A couple of weeks ago we snagged a “locals deal” on discount website Groupon for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is located on the southern part of the Gold Coast, about 1h 15m hours drive from central Brisbane and around 30 minutes from Surfers Paradise.
We arrived early since the forecast was for 31C and sunny and found a free park on a side street. We decided to bypass the Lorikeet feeding at 8am and get ahead of the people and went straight into the park. However, if you haven’t seen the lorikeets before, for a small donation you can get a bowl of nectar and be covered in lorikeets – a great and colourful photo opportunity!
As we entered the park, a volunteer recommended going straight to the kangaroo paddocks at the far end of the park and pointed us in the right direction. This was a great recommendation. For some considerable time, we had the kangaroos almost completely to ourselves for feeding, petting and photos. Handy hint, bring $2 coins for roo food – this comes from a vending machine and no change was available.
We spent ages with the greys and then the reds before moving on through the rest of the park. Its a fantastic opportunity to get up close to these lovely animals. It was interesting feeding them as some were very gentle and others extremely pushy when trying to get the food from your hand.
You do need to be mindful that they have very sharp claws, the watchful volunteers are mindful to tell you to keep the food low and back away if the roos start to get pushy.
As for the rest of the park, almost without exception, the animals are exclusively all Australian – the handful of exotics are those making a pest of themselves such as the cane toad.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen a larger snake display. It would have been great to see the snakes that are native to the area and their range and more importantly how to deal with a snake bite.
The frog exhibit was impossible to see through the glass and needed a good wipe for visibility.
Some animals we couldn’t find in their enclosures – this is a testament to the large enclosure size and lovely habitats these animals live in. This is not a criticism of the park at all.
On a hot day, it does pay to go early, although the park is well shaded by trees, by 11am we had enough due to the heat.
We didn’t see any of the shows and I understand some of them are very good, including the free flight bird show.
We will definitely look forward to visiting this beautiful wildlife park again in the future. Definitely add to your itinerary if you are visiting the Gold Coast or have overseas friends visiting as its a great opportunity to see some of the amazing wildlife Australia has.Follow @paula_from_nz