Go Wild in Queensland: Top 10 Animal Adventures

10 January, 2018
  1. As much as you can bear

Go on. Admit it. It's on your bucket list. Who wouldn't want to cuddle a cute koala? Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary and across Queensland there's plenty of places to cuddle our favourite eucalyptus-eater. Here's some:

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane www.koala.net

Wildlife Habitat, Tropical North Queensland www.wildlifehabitat.com.au

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary www.currumbinsanctuary.com.au   

Paradise Country, Gold Coast www.paradisecountry.com.au

Dreamworld, Gold Coast www.dreamworld.com.au

Cairns Tropical Zoo, Tropical North Queensland www.cairnstropicalzoo.com.au

Hamilton Island, Whitsundays www.hamiltonisland.com.au/nature-and-wildlife/wildlife-hamilton-island

  1. Hand feed a wild dolphin 

At Tangalooma Island resort, just off Brisbane on Moreton Island, you wade shin deep into the water just after sunset, and wait for the wild dolphins to swim in. Holding a fish, you can hand-feed these cheeky creatures and be rewarded with a smile. At Sea World on the Gold Coast, slap on a swimsuit and you can even swim with a dolphin. www.tangalooma.com and www.seaworld.com.au

  1. Witness migrating whales 

They're the glorious giants of the ocean and every year, between July and November, humpback whales migrate from the Southern Ocean to Queensland's warmer waters to birth their young. Head to Hervey Bay, Australia's Whale Watching Capital, and see these massive mammals in action. Want to see a 45 tonne mammal do a somersault? It's pretty much an everyday event during the season. Better still, you can now swim with humpback whales in both Hervey Bay and on the Sunshine Coast www.whalesherveybay.com.au

  1. Shock a croc 

If you're not a little on edge around the world's oldest living dinosaurs then you are not alive. There's a whole heap of options to get up close to a crocodile in Queensland. But remember, never smile at a crocodile. Here's some of our favourites:

Go croc spotting on a Daintree River Cruise in Tropical North Queensland www.daintreerainforest.com

Take a croc cruise at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Tropical North Queensland www.crocodileadventures.com.au

Eat a croc at Rockhampton's Koorana Crocodile Farm in the Southern Great Barrier Reef www.koorana.com.au

Learn to love crocs at the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast www.australiazoo.com.au

Grab the fishing pole, put a drumstick on the end and have a croc-feeding encounter with Goliath, the 5 metre croc at Dreamworld http://www.dreamworld.com.au/things-to-do/corroboree/croc-feeding

Play Tarzan and ZOOM 13 metres above a real-life crocodile at the Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome www.cairnszoom.com.au

  1. Swim with a shark 

Feel like a dip with danger? Well, you won't be disappointed. At Sea Life Sunshine Coast or at Sea World on the Gold Coast, you have the option to immerse yourself in a tank packed with sharks, stingrays and tropical fish. If that's all a bit much, both theme parks also offer the chance to kiss a seal. More sedate, yes, but still a little fishy. Stepping away from tanks, the Great Barrier Reef offers many opportunities to dive or snorkel with friendly black and white tip reef sharks among others. For the more advanced divers, Wolf Rock off Rainbow Beach (3 hours north of Brisbane) is home to Grey Nurse Sharks all year round. www.underwaterworld.com.au and www.seaworld.com.au

  1. Tame a tiger

There's plenty of interesting animals at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast but it's on Tiger Island that you can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. 6 guests per day have the opportunity to feed a tiger and chat one-on-one with their handlers. www.dreamworld.com.au

  1. Be touched by a turtle 

Between November and January every year, turtles return to Mon Repos near Bundaberg to lay some 150 eggs, before resuming their ocean voyages. Then, between January and March, the baby turtles hatch, and make their dangerous journey to the ocean and life beyond. If you head here for either event, we guarantee you won't be disappointed. At Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island you can swim with these beautiful ocean creatures in their natural habitat. www.bundabergregion.info andwww.gladstoneregion.info

  1. Away with the birds 

It stands to reason that a place as naturally beautiful as Queensland would be an attractive place for birds. And it is. Boasting some 603 bird species there's plenty of opportunity for twitchers here. To learn more about our feathered friends and observe them up close, the Gold Coast and Tropical North Queensland are some of the top bird watching spots.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary www.cws.org.au

Wildlife Habitat www.wildlifehabitat.com.au

O'Reilly's Rainforest Guesthouse www.oreillys.com.au

Binna Burra Mountain Lodge www.binnaburralodge.com.au

Rose Gum Cottages www.rosegums.com.au

Jabiru Safari Lodge www.jabirusafarilodge.com.au

Lady Elliot Island www.ladyelliot.com.au

  1. Spot a platypus

They say never smile at a crocodile but what about a platypus? Despite being a national icon, they are rather shy creatures and not often seen. But there is one place where a viewing is almost guaranteed. Head down to Broken River within Eungella National Park at the back of Central Queensland's Mackay and with a spot of luck, you'll encounter these mysterious mammals. http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/eungella/

  1. After dark 

Who needs nightclubs when you've got so much nightlife? Yes, we mean Australia's native animals, many of whom are nocturnal. And no, you don't need to be a wildlife warrior to enjoy them. From Tropical North Queensland to the Gold Coast, there's plenty of tour companies ready, willing and waiting to show you Queensland's nightlife.

Cairns Night Zoo, Tropical North Queensland www.cairnsnightzoo.com

Twilight Safari, Tropical North Queensland www.mareebawetlands.com

Wildnight Adventure, Southern Great Barrier Reef www.capricorntourism.com.au

Worms Alight, Gold Coast www.tourgc.com.au