Australia & NZ

Australia: Top 8 Wildlife Parks

Exotic endemic fauna, probably as much as Vegemite and Violet Crumble, lures untold visitors to Australia every year. Everyone is keen, after all, to spot a bandicoot or wallaby. From the Top End to Tasmania, the South West to Cape York Peninsula, the country is awash with zoos and nature reserves that allow you to do just that. For now, however, we focus the spot on a superb octet where wildlife stewardship is front of mind.

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Monarto Zoo
Old Princes Highway, Monarto, South Australia

Adelaide has a fine zoo but do yourself a solid and make the short 70 km drive from Victoria Square to Monarto Zoological Park. Aside from animals from Asia, the Americas and Africa, the facility is a prime place to photograph a bilby and malleefowl.

Where to stay: Stamford Plaza Adelaide Hotel

Adelaide City Guide

Territory Wildlife Park
Cox Peninsula Road, Berry Springs, Northern Territory

A short 45 minutes from Darwin, Territory Wildlife Park unfurls a parade of Top End fauna and flora.

Where to stay: One30 The Esplande Apartments Darwin

Darwin City Guide

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park
Port Arthur Highway, Taranna, Tasmania

While a diabolical, parasitic cancer decimates the wild devils of Tasmania, the best sanctuary on the island, arguably, is in tiny Taranna, some 85 km outside of capital Hobart.

Where to stay: Salamanca Inn All Suite Hotel Hobart

Hobart City Guide

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin, Queensland

A fave escape from the superficial excesses of Surfers, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a mob of beautiful Rainbow Lorikeets. The reserve also has a world class aviary, reptile facility and Tasmanian Devil enclosure.

Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Hotel Surfers Paradise

Gold Coast City Guide

Caversham Wildlife Park
Lord Street, Whiteman Park, Whiteman, Western Australia

Perth offers several alternatives for wildlife lovers but Whiteman Park, some 22 km from the city, is a gem. Caversham Wildlife Park, a huge walk-through facility, has koalas, kangaroos, wombats and dingos galore.

Where to stay: Pan Pacific Perth

Perth City Guide

Canberra Nature Park
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

As the “Bush Capital” of Australia – and capital capital – the ACT has a lot of endemic wildlife (and pests) to enjoy. Canberra Nature Park envelops some 33 separate areas in the city and ACT proper and offers myriad trails that guarantee glimpses of native furry creatures.

Where to stay: Diamant Boutique Hotel Canberra

Canberra City Guide

Ballarat Wildlife Park
York and Fussell Streets, Ballarat East, Victoria

Sixteen acres of gum woodland may not seem like a lot but this premier wildlife park 115 west of Melbourne has enough quokkas, echidnas, koalas, devils, quolls, crocs and snakes to wow wee ones.

Where to stay: Travelodge Hotel Southbank Melbourne

Melbourne City Guide

Taronga Western Plains Zoo
Obley Road, Dubbo, New South Wales

We adore Taronga Zoo in Mosman, Sydney but the Western Plains sister facility merits a special trip. While the zoo’s acquisitions from Sub-Saharan Africa get a lot of attention, the residents from Down Under are just as impressive.

Where to stay: Four Points By Sheraton Hotel Darling Harbour Sydney

Sydney City Guide

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