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AUSTRALIA ZOO – WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE ACTIVITIES SUNSHINE COAST

Australia Zoo is on a mission to make you fall in love with their animals. With over 1200 animals at Australia Zoo there’s sure to be one you’ll take a shine to when you visit. And when you visit Australia Zoo, you’ll be helping develop wildlife and wilderness conservation, with a portion of proceeds directly supporting projects including helping to protect crocodiles, tigers, wombats, elephants and cheetahs. A visit to zoo is fun and educational and suitable for all ages.

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo holds fond memories for me. Our family visited back in 2010 when there was a touch of Bindi-fever gripping our household.

Australia Zoo
Bindi & Robert Irwin

Bindi had her own television show and for our animal-loving AJ it was an ideal way of learning more about a range of reptiles and animals from the comfort of our living room.

Australia Zoo
Our last visit to Australia Zoo in 2010 – BJ feeding the elephants

When we planned a holiday to Noosa it was a no-brainer to include Australia Zoo on the itinerary. Our visit coincided with school holidays and we were lucky enough to see Bindi perform with her back up troupe. Bindi, Robert and Terri also participated in the croc show in the Crocoseum.

We had a fantastic full day meeting the animals of Australia Zoo (please note, the elephants are no longer at Australia Zoo). I remember being amazed at the vast area the zoo covers – now 105 acres. We found it easy to get around with BJ in his wheelchair and the enclosures were a good height for him to see everything. Plus, there were plenty of opportunities to meet the animals as they roved around the zoo with their keepers.

Australia Zoo
AJ at Australia Zoo

I was a little sad to be visiting without the kids on my recent trip but I was thrilled to return and to see conservation is still the focus of the zoo. Guests visiting have the opportunity to see this work in action and possibly meet some of the animals brought in for rehabilitation.

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Inspired by Lyn Irwin (Steve’s Mum), who was a pioneer in wildlife care in Queensland, Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital was opened in 2004. The Wildlife Hospital has evolved over the years from a facility in a converted avocado packing shed to the current world-class facility which treats an average of 5,500 animals a year.

Australia Zoo
Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is a self-funded facility with no on-going support from State or Federal Government. The hospital costs approximately $2.5 million to operate per year.

Australia Zoo
A little Brushtail Possum

We were lucky enough to meet some of the orphans who were visiting the Wildlife Hospital with their volunteer carers.

Australia Zoo
A rescued joey

The biggest reason for animals being brought to the animal hospital is because they’ve been hit by a car. The gorgeous joey pictured above was found in it’s deceased mother’s pouch.

The Wildlife Hospital is accessible. You can pre-book a visit to Australia’s busiest wildlife hospital, or book your tour on arrival at Australia Zoo. The 30 minute tour runs daily at 10.45am, 230pm and 3.30pm. Admission to the hospital is an additional charge to your entry ticket to the Zoo. Check the Australia Zoo website for the cost

Australia Zoo
A Red Panda at Australia Zoo

To do justice to a visit to Australia Zoo, you really need to allow a full day. As I was flying home on the day of my visit I found myself hankering to linger longer to see more, I’ll simply have to return with the family soon. What I did see, I loved, including the pictured Red Panda. I’ve only ever seen them sleepy and lying around so it was lovely to see one active in its enclosure.

Australia Zoo
Bird show

In the middle of the day, crowds descend on the Crocoseum to see the free flight bird show and crocs in action. Now I’ll warn you, crocodiles move slowly. Although you may think they’d come running for food, there’s a clear cat and mouse game which happens between the keepers and the crocs.

Australia Zoo
Dinner time!

It’s almost like the keepers are putting on a show for the crocs with the croc keen to see how much effort they’ll put into getting them moving. In the end, food does motivate the crocodile out of the water and everyone is satisfied by seeing that massive jaw open to gobble up the food and we were all relieved to see no keepers were harmed in the making of the show.

Australia Zoo
Gotcha!
Australia Zoo
Designated wheelchair & scooter seating at the Crocoseum

Designated seating is available for wheelchair and scooter users. It’s undercover which is fantastic for the midday show in the hotter months, and also near the food court for easy access to lunch after the show.

Australia Zoo
Animal encounters

Australia Zoo offers visitors plenty of opportunities to interact with animals whether it’s a photo opportunity, animal encounter or a chance to pat an animal touring the zoo with a keeper. I suggest booking animal encounters in advance and checking directly with Australia Zoo as to the most suitable animal encounters to meet your access needs. You can read more about the encounters available here.

ACCESSIBILITY

As I mentioned at the top of this review, we had no problem getting around the zoo when BJ was younger. There are large areas to cover around the zoo and I can see an advantage to using a power wheelchair or scooter for the day. Scooters can be hired at Australia Zoo.

Australia Zoo
Easy viewing

Low fencing, glass enclosures and designated seating make the majority of the animals easy to view around the zoo.

Australia Zoo
Glass windows make viewing easy for everyone

Ramping makes access easy to elevated enclosures including the koalas.

Australia Zoo
Easy access ramp to Koala enclosure

Make sure you keep an eye out for the koala joeys.

Australia Zoo
Cuddles with Mum

Our reader Samantha shared her photo below and experience of accessibility at Australia Zoo with us recently. Samantha said, “Had a great day out at Australia Zoo. Was so easy to get around on the big wide paths. Staff were super friendly and helpful. Was very surprised to find that safari train had mobile ramp which 2 girls hauled over. Ramp available at beginning and end of safari train stations. Many disabled toilets. Good viewing platform for the crocodile show and elevators in the required places. Big thumbs up from us.”

Australia Zoo
Accessible ramp access to the Safari Train – photo credit to one of our readers, Samantha

There’s plenty of reminders of Steve Irwin around the zoo and it’s wonderful to see his legacy lives on.Australia Zoo

A band of dedicated staff and passionate wildlife warriors ensure visitors learn more about conservation, hopefully leaving them wanting to do more to make a difference.

 

Australia Zoo
A little pinky – kangaroo joey who was rescued

TIPS

Australian Companion Card is accepted.

Disabled parking is available.

Wheelchair hire is available (bookings recommended)

Motorised scooter hire is available (bookings recommended).

Accessible stand-alone bathrooms are available throughout the park.

Bindi’s Island tree house is only acccessible on the ground floor.

Australia Zoo can cater to kid’s birthday parties and it’s an accessible venue.

You can read more about Australia Zoo here.

A big thanks to Australia Zoo for hosting my visit. As always my opinions are my own.

Australia Zoo

 Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Blue Tongue Lizard

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo
Recovering in the hospital

Australia Zoo

 




5 thoughts on “AUSTRALIA ZOO – WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE ACTIVITIES SUNSHINE COAST”

  1. Most of the encounters are not available to persons in a wheelchair or those with disability including intellectual. You must be able bodied to do most very disappointing when reading their website. just wanted a special encounter or 2 for my physically weak daughter who can no longer walk or stand for long periods.

    Reply
    • Hi Narelle,

      That is really disappointing. I know Sydney Zoo here in Sydney has just implemented a zoo keeper for a day program for kids with a disability. Have you spoken to Australia zoo to see if they can accommodate your daughter in any way? It never hurts to ask.

      Reply
      • Hi Julie, She is no 20 and only become disabled within the last 2 years. Thankfully she had done the zoo keeper for a day when she was much younger. Australia Zoo was one of her favourite places to go so more than disappointing when she now can not do encounters especially when a 21st is on its way and her wIsh was a major animal encounter. Pity the money and patronage will go elsewhere now.

        Reply

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