Australia’s best Zoos and Sanctuaries

Australia leads the world in unique and iconic zoos and sanctuaries, with a huge range of diverse and exotic wildlife experiences. But where to start? From world-famous crocodile shows to African-styled safaris and koala encounters – our list takes you on a tour of some of the best zoos in Australia and the top-quality highlights. 

Australia Zoo, Queensland

The Australia Zoo has experiences for everyone! Check out the Echidna Encounter. Image from Tourism and Events Queensland.

Crikey! Made famous by ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, Queensland’s Australia Zoo is one of Australia’s best-known wildlife destinations. Established in 1970 as the ‘Beerwah Reptile Park’, today this 700-hundred-acre sanctuary is home to freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, a Tasmanian Devil, dingoes and more. Settle in for the croc show Australia Zoo is famed for when the Wildlife Warriors Show brings you face-to-face with snakes, crocs and other reptiles in the Crocoseum. Other highlights include Roo Heaven, Pat A Koala and Bindi’s Island. 

Where to stay

For stylish accommodation is a scenic drive away from Australia Zoo, enjoy some luxury by the ocean at Breeze Mooloolaba, Ascend Hotel Collection

Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

A Panda climbing in a tree
Did you know Adelaide Zoo is the only place to see Pandas in Australia? Image from Adrian Mann.

Explore the Immersion Rainforest as you enter a botanic world of exotic and native animals. Adelaide Zoo is home to over 2,500 animals and more than 250 species. The zoo has a strong focus on conservation and is involved in breeding programs for endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger. Don’t miss Delilah’s cuddly new tiger cubs, who made their debut in 2023. Visitors can get close to pandas Wang Wang and Fu Ni at the Adelaide Zoo Panda Experience. 

Where to stay

Adelaide spoils you for choice with a range of accommodation options to suit every taste and style, from boutique hotels to apartments and family-friendly inns. 

Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria

Couple with kangaroos at Healesville Sanctuary
Pet the kangaroos at the Healesville Sanctuary. Image form Visit Victoria.

Enjoy an immersive behind-the-scenes experience at Healesville Sanctuary, an animal sanctuary dedicated to protecting our native wildlife. You’ll see kangaroos, koalas, and platypuses up close in these beautiful woodlands. Explore Main Track and see a huge variety of reptiles and amphibians, including emus and colourful parrots. At the Healesville Sanctuary Platypus Experience, you’ll meet Australia’s famous foragers in their riverside environment. 

Where to stay

Only 25 minutes from Healesville Sanctuary, Econo Lodge Lilydale is a colonial-style property at the gateway to Yarra Valley, providing the ideal base to explore the region’s attractions.

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