Australia Zoo is one of the most well known of all the zoos in Australia, and whilst it is a great zoo in itself the biggest reason for this is the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin… And if you somehow don’t know who he was, treat yourself to a little history lesson here.
When you pull up to the car park you can tell that you’re on to a winner, as its huge. We came in the off season (straight off our flight too), and it was busy! We were a bit surprised by the price of $59 for adults and $35 (at that time), however this was the first thing we did when we arrived in Oz, and whilst maybe a little higher than most zoos, is not the most expensive day out… and even if it were – It’s worth every dollar!
The Crocodile Hunter
This zoo was started by Steve Irwins parents, however it was Steve’s passion for animals and conservation which really pushed this park forward. He was known for his crocodile feeding shows, and these shows are continued to this day by his team in the crocoseum (filled with education, audience participation and even comedy – staring alongside a selection of beautiful animals). At the start of the show there is a short video presentation about this history and then next door to it there is also a museum in his memory (where I took the opening photo of the video above from a mural). Both of these are well worth checking out!
Australia Zoo Animals
The reason we all go to zoos however is of course the chance to get closer to nature and connect with the animals!
It was great to see all the Australian animals there from Koalas (there is a chance to get close to these for photos next to them), to wombats (the worlds greatest mammal), and echidnas (were difficult to see here) to kangaroos (which are in a walk through where you can feed them). There really are a huge number of great opportunities to get real up close to these animals… You can even pay extra for closer encounters with various species, including the wombats.
Being known as the crocodile hunter, there are of course a wide range of crocodile here, as well as numerous other reptiles. Make sure you don’t miss the reptile house or outdoor lizard enclosures for a few iguanas and monitors… If you like lizards you will also love seeing all the wild Australian water dragons in the grounds… they are just bout every where!
The park is deceptively big and once you get past the kangaroo walk through you will head down towards the African section and tigers. One more thing they are famous for here are their tigers, which their keepers do a show with (whilst in with them)… I would have loved to shown this in my video but it gets very busy with limited seating so my view wasn’t great… My advice is grab an ice cream from around the corner and take a seat nice an early (maybe even as much as 20 minutes before the show), so that you can get a seat near the front.
Finally there is Bindis Island… This has some giant tortoises, snapping turtles and macaws on it, some of which you can see from a massive tree house. It is worth wandering that far just to see this structure which gives you some gorgeous views! There are also supposed to be free roaming lemurs on the island but I didn’t see them – all I saw were a couple of ring tailed lemurs on the opposite island (as seen from the tree house).
Steve Irwin had a huge passion for dinosaurs and this is evident as you walk around the zoos which loads of life sized dinosaur models… If you or your kids love dinosaurs its a great extra dimension, many of which you can get quite hands on with!
There are quite a few places to get a snack around Australia Zoo (even on quieter days), however we also had a hearty lunch at the main restaurant next to the crocoseum. The food here is served fro various sections, each with their own cuisine on offer. We both opted for sandwiches and they weren’t just massive and delicious, they were also pretty cheap for an attraction!