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Ever since Ashli was old enough to talk, she’s had a small obsession with the Irwin family and their passion for animals. From her very first episode of Steve’s tv show, The Crocodile Hunter, she has had visiting Australia Zoo on her bucket list. We had made plans to visit Australia Zoo the last time we were on the Gold Coast, but we didn’t make it there as we ran out of time. There is just never enough time to fit in everything on a holiday. So when planning our most recent trip, I made sure that we would find a way to fit it in.
From the Gold Coast it is a day trip. We didn’t want to have to leave the Gold Coast super early, so instead of booking a tour, we hired a car and drove up to the Sunshine Coast. It was a beautiful trip, the landscape around Australia Zoo was gorgeous, and we were able to leave later in the morning and still be at the Zoo around opening time.
I was pretty impressed with the zoo, I have to admit I was worried that the zoo would not live up to all the hype, but it far exceeded my expectations. I’ve been to a lot of zoos with Ash, it’s kind of our “thing”, this is officially now one of our favourites. The zoo is actually quite big, which means it took us a while to get around the entire map. There were a lot of shows on during the day as well, we missed a few of them, but we managed to catch the main attraction, which of course was the crocodile show. I have to tell you that the croc show made me nervous, but it was also pretty fascinating to watch.
Ashli was pretty excited to discover that Bindi’s Bootcamp (which she had previously watched on tv), was open for the kids to climb around on and interact with the educational fixtures that are there. We spent a good amount of time just checking out all the maps and boxes that were littered around the area. Ash had been hoping to participate in the “Zookeeper For A Day” program, however it’s only open during school holidays, and we were there during low season which meant it was not running.
During the course of the day we discovered that one of the Sumatran Tigers was having a birthday, and there was a news crew filming the tiger show. We headed over to take a peek, but the crowd was so large it was almost impossible to see anything. So we decided to return after all the excitement was over. Not being able to see the show did not really bother me though, I love tigers, I enjoyed sitting and watching the tiger peacefully later on in the day.
After spending the entire day, we were pretty exhausted, but happy we are finally able to cross Australia Zoo off our bucket list. We would absolutely go back if we find ourselves in that part of Australia again, I feel like the zoo was so large that we didn’t have the opportunity to take in everything it had to offer, and I would suggest if you are planning on visiting Australia Zoo, make sure you turn up when the gates are opening for business so you have the full day. Perhaps even check out the zoos “Plan your Day” page on their website, so you know what activities you would like to participate in and plan for it.
Have you been to Australia Zoo yet? I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments below.