Currumbin Sanctuary is one of the best loved tourist attractions on the Queensland Gold Coast. With over 1400 animals and birds, the Sanctuary has one of the largest collections of Australian native wildlife in the world. The Sanctuary dates back to 1947 when a local flower grower and beekeeper named Alex Griffiths began feeding the lorikeets to distract them from feeding on his flowers. Flocks of lorikeets soon arrived for feeding and over time the lorikeet feeding developed into a tourist attraction. In 1976, Alex gave the Sanctuary to the Queensland people and it is now managed as a National Trust of Queensland property. The Sanctuary has attracted millions of visitors throughout its history and continues to be popular with local and international visitors. The park used to known as the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, but in 1995 the name was changed to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to reflect the diversity of animals now on display.
The lorikeet feeding is still one of the highlights where visitors get to hold a dish of lorikeet food for birds to swarm down and feed. The lorikeets at the sanctuary are wild birds (mainly Rainbow Lorikeets along with a few Scaly-breasted Lorikeets), so numbers that come to the sanctuary depends on what other natural sources are available – less birds come to the sanctuary in spring and summer when there are many native trees in full bloom. The Rainbow Lorikeet is brightly coloured with green back and wings, blue head and red and yellow chest, and has a distinctive loud screech. The sanctuary feeds the lorikeets a commercially produced product called Wombaroo Lorikeet and Honey-eater food. The food is a powder mixed with water and honey into a sticky liquid porridge (and many a visitor leaves the sanctuary wearing some of it on their clothes from spills!)
Over the years the variety of animals and shows on offer has expanded, and there is enough to keep visitors occupied for most of the day. There are various ranger talks throughout the day to give you more information about the animals and let you get a closer look at them. A lot of Australian mammals like the Echidnas, Koalas, Wombats and Dingoes sleep a lot during the day, and these ranger talks are a good opportunity to see the animal awake and active. You can hold a koala and have your photo taken with a koala, but there is additional cost. You can feed the kangaroos in the free range kangaroo and wallaby enclosure any time, and kangaroo food can be purchased at the Koala Junction Kiosk or from a machine in the kangaroo paddock. Snakes, lizards and turtles can be seen in the Naturally Wild Rainforest exhibit. Snakes are also featured in the Totally Wild and Snakes Alive shows.
Currumbin has a couple of aboriginal cultural shows during the day with a Didgeridoo Show and Aboriginal Dancers Show. One of the relatively recent additions to the program is the Free Flight Bird Show. This is well worth attending to see the agility and power of birds of prey in flight including a Wedge-tailed Eagle, Kites and Owl. There are a number of other bird feeding events during the day with Pelican and Eel Feeding at the wetland area, Forest Fringe Aviary Feeding and bird feeding in the large walk through Rainforest Aviary.
The miniature train is a great way to travel around the sanctuary, with stations spread from one end of the park to the other. The train departs each station at 20 minute intervals, and can save a lot of walking in getting from show to show. As well as being a practical means of transport, the train is a fantastic ride for kids, and if you have young ones, you may find yourself talked in to doing several train rides.
The Sanctuary animal hospital is one of the largest wildlife hospitals in Australia and is the only major wildlife hospital in the Gold Coast region. The hospital takes in up 30 sick, injured or orphaned animals a day, and now needs a larger facility. Fund raising for construction of a new Currumbin Community Wildlife Hospital is in progress.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at 28 Tomewin Street in Currumbin. To get there, drive along the Gold Coast Highway follow to Currumbin, turn off at Currumbin Hill traffic lights into Tomewin Street. The Sanctuary is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Christmas Day. (On Anzac Day opening hours is from 1:00pm to 5:00pm).
Currumbin has good wheelchair access, with sealed paths, ramps and boardwalks to most of the attractions. Much of the park is relatively flat, but there are some areas where the tracks are a bit steep though, and assistance will be required to push up these slopes.
Green Challenge by Adventure Parc
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s all-new, exhilarating treetops ropes course – the Green Challenge – is bigger and even more exciting than ever before.
The Green Challenge, presented in association with Adventure Parc, is the newest nature-based adventure experience for the Gold Coast.
Sixty-five challenges, over four separate courses, weave their way through the eucalypt and rainforest canopy, taking visitors higher and further into the spectacular natural setting.
The Green Challenge is based on the Adventure Parc concept, which takes elements of SAS commando training delivered as safe, fun and exciting treetops ropes courses for children and adults.
The new Currumbin courses are like no other – surrounded by native wildlife, combined with world-class wildlife displays and shows located just a short walk from one of Australia’s best beaches.
The four courses include a beginners’ course, two intermediate courses and the Extreme Green Challenge – an advanced course designed to offer the ultimate challenge for participants.
With high Tarzan swings and a giant flying fox, the Extreme Green Challenge will test the agility and daring of anyone who takes on the course.
Each of the Green Challenge courses has been designed for children and adults alike for family fun, fitness and team building (children must reach 160cm from heels to outstretched fingers to enter the Green Challenge and 180 cm for the advanced, Extreme Green Challenge).
Advanced Eco Certification
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has gained Ecotourism Australia’s Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation. The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travellers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour, attraction, cruise or accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
A National Trust of Queensland property, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the Gold Coast’s leading native wildlife and coastal rainforest experience and home to hundreds of native animals in 27 hectares of natural surroundings.
The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.