Currumbin wildlife sanctuary on the beautiful Gold Coast has been around for years and it’s still well worth a visit today!
My partner grew up on the Gold Coast and has very fond memories of visiting the attraction some 30ish years ago. So when I suggested we take our toddler recently, he was all for the idea. We packed the nappy bag (read our guide on the best one here) with everything we might need and off we went on an adventure.
Here’s our quick Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Review to show you why we love it so much!
Getting There & Parking
Unlike some major zoos and attractions, finding your way to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary could not be easier. If you have a car it’s well signposted and straight off the Gold Coast Highway. There is parking onsite but it is paid ($10 for the day when we went recently) unless you’re a National Trust of Australia member, then its free.
If you prefer to go by public transport the main bus route literally stops right outside the entrance. I’ve actually been previously with a friend and we took the bus so know first hand how easy it is.
The first part of the park is a sort of mini entrance area. There is a section where you can organise to have your photo taking holding a Koala (extra cost). The koalas are hanging out right there in the trees and easy to see and photograph if you don’t want to pay extra for the experience, although obviously you can’t hold them like you can if you pay. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth paying the small fee for the photo (it’s cheaper to buy beforehand with your admission)
The best thing about when you walk in are the fantastic volunteers. Mostly older retirees, they give their time to the park and help visitors by answering questions and giving directions. They are so friendly and surprisingly knowledgable about the park and some of the wildlife.
To get to the main section of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary you have to make your way under a small bridge and it’s about a 10-minute walk on very pram friendly paths (read our guide on the best double pram here). Don’t worry if you have little legs with you though as there is a fabulous train which takes you to the main section if you want and actually does a full loop of the park!!
Up close and Personal
If you’re on a budget don’t worry, there’s no need to pay extra to get those up close encounters with the wildlife.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has a fantastic kangaroo and wallaby enclosure where the animals roam around freely with visitors. Collect a food cup from the machine and let the kids head out to find a hungry roo.
As before, the volunteers here are invaluable. They are super knowledgable and make sure that all the visitors and especially kids are respectful and gentle with the animals. They were so patient and kind to my daughter, showing her how to stroke the kangaroos and pointing out the females with joeys in their pouches.
In this same enclosure there are also a few different types of birds and my toddler actually found the ducks even more fascinating than the kangaroos!
INSIDER TIP: Get to the kangaroos first thing so they’re still hungry when you offer them a snack!!
Shows and Events
There is a free show to suit all tastes from Australiana and sheep sheering to crocodile feeding. I have to give an extra special mention to the free flight birdshow though.
It’s on twice a day and was the highlight of the park for us. My toddler was absolutely fascinated by the birds swooping so closely overhead. By the end of the show she was practically bouncing up and down with excitement.
You’ll find all the usual native Australian animals throughout the park as well as some creatures you may not have been expecting. The Lost Valley area had some particularly interesting wildlife.
So from dingoes to crocodiles or ring tailed lemurs to capybaras there will be something to entertain kids and adults of all ages.
Particular favourites of ours were the cotton top tamarins which are in my opinion just about the cutest animal I’ve ever seen in my life! My partner was very taken by the Mandarin ducks which neither of us had ever heard of before but were absolutely beautiful. Our toddler was mesmerised by the Pelican as we’d seen one at the beach just a day before.
Special Mention – Wildlife Hospital
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary isn’t just a great attraction for entertaining tourists and locals alike. They also do some amazing conservation work and have a fantastic hospital onsite which is apparently one of the busiest in the world.
The hospital is well worth a visit and there are viewing windows where you can actually see straight into the hospital and watch a procedure taking place.
It’s not only a great way for the park to drive donations to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation but also a fantastic opportunities to teach children the importance of caring for our native species. Be sure to take a look and explain to your kids the work that the hospital is doing to save some very important species.
So, How Much Does it Cost?
One great thing is that children under 4 can visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary free of charge (a lot of attractions say children under 2 or 3 max).
Standard ticket price is about $40 to $50 (AUD) and, I believe, the price is good value and well worth it. There are plenty of things to see and do and lots of shows that are all thoroughly entertaining. My daughter was completely entertained for an entire day and would happily go back again which says it all.
Found my Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Review helpful? Need some more ideas to entertain the kids? Read my post about the best things to do in Queensland for some inspiration!!