9 top Aussie animal encounters

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Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane QLD

This is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary and the perfect place to actually cuddle one – or you could also experience a Reptile and Raptor encounter.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast, QLD

Set aside a full day to experience over 1400 mammals, birds and reptiles. Younger kids will enjoy feeding the lorikeets and bigger kids will get their kicks flying over the enclosures on the TreeTop Challenge – five large ropes and zipline courses for different age groups.

Australian Reptile Park, Central Coast, NSW

This is possibly the most interactive wild life park in Australia. Feed a wallaby or bush kangaroo joey and a 200-year-old tortoise, take a selfie with a koala or giant python, see alligators and Elvis, the big saltwater croc.

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, NSW

Sydney’s iconic zoo celebrated 100 years in 2016. Kids 12 to 17 years can be a Keeper For A Day Cadet and enjoy behind-the-scenes, interactive activities.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, Sydney, NSW

Shark Dive Xtreme is a serious animal encounter with seriously big (yet harmless) sharks, just inches from your face. (Min age 14 years.)

Featherdale Wildlife Park, near Sydney, NSW

Hand-feed kangaroos, wallabies, poteroos and pademelons, and enjoy animal encounters with everything from cattle, crocodiles and reptiles to baby goats, pigs and rabbits in the farmyard.

Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, NSW

Stay a night inside a ‘zoo’ at the Zoofari Lodge and enjoy your private sunset over the African Savannah where giraffe, eland and zebra roam. Wake to the Siamangs’ crazy whooping calls.

National Zoo & Aquarium, Canberra, ACT

Handfeed lions, tigers and bears, and walk with some friendly dingoes. The Zooventure Tour is only opportunity you’ll have to experience a brown bear’s tongue licking honey off the palm of your hand!

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary near Hobart, Tasmania

The Feeding Frenzy behind-the-scenes tour lets you feed daily treats to over ten different animals, birds and reptiles.

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Holly O'Sullivan
Holly O'Sullivan

Holly is the founder and content creator of THATraveller. Holly travels the world, photographing, writing and vlogging about all of her journeys.