Archive for June, 2009

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda, North Queensland

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary at Kuranda Village in northern Queensland is the largest butterfly aviary in Australia. The landscaped Butterfly Sanctuary is home to over 1500 hand-reared tropical butterflies.

All the butterflies are local rainforest species, including the large blue Ulysses butterfly, the bright green Cairns Birdwing and many colourful smaller species. The aviary opened in 1987 and over a million people have visited the attraction. Some of the butterflies have a tendency to land on visitors brightly coloured clothing.

Steve's Whale One – Australia Zoo Humpback Whale Cruise

Steve’s Whale One is a luxury cruise vessel owned by Australia Zoo that runs whale watching trips. The vessel caters for up to 115 people and is based at The Wharf at Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. It was named “Steve’s Whale One” by Steve Irwin’s children. The boat is an aluminum catamaran and has been purpose-built for whale watching and cruising. It is twenty metres long with a beam of seven metres.

Australia Zoo, Home of the Crocodile Hunter

Australia Zoo is located on the Queensland Sunshine Coast near the Glasshouse Mountains north of Brisbane. It is one of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, and the Home of The Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin.

Alma Park Zoo, Brisbane

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.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

Werribee Open Range Zoo is about 30 minutes drive of Melbourne on the way to the Great Ocean Road. Along with Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, the Werribee Open Range Zoo is one Victoria’s top three zoos. It used to be known as Victoria’s Open Range Zoo at Werribee and Werribee Zoo. The Zoo opened to the public in 1983. It is a major attraction on the Great Southern Touring Route and the Bay Tour. The Zoo is home to African animals living in a open savannah. You can see lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, monkeys and cheetahs. The most recent attraction is the family of hippos in the Kubu River Hippo exhibit.

Koala Conservation Centre, Philip Island

The best known nature attraction on Phillip Island is the famous Penguin Parade, but there are other wildlife attractions on the island to occupy visitors to the island. The Koala Conservation Centre is dedicated to koala research and conservation.

At the Koala Conservation Centre you can walk through bushland and see koalas in their natural habitat and get up close to them on treetop boardwalks. You can stroll along bush tracks through eucalypt woodland, perhaps meet wallabies or an echidna and see many species of birds. In the Visitor Centre, you can learn about koalas and buy gifts and souvenirs in the Koala Shop.

Nobbies Centre, Philip Island

The best known Phillip Island attraction is the world famous Penguin Parade, but it is not the only nature attraction the island has to offer. The area features spectacular coastal scenery with an offshore seal colony at Seal Rocks and colonies of nesting seabirds in spring and summer. Seal Rocks is an important breeding area for 10,000 – 12,000 Australian Fur Seals. The Nobbies Centre is a marine attraction where you can find out about the southern marine environment via interactive displays and observe a seal colony through telescopes and cameras.

Penguin Parade, Phillip Island

Phillip Island is located just off the Victorian coast south of the Mornington Peninsula. It is now connected to the mainland by a bridge across Western Port Bay. The Penguin Parade at Phillip Island is one of the best known wildlife attractions in Australia, and is managed by Phillip Island Nature Parks, a non profit organisation dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable ecotourism.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Mornington Peninsula

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria on the way from Melbourne to Phillip Island.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park was the childhood dream of Chief Ranger Michael Johnson, inspired by famous British naturalist Gerald Durrell. Moonlit Sanctuary opened in 2001 on 10 hectares of land with a modern, visitors centre. The site has been landscaped with over 10,000 native Australian plants, hectare of wetland with lake and water bird habitats and over 30 animal enclosures.

Melbourne Zoo, Royal Park

Melbourne Zoo is located in Royal Park about 4km north of the city centre. The Zoo has over 300 species of animals from all over the world in lush landscaped grounds.

Melbourne Zoo opened in 1862 on the Royal Park site, and is Australia’s oldest zoo. Melbourne Zoo was modeled on London Zoo, with formal Victorian gardens. In the early days the animals were housed in old circus cages. Picnic grounds and enhanced landscaping were added as the Zoo increased in popularity. In 1934, the Zoo introduced a collection Australian wildlife featuring kangaroos, platypus, koalas, and other native animals. The Zoo has changed dramatically over the last hundred years with exhibits renovated and new developments added such as the Trail of the Elephants, the Orangutan Sanctuary and the exhibit for Australian Fur Seals, Fairy Penguins and other marine life added recently.