Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published October 28th 2011
Experience native Australian animals at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can cuddle a koala, feed a mob of kangaroos, hold a snake or even a small crocodile and swing through the trees on a high ropes adventure course – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary certainly has a lot to offer families.
Up close and personal
To maximise your day at the sanctuary, pick up a show leaflet and a map on the way in. Also make use of the miniature train, it helps keep little legs feeling energetic for longer and is a fun way to get an overview of the park. There is so much to experience; you can't really make the most of everything in the one day with kids. If you become a Green Guardian you receive an annual pass , which gives you entry for one year. It really is very cost effective, especially since the high ropes Green Challenge course is now included in the entry fee. What we have been doing is seeing animals and shows on some visits and on others, we take on the high ropes.
The Koalas are so cute
The Lorikeet Feeding takes place at the entrance and is a great spectacle to watch, offering a colourful display. The bright greens, blues, yellows and reds make the lorikeets wonderful to watch. The assistants hand out plates with a sugary mixture on them, to attract the birds. They will fly down and perch on the plates, and even on your arms and head. My daughter loved it and stood with her arms up, holding her plate, for so long I'm surprised she could use them afterwards. You can actually visit just for this, and give a gold coin donation. It usually takes place at 8am and 4pm. Check here for current times.
Other shows you shouldn't miss include the Free Flight Bird Show, which really is awesome. Various birds including owls and eagles fly low over the heads of the audience giving a unique and professional show.
The Reptile Show is another hit. Listen to an informative talk while watching the handler with various snakes and lizards. Lots of interesting facts but the one that stuck in my mind the most was the fact that 1 in 3 QLD homes have a carpet snake living in their roof space. If that makes you uneasy just think of them as an efficient and environmentally friendly means of pest control.
The latest fashion in hats
The Kangaroo Feeding is loved by kids. Big Roos loll around just waiting for some pellets. They are so laid back and up close, it creates a very memorable experience for children. The photo opportunities are really good too.
Amongst the Roos
Lots of other talks happen around the Sanctuary. They tend to be less crowded and filled with really interesting facts. Check out the Wombat, Koala, Dingo and Echidna information sessions although the echidna didn't make an appearance for us.
The large salt-water croc at the Crocodile Presentation hadn't eaten for 6 months when we were there. It obliged with a huge leap out the water to catch its first meal.
The Green Challenge is brilliant for upper primary and teenage kids. It's included in the entry fee so there is no extra cost. It involves navigating a high ropes adventure course, which is suspended in the trees. The different courses are graded according to difficulty and you need to be a certain height for each. If you have a mix of older and younger ones then it's the perfect day out as there is something for everyone.
The High Ropes course
If you are doing a single day visit and not buying a Green Guardian annual pass then I'd suggest you pack some food to take with or stop off for a bit at one of the cafes as it really is a full day. Check the photo boards on the way out for any pictures. There are a variety of photo opportunities throughout the sanctuary. Proceeds from the photos generate funds for conservation. You can also ask if you can take with your own camera at the same time if you wish. The baby croc at the end of the Crocodile Presentation is so cute. Look closely at the picture and you will see the band aid tape discretely bound around its mouth so it's not tempted to chomp any fingers.
The Aboriginal Dancers were very energetic and offered a cultural slant to the day, which also works well if you are hosting overseas visitors.The Magic & Mascot Show started when we were watching the Lorikeet feeding at the end of our day. Although we hadn't planned to specifically watch it, it really was fun with silly things to make young kids laugh and clever comments that whizzed over their heads to adult ears, making them laugh too. Ranger Ricky was very good with his audience. There is a playground not too far from the entrance, which is good fun.
Segways are also available @ $10 for 10 mins. I noticed an older couple taking a longer guided tour, which seems like a good way of covering a lot of walking distance easily. There are other experiences on offer such as the Wildnight Adventure which offers a buffet dinner followed by a guided nocturnal tour.
If you have a large family, it is not a cheap day out but it does make a great treat or, as I mentioned at the beginning, look at paying that bit extra and use the opportunity to visit throughout the year. Click here for ticket information and bookings. There are discounts if you book online.