No visit to the Sunshine Coast is complete without overdosing your eyes with a lot of khaki, wildlife and saying ‘Crikey!’ over and over. You’re close to Irwin country and the award winning Australia Zoo phenomenon near Beerwah, where ‘Crocs Rule’ and animal conservation sits alongside surprisingly entertaining wildlife shows and exhibits. For those with even a slight interest in Australian (and now African and Asian) wildlife, Australia Zoo is worth the hour long drive from Noosa.
Encompassing over 1000 acres of wildlife fun, the Zoo has an award winning mix of excellent exhibits of mostly Australian mammals, birds and reptiles, with some African and Asian animals. Lose a few hours gazing at Sumatran tigers as they ‘play’ with their very human handlers or stand just metres from the Meerkats and watch them doing their meerkatty things. By far however, the most exciting part of a day at Australia Zoo is any of the shows held in the Crocosseum. Here, crocodiless jump at Khaki clad staff as they inform the crowds of each croc’s particularly habits and quirks, large parrots and Australian birdlife interact with the crowd and a tribute to the late Steve Irwin is guaranteed to have you in turns gasping, marvelling and wiping the odd tear from your eye. Calm yourself with a wander through the birdlife exhibits or head over to the wallabies and kangaroos in a quiet grassy and shady area as you plan the next part of your day. And you WILL need a full day, with the Sumatran Tiger Temple, the African Savannah exhibit and staff roving the park holding wildlife for personalised meet&greets just a snippet of your Australia Zoo experience. Bob, Bindi and Terri are also worth keeping an eye out for: they’re onsite more often than you might think, camouflaged as always in that never ending khaki!
Getting to Australia Zoo is an easy one hour drive south along the Sunshine Coast Motorway and the Bruce Highway to Beerwah and there’s also a shuttle bus which travels directly to the Zoo from Noosa Junction, just a short walk down the hill.