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Day Trip to Wildlife HQ

Home > Sunshine Coast > Adventure | Animals and Wildlife | Family | Kids | Zoos
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published February 3rd 2020
Any day is a good day to cuddle a koala
Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Wildlife HQ is a privately owned animal sanctuary


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.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Wildlife HQ is located at the Big Pineapple


So who's who in the zoo?

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.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Waiting to board our train


Can you imagine moving a herd of Indian blackbuck, red pandas, troops of South American monkeys, a bearcat and even a pack of dingos! I don't think I will ever complain about moving home again

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Man snoozing (bottle in hand) in the train tunnel ...just kidding, some creative artwork to be seen on train trip


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.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
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!

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Just chillin' ...


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

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Meerkat standing sentry


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.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Get up close and personal with the meerkats - Image: Wildlife HQ FB


Animal Encounters are on every day between 10.30am and 2.30pm, weather permitting.

Aussie Animal Encounters
Native Animal Encounters | $30 per person
Snake Encounters | $20 per person

Asian Animal Encounters
Each encounter with either the binturongs, the red pandas (only available in winter) or sun bears | $50 per person

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Encounters with red pandas are only available in winter ...


African Animal Encounters
Each encounter with ring-tailed lemurs | $50 per person
Meerkats | $50 per person

South American Animal Encounters
Each animal encounter | $50 per person
Boa constrictor | $20 per person with a maximum of four people in a photograph

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Ring-tailed lemurs


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.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
White cockatoo


Zoo Keeper for a Day

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: info@whqzoo.com

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Green Iguana, generally found in South America, Mexico, Southern Brazil and the Caribbean Islands


If you are over 18 years of age, friendly, enthusiastic, interested in animal conservation and enjoy working outdoors, why not put your 'hand up' to do some volunteering at Wildlife HQ.

The minimum commitment for the Zoo Volunteer Programme is:
One full day every week for three months
One full day every fortnight for six months
Volunteer applications are available at Wildlife HQ's ticket office.

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Sugar cane train coming to collect us for our return trip


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!

Day Trip to Wildlife HQ, Big Pineapple, Woombye, privately owned animal sanctuary, native and exotic animals, Alma Park Zoo, Red Pandas, South American monkeys, bearcat, dingos, train ride to and from zoo, Tree Top Challenge, entry wristband, gift vouchers, Aussie animal encounters, Asian animal encounters, African animal encounters, South American animal encounters, mobile zoo, zoo keeper for a day, volunteering, pack a picnic, open every day except Christmas
Any day is a good day to cuddle a koala


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
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Why? To visit a privately-owned animal sanctuary that houses native and exotic animals
When: 9.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Sunday, except for Christmas Day, when it's closed
Phone: 0428 660 671
Where: Big Pineapple, 76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye QLD 4559
Cost: Adults $29 | Seniors $22 | Children (3 - 15 years) $15 | Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) $79 and children under 3 are FREE | Entry ticket includes train ride
Your Comment
An interesting collection of animals and on our doorstep here at Maloolaba.
by Barry (score: 3|1496) 16 days ago
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.
by mrs.w (score: 0|5) 15 days ago
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