Billabong Sanctuary is an Australian native animal wildlife park set in eleven hectares of natural bushland, some twenty minutes south of Townsville in Queensland. The sanctuary has over a hundred species of mammals and reptiles, including wild animals attracted to the sanctuary. There are numerous resident bird species, and wild birds are attracted to the natural billabong.
At the Sanctuary, you can see Crocodiles, Koalas, Kangaroos, Snakes, Wombat, Dingoes, Pademelon and Greater Glider. Birds include the large Emu and Cassowary, as well as aviaries of rainforest birds and cockatoos. Visitors have the opportunity to hold a Koala, Wombat, Snake and Crocodile. A recent addition to the park is a Greater Glider acquired from David Fleay Wildlife Park on the Gold Coast. The Greater Glider is related to the possums and much larger than other gliders such as the Squirrel Glider.
You can wander amongst kangaroos and wallabies, and check out the various animal handling and feeding shows. Once you have paid your entry fee there are no further charges. Your entry fee allows you to hold several different kinds of animals including crocodiles and pythons, and you can take photos with your own camera. Entrance also covers shows and presentations such as crocodile feeding, wombat patting, koala patting, cassowary feeding, dingo feeding, turtle and eel feeding. Koala or wombat handling is an additional cost, which includes professional photo of you with the animal (a percentage of the proceeds going towards Australian wildlife conservation). At the Aussie Animal Encounter activity visitors have the chance to get up close to various animals such as a young saltwater crocodile, a blue tongue lizard and an Eclectus Parrot.
The Sanctuary is engaged in breeding programs for the Southern Cassowary, Estuarine Crocodiles, Northern Bettong, Common Wombat, Nail-tailed Wallaby, Eclectus Parrot and Black-headed python. On your visit you will see some of the young koalas born at the park.
The largest crocodile at the park is a 4.4 m long young breeding male Estuarine Crocodile weighing about 500kg. There is a large adult female that weighs about 90kg and is about 2.5 metres long. As well as breeding crocodiles, Billabong has also had success with breeding other reptiles. In fact they has so many baby Blue-Tongued Lizards that they sell them to the public as pets, at much lower prices than you pay at a pet shop.
The Southern Cassowary is one of the most interesting birds at Billabong. Cassowaries are large flightless birds that live in the rainforest fruits, and play an important part in rainforest ecology by distributing the seeds in their droppings. Billabong Sanctuary has a pair of Barking Owls. These owls are native to the Townsville region and have call that sounds like a dog barking.
Billabong offers Nocturnal Tours and Sleepovers. There is something special about spotlighting for animals at night and picking up the reflection of their eye shine with your torch. Crocodile spotting is an amazing experience in the wild, and you get a taste of it from the safety of the sanctuary. You will find out more about the nocturnal habits of Australia’s native animals, when some of the sleepy animals you see during the day come to life. Nocturnal tours run at weekends are for Club Billabong members only. (Club Billabong is Billabong Sanctuary’s annual membership for individuals and families).
The new Function Centre, Melaleuca on Billabong caters for conferences, business functions, weddings, receptions and parties.
Billabong Sanctuary is situated on the Bruce Highway, at Nome, about 17kn south of Townsville. The sanctuary is open from 8am to 5pm every day of the year except Christmas Day.