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Published September 18th 2016
The ultimate wildlife sanctuary on the Sunshine Coast
Step through a shipwreck into a tropical paradise. This lush island boasts a giant three-storey treehouse, lemurs, tortoises, macaws and boa constrictors.
Fulfilling one of Steve Irwin's dreams, Bindi's Island opened at Australia Zoo in December 2014. 16 year old, Bindi Irwin is a passionate wildlife conservationist, following in the footsteps of her parents, Steve and Terri Irwin. Bindi has appeared on a number of television shows including 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', 'Oprah' and most recently, the American 'Dancing with the Stars'. She launched her clothing range in 2007 and was awarded an Emmy for 'Bindi the Jungle Girl', one of the inspirations for Bindi's Treehouse.
Entry to the island is by a wooden bridge located near the camel exhibit. As animals roam free, a sign advises guests to conceal any food.
Bindi's Treehouse is the focal point on the Island. This treehouse is every child's fantasy! Designed on the treehouses in 'Bindi the Jungle Girl' and 'Return to Nim's Island', the colossal treehouse stands 13 metres high and is made from 1,100 lineal metres of timber. The structure is perched on a huge imitation fig tree and is decorated with original glass blown marine floats and beach themed objects.
The first level of the treehouse is situated five metres above the ground and is wheelchair friendly. The second and third levels are accessed by a staircase and provide fantastic views across to Lemur Island and the African Savannah.
The island is full of Bindi's island friends – ring-tailed lemurs, giant Aldabran tortoises, macaws, boa constrictors and an alligator snapping turtle.
Two lemurs were frolicking on the wooden beams on the second floor of the treehouse. A keeper was standing close by willingly answering any questions. Four lemurs call Bindi's Island home, Vatobe, Betafo, Mandaby and Stan. These gorgeous creatures love to sunbake, play hide-and-seek in the treetops and sleep in the rafters. These social lemurs are originally from Madagascar and enjoy eating flowers, leaves and fruit. Guests have the opportunity to hand-feed these cheeky animals in one of Australia Zoo's animal encounters.
The boa constrictors and the alligator snapping turtle can also be found in the treehouse (in a glass enclosure!).
Across the Island, I stumbled across Coconut and Jarvis munching on a meal of grass, two Aldabran tortoises originally from the African islands of Aldabra. These tortoises were huge! They are one of the largest species of land tortoises and can weight up to 300 kilograms and grow to one metre tall.
Entry to Bindi's Island is included in the admission price to Australia Zoo. Located on Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Australia Zoo is the ultimate wildlife destination.