.

The Shows

There are technically 8 “shows” on at the zoo, but that includes feeding times and Q&A sessions. So if you’re counting “real/actual sit down and watch a show” kind of shows, there’s really only 2. The main event which all staff emphasized we should not miss, the “Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Show” that is held at the Crocoseum at noon.

The wildlife show features several birds (word of warning to those who are terrified of flying birds, you might want to stay seated and duck calmly during this portion of the show…), a few crowd interactions with prizes up on offer, and of course, what Australia Zoo is famous for – their crocs.

The shows were very polished, and had little room for error. All the trainers sounded like they loved their jobs and were passionate about the animals they were in charge of, which is always great. But I think what stood out to me about the shows at Australia Zoo were the trainers interactions with each other. Just with the few seconds of interactions during the show (during transitions and talk segments), you could tell that they were all very close and that they were (as cheesy as it sounds) pretty much like a tight knit family.

We were lucky enough to be the first crowd (or so they say) to see one of the birds that would be making their debut, and they did another little crowd interaction that got the crowd laughing. (Won’t spoil it for you~)

Like I mentioned earlier, it did start to rain a bit whilst we were in the Crocoseum, but luckily the seats towards the back of the Crocoseum were undercover, so we were able to escape the rain.

Tip: For those who want to get a closer look at the birds, I would recommend you sit at the seats above the exit points, because the birds ‘rest’ on the railings above the exits, right in front of the seats!

The Animals

Being Australia Zoo, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the range of Australian animals they have in their care. They have the classics of course, with two walk-through kangaroo/wallaby areas, multiple koala exhibits (some that you can pat as well), wombats, echidnas (that were unfortunately all in hiding when we were there..), emus, and the non-typical Australian birds, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles.
Maybe it has something to do with animal welfare/safety?, but there are a lot less interactive areas compared to previous zoos that I’ve been to.
In the Africa section of the giraffe/rhino enclosure… not sure if this was inspired’ by Pride Rock or not 
After seeing these wombats, they have overtaken the koala as my favourite Australian animal. (They way they plod around actually remind me of corgies…)

Overall

Yay! 

  • Free Shuttle: Takes approximately 30 minutes to go one trip around the zoo – there isn’t that much to see whilst on the actual train though (an occasional glimpse of a kangaroo, maybe?), you literally just use it to go from one side of the zoo to the other.
  • Very kid-friendly: an obvious one, since the zoo is targeted at a younger audience range, but the zoo is scattered with playgrounds/grassy areas and even a Kid’s Zoo which features farm animals.
  • Variety of food: apart from the food court that already has a variety of food on offer, there’s also a fresh fruit/drinks stall and another diner in the park. (With that being said, I honestly would recommend packing your own food if you have time/can be bothered.)
  • Care of Animals: Despite the day being quite a dreary one weather wise, most of the animals were very active (the koalas in particular). All exhibits were spotless, and tailored to each animal, (which is what you’d expect from a world class zoo – but still!).
  • Spacious, Clean Seating Areas: There were plenty of seats despite us having lunch right after the Croc show (at 12:00PM) – when everyone was having lunch. The area was spotless, and we witnessed staff cleaning the areas twice throughout the day.
  • Greenage/Plants/Forestry?: Despite the (necessary) concrete roads that were put into the park, the zoo is covered in grassy areas perfect for picnics, and trees (although unkept)

Hmm…

  • Lack of Signage: in specific, signage/information on animal conservation. There weren’t any signage at all in toilets/food areas telling people to conserve water/food, which I was honestly surprised at.
  • Hygiene: With two walk-through areas of wallabies and kangaroos, patrons are able to purchase (decent) bags of feed (pellets + dried corn) to hand feed the wallabies. Problem is that you have to make your way out of the area and find the closes toilet to wash your hands.
  • Transport: They provide several options to get to the zoo on their website, but realistically, the easiest way to get there is by car, and it’s quite a drive.
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