A new day, a new adventure! Have you ever taken the family to visit Wildlife HQ, located at the iconic Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast? It's definitely a 12/10, according to our master 6!
Wildlife HQ is a privately-owned animal sanctuary that houses native and exotic animals from all around the globe. The background story of Wildlife HQ sounds like it could be an echo of what occurred with Noah's Ark in days gone by.
The forty-acre Alma Park Zoo was historically the very first zoo to open in Queensland and was located just north of Brisbane, in an area called Dakabin. In March 2014, to make way for housing developments, Alma Park Zoo closed its doors. And, along came Julie Seabrook with her dedicated team of animal keepers, to negotiate with the Alma Park Zoo owners, to assume ownership of the Alma Park Zoo animal collection. Herein lies the story that sounds like a page from Noah's Ark. Julie and her team undertook the mammoth task of moving two hundred animals from the Alma Park Zoo to their new permanent home, Wildlife HQ, at the Big Pineapple in Woombye.
We recently took our grandson to enjoy a day out at Wildlife HQ. A big plus, in my opinion, is that Wildlife HQ is boutiquey enough to explore the whole zoo in a morning and then still have extra time to 'play'. And, of course, there is also the added allure of boarding a train and enjoying a trip through lush gardens to actually get to the animal sanctuary.
Can you spot the bold adventurers in the trees? I see two ...
What I didn't realise is that the Tree Top Challenge Adventure Park is in such close proximity to Wildlife HQ that train passengers get to watch on enviously, as the bold and the daring swing through the trees … an additional adventure for the day, should one be fearless enough! Two adventures, one location!
On arrival at the Big Pineapple, Wildlife HQ visitors must purchase their entry tickets at the Big Pineapple ticket office. Visitors receive a Zoo admission wristband to be worn at all times - no wristband, no entry! Ticket prices to Wildlife HQ at present, are as follows:
Adults | $29 Children 3 - 15 years of age | $15
Seniors (concession holders) | $22
Family | 2 adults and 2 children | $79
Under 3's | FREE
Gift Vouchers are also available
Wlldlife HQ also offer animal lovers the unique opportunity to get up close-and-personal with the animals, providing an opportunity to get some fabulous photographic mementoes to take home. Wildlife HQ have discovered that people frequently make emotional connections with animals, that in some instances can last a lifetime! The animal encounters allow visitors to really connect and fall in love with some cuties, whilst learning about wildlife conservation at the same time.
Get up close and personal with the meerkats - Image: Wildlife HQ FB
The privately-owned Wildlife HQ also boast their very own Mobile Zoo, where their team can create an incredibly unique encounter, by bringing the Zoo to YOU! Wildlife HQ are happy to present their Mobile Zoo to schools, kindys, work places and even International events, an indication of this animal sanctuary's dedication to connect local communities with native wildlife. All mobile animals are hand reared and love to be handled. To enquire about Wildlife HQ's Mobile Zoo, please follow their link here.
Experience the ultimate VIP adventure … Zoo Keeper for a Day! This wildlife VIP escapade includes an average of six up close and personal experiences that can be tailored to your animal choices, either native or exotic. The zoo keeper for a day will enjoy a personalised tour of their choice of animals accompanied by a real dinkum zoo keeper, who will share educational and fun tidbits about the animals. This highly sought-after experience is only $299 per adult and $199 per child. Make sure you don't miss out on being a Zoo Keeper for a Day by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Iguana, generally found in South America, Mexico, Southern Brazil and the Caribbean Islands
Master 6's Verdict: 12/10 Writer's Verdict:
Despite the very oppressive weather we've been enduring on the Sunshine Coast, we all enjoyed a fantastic morning of unique and quirky animals at Wildlife HQ. Master 6 was in total awe of the roaming animals, close enough to touch; he loved going walk-about under the tree tops to animals from afar but especially, put his stamp of approval on the adventurous train trip to and from this well-maintained animal sanctuary.
Definitely a 12/10!
Bookmark a date, pack a picnic and enjoy a visit to the Wildlife HQ animal sanctuary, located at the Big Pineapple. It's open every day, Monday to Sunday, between 9.00am and 4.00pm, except for Christmas Day, when the sanctuary is closed.
All images courtesy of author unless otherwise indicated
Great article; just one thing. Visitors to Wildlife HQ don't have to purchase tickets at the Big Pineapple office. There is a separate, zoo-only carpark at the bottom of the hill, with a separate ticket office, for those who don't wish to ride the train.