This is a big call, but I’m happy to make it, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas is my favourite animal park in Australia. Obviously I haven’t visited all the animal parks in Australia, but of the ones I have visited, this is my favourite. You’ll need to read on to find out why, but one reason is the excellent wheelchair access throughout. If you are visiting Port Douglas or Cairns, make sure you pop Wildlife Habitat on your itinerary.
Wildlife Habitat – accessible Port Douglas
This was our second visit to Wildlife Habitat (yes, it is that good) and on this occasion we were provided with a tour, guided by the wonderful and knowledgeable Renee. Whether it is on a tour or just chatting to the keepers while wandering around the park, I love the insights those living with, and caring for the animals, can provide about their personalities, likes and dislikes. These insights add a lovely dimension to a visit because I realise how much the animals are like humans in many ways.
At Wildlife Habitat visitors are immersed in the animal’s world, entering enclosures and interacting with the residents on their turf. Clearly the animals are content with this arrangement as they are so keen to engage. We had many of the birds curiously and cheekily follow us as though they were joining our tour. The birds show such engagement and happiness it proves quite infectious. Max, pictured above, is a real character and waddled along the barrier following us everywhere we went. In another enclosure Beau the Magpie Mongoose followed us in a similar way.
A bucket of carrots and sweet potato won over the kangaroos and it was interesting to see who preferred what as they deftly grabbed pieces from Amelia. The kangaroos held the food in their forepaws like we would if munching on a carrot stick.
Beautiful accessible tree-canopied boardwalks link the habitats and provide cooling shade for exploring Wildlife Habitat.
As part of our tour we visited the koala enclosure. I love to see that animal welfare is the priority at Wildlife Habitat with the koalas having rest days where they are not handled. We were content admiring them while they relaxed and went about their business – mostly sleeping!
Even if you are not doing a tour you can have lunch with the koalas in the Curlew Cafe.
We had the build a burger meal which was huge for the four of us. You can buy a range of individual items from the cafe if you are in a hurry or if you want something lighter.
Accessibility at Wildlife Habitat
Wheelchair accessibility is excellent at Wildlife Habitat with accessible parking available out front and good pathways throughout the animal enclosures.
It almost felt like we were entering an accessible treehouse as we wandered along the boardwalks which link the various habitats.
Even the koalas roll out the welcome ramp to provide easier access to their home.
There are plenty of opportunities to get up close to the animals with the immersive enclosures at Wildlife Habitat.
A unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom is located at the side of the Curlew Cafe.
We found the height of the majority of the enclosures and the railings are at a good height for viewing for a wheelchair user.
A visit to Wildlife Habitat will ensure you learn plenty about Australian wildlife while getting a big old dose of cuteness to make you smile. If your budget extends to a private tour I highly recommend it but you’ll also have a fabulous time just wandering under your own steam. Don’t be afraid to chat to the keepers because they are like proud mammas and pappas and I’m sure they’ll happily tell you about their “babies”.
We were hosted for our visit to Wildlife Habitat but as always our opinions are our own. Plan your visit by checking the Wildlife Habitat website. You can hear more about what I thought of this amazing attraction on the Access That podcast.
While in Port Douglas we stayed at the nearby Paradise Links Resort in a two bedroom apartment which included an accessible bathroom. Read our review here.