Formerly home to Steve Irwin, also known as “the Crocodile Hunter,” the Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s largest and most popular wildlife conservation facilities. Managed by the Irwin family, whose personalities are a major part of its continued success, the zoo has a huge collection of native Aussie animals as well as creatures from around the world.
An Australia Zoo entry ticket includes access to the zoo’s many attractions and daily events such as zookeeper talks and animal-feeding demonstrations; additional extras include animal encounters and visits to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. For those without a car, Croc Express day tours from Brisbane or the Gold Coast offer round-trip coach transport, including hotel pickup and drop-off. You can also combine a day trip from Brisbane with a rainforest walk in the Sunshine Coast hinterlands. One- and two-day zoo passes are also available.
Things to Know Before You Go
Lines can be long, especially in peak season, so it’s best to buy tickets in advance.
On-site facilities include paid storage lockers, water fountains, ATMs, picnic areas, and a selection of restaurants, cafés, and gift shops.
Most of the zoo’s exhibitions are outdoors and you will likely do a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat, and a refillable water bottle.
The Australia Zoo is fully wheelchair accessible; wheelchair rentals are also available.
How to Get There
The Australia Zoo is located in Beerwah, Queensland, 37 miles (60 kilometers) north of Brisbane—about an hour drive along the Bruce Highway. On-site parking is free. The QR Citytrain runs to Beerwah from the Gold Coast and Brisbane; from there, free shuttle buses will take you to the zoo. Greyhound Australia buses run from Noosa and Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.
When to Get There
The Australia Zoo is open daily year-round, but the busiest time is in summer (December and January) or during school holidays. To avoid the crowds, opt for a weekday visit off-season. If traveling by car, arrive early and head straight to the most popular exhibitions before the crowds roll in.
Animal Experiences at the Australia Zoo
In addition to Aussie animals such as kangaroos, koalas, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, and platypus, the Australia Zoo features fauna from other regions: rhinos, giraffes, and cheetahs in an African savanna exhibition; Sumatran tigers at the tiger temple (which also includes an incredible underwater observatory); and elephants in the colossal Elephantasia exhibition. There’s also a Wildlife Warriors show held daily at the Crocoseum, a birds of prey display, and various options for supervised animal encounters and zoo tours.