Alma Park Zoo is located about 30 minutes drive north of Brisbane. The zoo is on 40 acres and is nicely landscaped with about 12 acres under a rainforest canopy. Although not on the same scale as Taronga Zoo or Melbourne Zoo, Alma Park Zoo makes a pleasant family outing, and is a great spot to picnic under the shady palms and rainforest trees.
The Zoo was established by Bill Williams in 1969 as a native animal sanctuary. Bill Williams also owned palm nurseries, and planted many of the palms on the site. Some of the large palms were transplanted from Brisbane and are over 100 years old. In 1973 the sanctuary zoo was registered as a zoo to acquire exotic animals. Ownership has changed a couple of times since then, most recently in 2003.
Currently, Alma Park Zoo exhibits about 24 species of native animals and 23 species of exotic animals. A recent addition to the Zoo is Lemur Island featuring five Ring-tailed Lemur. An island sanctuary has been built constructed in the middle of the lake to house the Lemur colony.
During the day there are various keeper talks and presentations on Squirrel Monkeys, Snakes and Crocodiles, Koalas, Baboons. For an additional cost visitors can also touch and hold Koalas, Snakes and Crocodiles. You can buy food at the kiosk to hand feed Kangaroo and Deer.
Animals at the Zoo include several species of monkeys: Black-handed Spider Monkey, Squirrel Monkey, Cotton-top Tamarin, Common Marmoset, Rhesus Macaque and Sacred Baboon.
Species of kangaroos and wallabies at Alma Park are Grey Kangaroos, Red Kangaroo, Swamp Wallabies and Red Legged Pademelon. You can hand feed Kangaroos and wallabies in a walk through enclosure. Other Australian native mammals are Koala, Common Wombat, Short-beaked Echidna, Dingo, Spectacled Flying-fox and Brushtail Possum
The Fallow Deer can be hand fed in a walk through enclosure. You will also see Red Deer. Apart from the deer, Asian Sun Bear, Water Buffalo, Himalayan Tahr and Camels are about the largest of the exotic mammals. There is also the Brazilian Agouti that looks like an overgrown guinea pig.
On the reptile front, you will see several snake species – Boa Constrictor, Carpet Python, Olive Python, Black-headed python. You will also see some lizards such as Lace Monitor, Water Dragon, Thick-tailed Gecko, Eastern Blue-tongue and the two Australia crocodile species – the Freshwater Crocodile and Saltwater (Estuarine) Crocodile.
Bird highlights are the Southern Cassowary, Emu, Ostrich and Greater Rhea. There are also Bush Stone Curlews, Peacocks, Pheasants, various parrots and cockatoos, Barn Owls, Tawny Frogmouth and lots of Ducks.
The younger kids love the Friendship Farm which has Alpaca, Sheep, baby Chickens, Guinea Pigs, Miniature Cow and Goats.
Alma Park Zoo has free barbecue and picnic lawns in the rainforest gardens. You are welcome to bring your own food or you can buy snacks and meals from the café.
Alma Park Zoo is located at Alma Road, Dakabin about 30 minutes north of Brisbane. Take the Narangba exit (138) off the Bruce Highway and follow the signs for Alma Park Zoo. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm everyday except Christmas Day.