Where to meet wildlife of the tropics
Tropical North Queensland is one of the best places in Australia for ticking a whole lot of animal encounters off your wish list, from cuddling a koala to getting close – but not too close – to a saltwater crocodile.
Start at Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you can snap a shot of yourself holding a furry friend: a guaranteed Insta-hit. Stop in at the nearby Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, home to more than 2000 eye-catching butterflies, and Birdworld Kuranda, where the inhabitants include macaws, galahs and lorikeets. Then there is Rainforestation Nature Park, where you’ll find kangaroos, Tasmanian devils and saltwater and freshwater crocodiles.
In Port Douglas’ Wildlife Habitat, you can feed a kangaroo, enjoy Breakfast with the Birds, or take the Wildnight tour to see what really happens when nocturnal animals come out to play. Other great options include the Cairns Wildlife Dome, a 20m-high glass dome on top of the casino where you will find everything from turtles to parrots and pythons, and Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, where more than 2km of boardwalks take you past a range of animal habitats, home to everything from crocodiles to cassowaries.
Meet koalas, kangaroos and several less cuddly species at these wildlife parks.
A wildlife warrior’s 3 day guide to the tropics
Love animals? Love nature? Love khaki? If you answered yes, this guide has your name written all over it, and we’re calling you a wildlife warrior from now on. Trek to the tropics for three days of nature in the north with this itinerary.
5 places to spot animals in Kuranda
Kuranda, the picturesque village on the Atherton Tablelands, is home to many of our tropical wild friends, so where better to go animal-spotting than at one of Kuranda’s many wildlife gardens and sanctuaries.
5 things you didn’t know about crocodiles
They may have a reputation as one of the planet’s most powerful creatures, but crocodiles are equally as fascinating as they are fearsome.
Why Port Douglas is the perfect spot for a family holiday
Port Douglas is the perfect getaway for kids and parents alike, with everything from adrenaline-filled rainforest adventures and awe-inspiring wildlife tours to top-end eateries and bustling local markets.
Ideas for a rainy day in Cairns with kids
Kids restless and suffering cabin fever? Let them release that pent-up energy by ziplining over a crocodile, exploring underwater coral gardens or venturing through the Southern Hemisphere’s largest butterfly sanctuary.
Guide to Kuranda Markets
The bumper sticker catchphrase ‘Magic Happens’ was surely created after a visit to the picturesque village of Kuranda, a rainforest township where the outside world seemingly does not exist.
Explore Wildlife Parks (Zoos)
Birdworld KurandaView product
Australian Butterfly SanctuaryView product
Hartley’s Crocodile AdventuresView product
Rainforestation Nature ParkView product
Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife DomeView product
Kuranda Koala GardensView product
Wildlife HabitatView product
cairns northern beaches
Down Under Tours AustraliaView product
Bat Hospital Visitor Centre, TheView product