Wildlife parks, zoos and animal encounters near Brisbane
Whether you’ve got children to entertain or are a child at heart yourself, discover Brisbane’s wide range of wildlife parks, zoos and animal farms where you can view and interact with creatures big and small from wild dolphins and whales to koalas and kangaroos, camels and ostriches!
Brisbane’s favourite native animal sanctuary, Lone Pine is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Here you can meet more than 130 koalas, hand-feed kangaroos without barriers and encounter other Australian wildlife.
Entry is cheaper purchased via the Brisbane Visitor Information Centre on 07 3006 6290. Open seven days, 9am-5:30pm Monday to Thursday, 9am-7pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday.
This free-to-visit koala centre is located 25km south of Brisbane and is home to a number of educational koalas. You can’t touch or hold the koalas, but can see them up close from two viewing platforms. There is also an information centre to learn more about these cuddly animals.
Entry is free. Open 9am-4pm daily. Suitable for wheelchairs.
Just 12km from Brisbane CBD, the wildlife centre is home to native wildlife kept in exhibits that mirror their actual habitat. Take a glimpse inside the nocturnal house or walk through the subtropical aviary that replicates the lush rainforests of the D’Aguilar Range near the centre. Be sure to stop by the centre’s most famed attraction – the Gondwana Platypus Rockpool.
Entry is $7.70 for adults, concessions $5.25, children $3.70 or a family pass is $19.50. Open seven days, 9am-4.30pm.
Up at O’Reilly’s in the Scenic Rim see aerial predators including owls, falcons and eagles in free flight perform amazing natural aerobatics. The show starts at 1pm every day and afterwards you’ll have the chance to meet the stars and get photos.
Show costs $17.50 for adults, $10 for children, family pass $48. Every day at 1pm.
No animal lovers trip to Brisbane is complete without a visit to Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island, where you can get in the water with expert Eco-Rangers to hand feed wild bottlenose dolphins that grace the shallows at sunset each evening. If that’s not enough – the Resort is also home to Australia’s longest-running whale watching tours from June to October as well as cruises to find dugongs, turtles and sealife that call Moreton Bay home. Last but not least there is also daily kookaburra and sea bird educational presentations from the Eco Rangers!
Open seven days. Day cruises include lunch and start from $89Ad/$49Ch. Most overnight accommodation packages include a complimentary Wild Dolphin Feeding encounter for all guests.
Farms, zoos and other animals
By far the biggest animal park in the Brisbane region, this 100-acre zoo is just an hour’s drive north of Brisbane. With state-of-the-art facilities and something new every time, Australia Zoo (owned by the famous Irwin family) is run by a passionate team of conservationists. View everything from crocodiles, wombats and Tasmanian devils to rhinos, tigers, red pandas and cheetahs. The zoo also offers a range of unique one-on-one animal experiences.
Entry is $59 for adults, $35 for children or $172 for a family of four. The Brisbane Visitor Information Centre sells express tickets to help you skip the queues. Animal experiences cost extra. Open daily 9am-5pm.
Find Australia's largest wild camel training centre and dairy operation right in the heart of the Scenic Rim. Meet their gentle camels, feed ans ride them, take photos and learn about the anti-aging and immune health benefits of camel milk. You can purchase some of their camel milk skincare from the farm shop as you enjoy delicious country fare from the cafe including camel milk gelato, cheese, cakes and even a camel-cino.
Prices start from $20 for varying camel experiences. Farm and shop open Monday-Saturday 9am-3pm and Sunday 9am-4:30pm.
Say cheese! Sheep cheese that is, as you embark on a tour of Towri Sheep Cheesery. The tour includes a milking demonstration, sheep cheese tasting platter, tea and locally grown coffee and pellets and milk to feed the lambs and sheep. There is also a cheese-making workshop available for those wanting to get a hands-on experience.
$28-$32 per adult for group tours. Visitation only available by appointment. Open to the public on Friday and bus tours available Monday-Friday.
Let the llama be your friend as you lead it through the countryside along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. Back at the farm, say hello to alpacas, a camel, mini goats, cattle, donkeys and sheep.
All farm visits are by appointment only.
Try It Emu Farm is the largest emu farm in Queensland and produces everything from health and beauty products to emu meat, eggs and feathers. The farm is open to the public to visit five days a week, and only by appointment on weekends, with a farm shop on-site selling the goods. Time it right and you will get to see emu chicks too (May - October).
$5 per person for group or bus tours. Farm shop open Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm, and weekends by appointment.
Join the Dennis family on a tour of one of the longest running dairies in the area. You'll be led through the different stages of milking (with a little bit of milking history thrown in), get to see the cows being milked by 'robots,' and learn everything there is to know about dairy farming.
Visitation by appointment only.
Located just a 35-minute drive north of Brisbane, the Lyell Deer Sanctuary is home to hand-reared Red, Fallow and Rusa deer. The farm also hosts regular events with native American roots.
Open 10am-4pm on weekends, visitation on weekdays and holidays by appointment only. Entry is $10 per family/group.
For a true farm experience, pat and feed the friendly farm animals at White Ridge Farm. Get a kiss from resident camel Gypsy, feed the llamas and alpacas, and give Babe the miniature pig a rub on the belly. There's an adventure playground, trampoline and a barn with shady tables and chairs – a perfect picnic spot.
Entry is $15 for adults, children 2-5yrs $8, 6-16yrs $10 (includes one cup of animal food and a hay ride).
The Tommerups are a fifth and sixth-generation working dairy farm. The family has worked on the property for 140 years and invite you to get a taste of farm life. Stay overnight on the dairy farm and choose to either kick back and relax, or join in the daily animal feeding, collect eggs and help milk the cows.
If you don’t want to stay overnight, the Tommerups host farm open days three times a year.
Within the grounds of Canungra Valley Vineyards sits Mountview Alpaca Farm. Stop by to explore the gift ship, feed and walk the alpacas or even enjoy a picnic next to Canungra Creek with your new fluffy friends.
The farm and gift shop are open 7 days a week, 10am-3pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm Friday and 9am-4pm Saturday & Sunday.