Australia Zoo is located in Queensland, Australia. It was opened by the late Steven Irwin, a popular natural history TV presenter. It is still run by his family including his wife Terri Irwin and children Bindi and Robert Irwin.
Australia Zoo was established in 1970. Originally it was known as the ‘Beerwah reptile and fauna park’ and sat on just 2 acres. At this time it was owned by Bob and Lyn Irwin. By the 1980s the zoo grew in size to 4 acres. The name was change to the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park.’ Part of the new area was made into the crocodile environmental park where saltwater crocodiles are housed.
In 1991 Steve Irwin took over running of the park. During the 1990s the parks name was change to ‘Australia Zoo.’
During 2004 the zoo opened the Australian Animal Hospital. This was built inside an old avocado packing shed which had only a single operating theatre. The facility cared for 6,000 animals per year
Number of Animals
In 2007 a land swap was made which saw a parcel of land in the Beerwah state forest given to the zoo. They gave an area of land near Peachester State forest to the government in exchange. This area was used to create the African Savanna exhibit.
During 2008 a new wildlife hospital opened which was billed as the world’s largest. It features 2 operating theatres, a CAT scan room, pharmacy, nursery and facilities to house the rescued animals.
The zoo’s crocoseum where shows take place
Harriet was a Galapagos Giant tortoise who once met Charles Darwin. She was taken from Santa Cruz in 1935 at 5 years of age. She spent a short time in England before coming to Australia with Darwin’s friend John Wickham.
In 1842 Harriet arrived in Australia where she took up residence at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. During the 1900s she was named Harry after the groundskeeper.
She was transferred to Fleay’s fauna sanctuary where the owner David Fleay discovered Harry was a Harriet. He raised her public profile before she was moved to what was then known as the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park in 1987. Here she spent her last 2 decades before her death in 2006. During her stay at Australia she had a birthday each year.
In 2005 she turned 175. This meant she was the oldest living animal at the time and the second longest living ever.
Feed the animals
In the zoo’s Roo heaven habitat and at the Kids Zoo farmyard visitors can get up close with the animals and feed them with the specially provided food.
The zoo is home to the Bindi’s boot camp playground. This space is modelled on the TV show and features a climbing wall and interactive games.
Crickey Kids Corner
Feature’s a jumping pillow and tea cups ride for children to enjoy.
Laughing Frog Waterpark
Cool off on this splash pad adorned with awesome sculptures of Aussie wildlife. Watch out for the giant frog who tips his bucket of water over guests.
Mount Franklin Crocoseum
These massive 5000 seat stadium is home to zoo’s many daily wildlife presentations. These include a range of the zoo’s animals. It also play’s host to the special event throughout the year.
Check the zoo’s website for attraction opening times, fees and updates.
Africa is Queensland’s only multi species savanna. Here giraffes, rhinos and zebras all live together. Adjacent to the savanna you can watch the active group of meerkats as they play. Cheetahs also go for walks throughout the area with keepers on a daily basis.
The tiger temple is home to Sumatran and Bengal tigers. It features lush surroundings, an underwater viewing area and much more. Each day keepers enter the exhibit to play with the cats.
On Bindi’s Island you can walk among the group of lemurs, see giant tortoises and explore the 3-story tree house which is home to some of the zoo’s reptiles.
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