There’s plenty of amazing animal attractions to explore on the Gold Coast.
Whether you’re hoping to cuddle a koala, or feed a meerkat, we’ve got you covered. This list of wildlife encounters is perfect when searching for fun for the whole family.
Opening image: Alpaca walks at O’Reilley’s Canungra Valley Vineyards. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been working to conserve wildlife for over 70 years. They have a broad range of animals to discover as you wander the park, but their koala encounters should be at the top of your list. Learn about the koala’s habits and habitats, features and other facts from their friendly keepers. During the experience, you’ll be able to meet some koalas in their homes, and even hold one while you pose for a professional photograph.
Tiger Island in Dreamworld is an encounter like no other. You’ll come face to face with these majestic predators, with viewing tunnels that bring you only centimetres from the big cats. Dreamworld is the only location in Queensland where you can feed a tiger! Chat one-on-one with tiger handlers to learn about these amazing animals, before tong feeding them through their enclosure. If that wasn’t enough, they also host daily tiger presentations where you can watch them jumping, climbing, and swimming.
Embrace the cold with Sea World’s Penguin Encounter. By joining in on their Penguin Arctic Adventure, you’ll meet up with keepers on a behind-the-scenes tour of their exhibit, which mimics their natural Antarctic environment. You can interact with the second largest species of penguin in the world, the King Penguin, and experience a range of activities including a feeding session. Don’t worry, overalls, jackets, boots, and gloves are provided to keep you warm in this winter wonderland.
Glow Worm Caves
Found in the Tamborine Mountains, the Glow Worm Caves are environment controlled man-made caves, created to protect the local species of glow worms from rising levels of deforestation. While here, you’ll be able to see these glow worms during the day. Start with a short walk through the rainforest, before entering a cave filled with thousands of shining worms. This astounding sight is sure to blow your mind, and help you learn more about how to protect these unique creatures.
Mountview Alpaca Farm
Mountview Alpaca Farm is set within a beautiful vineyard in the Gold Coast hinterland. Choose between a 15, 30, or 60 minute experience, and take the Alpacas for a walk around the amazing property while taking in the sights. You’ll be provided with a bag of alpaca food to keep the animals happy. Plus, there’s an option to end the day with pizzas or a picnic lunch while sipping on wine and beer in the sun.
An authentic farm experience, Paradise Country offers fun for the whole family. You can watch sheep wrangling shows, and let your little ones get up and close with farmyard friends, such as little piglets and chicks, in the nursery. For a unique encounter, you can even meet their meerkats. Learn all about these tiny animals, while you try feeding and petting, and walk away with a great photo.
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat
O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is found in the world heritage listed Lamington National Park. There, you’ll be surrounded by nature, a short distance from incredible waterfalls, hikes, and lookouts. Their wildlife encounters include meeting Russ the Carpet Snake, or joining in on a daily bird-feeding event. You can photograph, feed, and handle the animals, all while learning more about what makes them so unique.
Can’t get enough of these wildlife encounters? Click here to discover what else the Gold Coast has to offer.
Travel to the Gold Coast
Rex flies to the Gold Coast. Explore the Rex website to find the best flights to the Gold Coast and begin your animal adventure.