After spending a relaxing day at Sufers Paradise on the first day, we headed to the Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary on Day Two in Gold Coast. We had initially planned to visit it on the first day as it was very close to the airport. But we were zoned out after we landed as we didn’t get much rest from our red eye flight so we postponed it to the next day. Turned out to be a good decision you’ll need to walk about a fair bit and we spent about hours there.
The Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary is one place that gives you the opportunity to get up close with some of Australia’s native wildlife, like kangaroos and koalas and that’s something that Sophie looked forward to.
While it’s ground were not as big as our Singapore Zoo, we learnt that the sanctuary operates on a not-for-profit basis where all it’s revenue is reinvested back into the park in conservation-based research, caring for sick and injured wildlife and public education. But you can rest assured that it’s anything but run down and most of the animals looked like they were well taken care of by the keepers and volunteers.
We arrived there early at 9:30am and were greeted by the sleepy koalas who were on the tree branches. Sophie was so afraid of waking them that she made us speak in hushed voices. Here at the koala enclosure, you can carry and have your photo taken with them. The only problem is finding one that’s awake as koala sleep between 16-20 hours a day. What a good life!
Do you know that because of the koalas diet on eucalyptus leaves their fur gives off a very scent that smells like cough drops?
We walked on to catch one of the performances, Dr Doolots and the Creature Teachers. While it was a silly show for young kids, it was educational as the host shared interesting facts about the animals in the form of “interviews” with the animals.
Kids were asked to participate and answer questions on stage while doing a funny walk which had the kids in stitches, while the adults were rolling our eyes with the host’s lame jokes. After the show, there was also a photo opportunity with the possum.
The other wildlife performance, the Birds of Prey show was one of the other spectacular show where they introduced different breed of birds from eagles, owls, pelicans, parrots, macaws and so many more.
We also got very close to the wedged -tailed eagle when it swooped just above our heads as it glided from the front of the stage to the back.
Within the sanctuary, there is also an onsite wildlife hospital which was started by it’s founder Alex Griffiths 63 years ago. Wild animals get sent here for treatment where they receive veterinary care from the staff and they are one of the busiest Wildlife Hospitals in the world!
We heard from one of the keepers that a koala got sent here after it was knocked down by a car and have since recovered was released back to the wild.
The paths around the sanctuary are generally flat making it easily accessible for prams and even wheelchairs, so it’s a very family friendly attraction for both young and old. Along the way, we spotted the Tasmanian Devil and the Enchidna.
Caught another performance and this was where they showed how sheep searing is done. These two guys were actually keepers but they did a good job a the show where they humoured the crowd and even spoke in Mandarin and had the Chinese tourists cheering and laughing.
For families with young kids, you’ll definitely want to watch the train ride round the park that’s included in admission. We took it the cafe where we had our lunch which was next to the outdoor playground and then later into the kangaroo enclosure.
The sight that would delight all kids – the outdoor playground.
The last stop for the day was inside the kangaroo enclosure where there is a a large walk through paddock where the kangaroos lazed around. We were told that most kangaroos are most active before sunrise and sunset, that why they appeared so sluggish and were just lazing around lazily.
In fact, all of them appeared too well fed and were not keen to have their afternoon nap disturbed by the annoying tourists. Occasionally, we’ll see a few of them hopping about and the kids will go wild trying to run behind them.
Initially Sophie was very hesitant to feed the kangaroos but turned out she was much braver than me who dropped the pellets and even flung it to them at one point when they came nearer to me! Alexis held Sophie’s hand and inched her hand near to the kangaroos and soon after she got used to the “ticklish” feeling she was more gungho.
Besides the kangaroos we also spotted a cousin of theirs, the wallabies, in an enclosed enclosure. Being smaller creatures, the volunteers told us that they tend to get “bullied” by the bigger kangaroos and would have to fight with them for food. These little guys do look smaller and a lot tamer than the kangaroos.
We spent more than an hour here inside with the kangaroos and Sophie was more than happy with her new found friends. There were many volunteers on the grounds who can help to snap photographs for you or even answer questions about these marsupials.
To view the park grounds, here’s the link to their website and the park brochure. If you do plan a visit, do make sure you arrive early as the lorikeet feeding session a signature of the sanctuary. However, if you do miss the morning session, there is one in the evening just before the sanctuary closes.
Do set aside half a day of visit and wear comfortable walking shoes. As usual, do bring along mozzie repellent, hats, shades and wipes and a a sense of adventure!
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
28 Tomewin Street
More of our Gold Coast adventures