Monday, November 14, 2011

A visit to Australia Zoo 2011

We drove up from Brisbane City to Sunshine Coast to pay a visit to the famous Steve Irwin's zoo on our third day in Brisbane. It takes about 1 hour and 10 mins to drive from our holiday village at Eight Miles Plains to Beerwah, but hubby was pretty excited. 

I had planned to swing by Gowinta Farm after the Australia Zoo trip but Australia Zoo was huge and we took quite a while exploring it with two small kids and an elderly that by the time we reached Gowinta Farms they have already closed. My advice would be if you plan to combine both visits, go to Gowinta Farm first then visit Australia Zoo. Sigh.. I was quite disappointed that  I didn't get to show the kids lychee trees, pineapple trees and grape vines.

If we had stayed around Sunshine Coast and not driven up from Eight Miles Plains, I would have also loved exploring Glasshouse Mountains and also experiencing Mary Valley Heritage Rail Tour; the latter being another 1 hour and 10 mins drive further up from Beerwah.

Other attractions around Sunshine Coast includes Ginger Factory and Nutworks but I wasn't really keen on them. 

Tiger at Australia Zoo

One of only three elephants that we saw at Australia Zoo

The Red Panda at Australia Zoo was so high up that we can't even see it clearly

Back to Australia Zoo, the admission price is pretty steep, but the zoo is amazing. They don't really have a large number of animals but the few that they have have very big and natural enclosures. I feel that a lot of thought is given to the design of the enclosures to make it as natural and comfortable as possible. 

My frowning no 2 and the sleeping koala at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo's Kangaroo area is smaller than Lone Pines
My no1 with his favorite Australian Animal

We hired a scooter so that my Mother-in-law wouldn't get too tired walking around and so that we can park our heavy back pack on the basket. The kids enjoyed taking turns to ride the scooter with their grandmother too. 

My no 1 with his Grandma

We didn't really stay for animal feedings as our kids are not up to it yet except for feeding kangaroos. And we didn't stay for most of the shows since we have been to quite a number of zoos but we did make sure that we catch the Crocodile Feeding Show, you should stay for this show even if you plan to visit Dreamworld at Gold Coast because the Crocodile Feeding there is only on selected days, whereas Australia Zoo's crocodile feeding is a daily show. 

One of the many  large Crocodile enclosure at Australia Zoo

Crocodile Feeding Show at Australia Zoo

Of all the exhibits at Australia Zoo, Africa awes me the most. Its still in Stage 1 and by the way the Australia Zoo Guide described their plans for Africa, it made me wish that I would have the opportunity again in future to visit Australia Zoo when it is completed. Stage 1 is a savannah for 3 giraffes, less than 6 zebras and I think about 6 rhinos with cheetahs (if I'm not mistaken) let loose on the other side of the fence so that they can't prey on the zebras (at the same time making it pretty hard for us to spot them) 

Zebras at Africa
The 3 Giraffes
Rhinos under the shade
The other stages are an area they call "Madagascar" where crocodiles will swim in rivers and another huge area where they planted avocado and lychee trees which will be the place for gorillas to swing. 

My hats of to the dedicated staff of Australia Zoo, I think they do a wonderful job in providing a beautiful environment for the animals. 

Australia Zoo is open from 9.00am - 5.00 pm and is located at 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, 4519 QLD.

Map of zoo's location: 

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