One of Little G’s wishes over the holidays was to do a visit to Australia Zoo. Located 60 minutes north of Brisbane, Australia Zoo is normally a place we visit when we have overseas relatives here. A great place for them to have one on one contact with the ‘must-do’ Australian animals Kangaroo’s and Koala’s.
But this time it was just us…..Road Trip….I think I know every word to the Disney Decedents sound track now. Between you and I love these moments.
We arrived at 10am (the zoo opens at 9am) and we didn’t have to wait long to purchase our tickets. You can pre-purchase online which I think would be beneficial if you are planning to be there at 9am when the queues are longer.
We were handed a map as we walked through the entrance and off we went. Within only a few short metres we were greeted by Roving Wildlife Team member holding birds, snakes and koalas that we could go up, touch, ask questions about and have a photo with. I have to say this is one of the great things about this zoo, throughout the day animals are brought out at various locations around the zoo and you are able to have close encounters with them. Little G’s favourite was the wombat.
The map outlines a scheduled of talks and shows along the away, but this time we mapped out our own day, catching the odd talk here and there. Stopping at the various play areas for kids and spending time with the animals that we really wanted to see. It was actually really nice doing it this way. I will note that Australia Zoo also offers a plan your day on their website so you can create your own itinerary beforehand if you want to be super organised.
If you haven’t been before the zoo is spread out…a lot! Big tip..wear comfy shoes. Given we have been before we knew the zoo’s layout and decided that we would head out to the Africa area which is on the far side of the property. Knowing we had a day of walking ahead we decided to save our feet and catch the Safari Shuttle (this leaves from various spots around the zoo), from there we walked back through the zoo. I am so pleased we did it this way as we happened choose one of the hottest days of the year to go, and Africa is where they have limited shaded areas so good to get in before the middle of the day.
We explored Bindi’s Island, saw creatures great and small and even did a camel ride. I will admit I was the only adult on it, and whilst I felt silly at first as the other mums and dads sat in the wings, I soon realised that Little G loved that I was on with her and we laughed so much. The zoo does offer animal encounters such as the Camels, Koalas, Zebra, Giraffes, Wombats and Rhinos to name a few at an extra cost.
The highlight of the day was seeing the Irwin family. Bindi graced the stage with her dance troop performing for about 20 minutes. Bindi is so endearing and passionate about wildlife and the environments. She had the kids captured as she dance, sang and shared stories on stage. I will admit I shed a few tears as she sang a song about her dad and video footage played of the two them together. I love the way Steve is not forgotten and still very much a part of the zoo.
Not long after her performance Terry, Bindi and Robert joined their amazing team for the Crocoseum show. The show hasn’t changed much over the years but this is the first time I have seen it with the Irwin family since Steve’s passing. They are truly amazing, hands on, funny, loving and passionate people. I loved how personable they are, the way they interact with their team you can tell they are more of a family to them.
There were a few disappointments along the way, unfortunately there are no elephants which we fondly remember feeding at our last visit. Good news though we were advised by a Wildlife Team member they are in the process of acquiring some more which will be fantastic. The other was the pony ride. It feel like it has been closed forever (it’s been 6 months since we last went and it was closed then). You could see so many kids getting excited only to see their hearts sink when they read the sign that it was closed.
This aside, there was plenty to see and do and we really did have a fantastic day.
It did get me thinking. Why is it we only venture to these places when we have guests from overseas or we are guests ourselves? We highly recommend getting out and about exploring and supporting your local tourist attractions.
We do recommend a few things that if you are going to visit the zoo:
- Tickets (if you have pre-purchased)
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
- Rain poncho (just in case)
- Snacks/food (the zoo does have various food outlets but you are welcome to bring you own and have a picnic there)
- Camera (to capture all those special moments)
- Watch so you can keep an eye on the time to ensure you don’t miss the shows you really want to see
Child: $35.00 (3-14 year old)
Family 4: $172.00 (2 adult + 2 child)
Family 5: $189.00 (2 adult + 3 child)
They also offer student and pensioner rates as well as 2 day passes and annual passes.
You can learn more about the zoo at http://www.australiazoo.com.au/