REVIEW: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

08 May 2018

We are always looking for something different and interesting to do with the kids. A day away from the temptation of screens; where you can get in touch with nature again, without straying too far from a bathroom (oh, does toilet training ever end?!)

So, we were pretty excited to hit the road and check out Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary recently.

Top of the list for any family day out is it must be easy, because nothing ruins a day-trip faster than when things become a struggle. Thankfully, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was super-easy to find, and even easier to get parked and inside. For those little legs that struggle to walk long distances there’s a fab miniature train to jump on that will take you around the sanctuary. But the paths are really stroller friendly too, so if you want to take your time and wander it’s really easy to get around.


Close encounters

There’s stacks of opportunity to get up close with the animals at Currumbin. As soon as you walk in there’s a gorgeous group of koalas, all curled up in the trees. If you want a photograph with a koala, this is the place to do it.

The other main up-close animal experience is the kangaroo and wallaby feeding. Pick up a cup of food from the shed near the enclosure entrance and then wander around and look for a hungry skippy! The kids adored this part, and the animal carers were all very attentive, ensuring littler kids handled the animals properly, particularly as there were quite a few joeys hopping around.

As you wander through the sanctuary, you’ll also see a huge range of animals along the way - Pelicans on the lake, Saltwater Crocodiles, Dingoes, Capybaras, Echidnas and (my favourite) the super-cute Cotton-Top Tamarinds.


The Lost Valley was just magical to wander through – with Red Pandas in the trees, and stunning birds such as Eclectus Parrots, Satin Bowerbirds, Emerald Doves, Chiming Wedgebills, Golden Pheasants and Mandarin Ducks. there was even a Ring-Tailed Lemur just sitting on the handrail watching us walk by.

The live bird show is also incredible too and well worth fitting that into your trip around the sanctuary. With an amazing selection of birds feeding and flying millimetres over your heads… it’s an awe-inspiring experience.

When it’s time to relax and burn off some bambino energy, there’s a huge play area with spider web climbing net, flying fox, fun wombat tunnels to crawl through and an enormous climbing frame. There’s plenty of space for parents to sit, and it’s nicely shaded by the trees. It’s a great spot for lunch too as there is a café nearby.

For the older kids, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has the Treetop Challenge - a most epic course of high ropes and zip-wires that wend their way through the canopy of the sanctuary. There are two courses – black and green – dependent on height. Our kids were too little for either this time around, but it was amazing to watch the big kids flying through the sky overhead, and we will certainly be back to try it out once they are big enough.

However, the highlight had to be the feeding of the Rainbow Lorikeets at the end of the day. At 4pm there were hundreds of these beautiful birds ready for their dinner. Simply pick up a plate from the sanctuary staff (from a cart next to the feeding area; coin donation), find a space along the fence and a staff member will pour some nectar into it. Hold it out and wait, and before long you will have Rainbow Lorikeets on your arm (and even on your head), as they come to eat. It’s an absolutely amazing sight, and something the kids adored. Warning: don’t touch the birds or they will give you a nip, and if you have a long-sleeved top, it’s worth popping on along with a hat, to avoid kids getting scratched.


What we loved most was that it didn’t feel like a zoo. Yes, there were fences around, but it felt much more like you’d been graced with the opportunity to step into the animal’s world rather than them being enclosed, and felt like a much more natural experience for the kids.

There’s plenty to see and do at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to easily fill a whole day, as it’s the sort of place you enjoy the animals as well as happily wander around and relax on the grass for a while. So, it’s a great day out for families from the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Coming from the Sunshine Coast, it’s a perfect place to make an overnight of it, and there’s plenty of family-friendly places nearby to stay.


Written by

Angela Sutherland

After spending over 20 years on the editorial desks of some the leading magazine publishing houses of London and Sydney, Angela swapped the city frenzy for a Queensland sea change. Now owner and editor of Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City, she loves spending her days documenting and travelling the crazy road of family life alongside every mum and dad. 

When she’s not at her desk buried in magazine stories, you’ll often find her entrenched in a heated game of beach cricket, or being utterly outrun by her inventive seven-year-old and rambunctious threenager.

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