Wildlife parks, zoos and animal farms 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 koalas and kangaroos, to donkeys 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 or online here. Open seven days, 9am-5pm
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 koalas.
Entry is free. Open 10am-4pm daily. Suitable for wheelchairs.
Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre, Brisbane
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 for adults, concessions $4, children $3.40 or a family pass is $17.65. Open seven days, 9am-4.30pm.
Located within Queens Park, the Ipswich Nature Centre has been a home for native animals for almost 80 years. Enter via the 1891-built rotunda to find a nature centre filled with wombats, wallabies, emus, quolls, snakes and bilbies. There is also a rainforest bird aviary and a barn that often has pigs, calves, guinea pigs and lambs.
Entry is free, donation recommended. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am-4pm.
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.
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.
Brisbane Valley Ostrich & Fish Farm, Somerset
Feed Lou Lou the emu and learn all about ostriches on a guided walk with hosts Alan and Patti Jaenke. While here, go for a round of catch-and-release fishing with supplied rods, or bring your own. Located in Esk, Somerset, the farm is also home to black swans, geese, guinea fowls and ducks, as well as a herd of red deer.
Entry is $10 per person, under primary school age is free. Minimum booking of 10 people or more.
Ottaba Llamas, Somerset
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, horses, sheep and pigs.
All farm visits are by appointment only.
Try It Emu Farm, Lockyer Valley
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 six days a week, with a farm shop on-site selling the goods. Time it right and you will get to see emu chicks too!
No cost to visit. Farm shop open Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm, and Saturday 9am-3pm.
Lyell Deer Farm, Brisbane
Located just a 35-minute drive north of Brisbane, the Lyell Deer Farm is home to hand-reared Fallow and Rusa deer. The farm also hosts regular events with native American roots.
Visitation by appointment only. Entry is $10 for adults, $3 for children. Tuesday to Friday 9am-1pm.
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 $12 for adults, children 2-5yrs $5, 6-16yrs $8 (includes one cup of animal food).
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.
If milking cows isn’t your cup of tea, stay at these eco-cottages nestled among 200 acres of bushland in the Scenic Rim and let an adorable herd of donkeys make your stay unforgettable. The donkeys are all rescued and the farm takes group bookings.
Check online for tariff or entry cost.
In the heart of Lamington National Park sits Mountview Alpaca Farm. Stop by to explore the farm shop, enjoy views from the deck with coffee and cake, see the alpacas (and even buy one!) or stay the night.
The farm and gift shop are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-3pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm.
It's hard to take a selfie while you're cuddling a koala - you had better bring a friend!