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  Top 10 Attractions 2018 >> Best Animal Attractions in Australia



Holidays with Kids 2018


1Australia Zoo

Sunshine Coast, QLD


The legacy of Australian icon Steve Irwin, this zoo’s jaw-dropping attractions and commendable efforts in wildlife conservation have earned it the crown as your favourite animal attraction for a second year running. Along with its incredible exhibits, the Zoo Keeper for a Day program is a must, allowing the kids to get hands-on and behind the scenes, as is the daily show in the Crocoseum. And the whole family will love getting up close with the zoo’s furry and fearsome residents on special encounters with lemurs, meerkats and even a two-tonne rhino.


2Taronga Zoo

Sydney, NSW


Adorable tree kangaroos, majestic sun bears and cheeky chimpanzees are just a few of more than 350 species that call Taronga Zoo, Sydney, home. An easy 12 minutes from the Sydney CBD by ferry, check out the zoo’s sky-high Wild Ropes for extra thrills. With its suspension bridges, climbing walls, flying foxes and incredible harbour views it’s bound to be a hit with little adventurers. Or make a weekend out of it at Roar and Snore, the zoo’s ultimate safari tent sleepover, where you’ll also enjoy animal encounters and keeper talks.


3Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne, VIC


It’s Melbourne’s world of wildlife, and here animal lovers can enjoy free keeper talks on lions, tigers and more. Check the schedule to see which talks are scheduled on the day of your visit, and add them to your itinerary, along with visits to see creatures of all shapes and sizes from elephants to the fluttering beauties in the Butterfly House. The Keeper Kids indoor playspace is perfect for aspiring vets, as they’ll be immersed in role-play activities with some insight into the roles of animal care and conservation workers.


4Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin, QLD


Say hello to furry friends at this wildlife sanctuary, just half an hour south of the Gold Coast. With everything from birds to mammals to reptiles, meet your favourite animals with up-close encounters such as croc feeding, koala hugs and dingo pats. There are a variety of shows held through the day for all ages. The young ones will love the Blinky Bill Studio adventure, while teens will be on the edge of their seat checking out Australia’s diverse reptile family with Big Fang Theory.


=5Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

Melbourne, VIC


With an exotic and fascinating range of animals, the SEALIFE Melbourne Aquarium is a hit for all ages. You will be up close with playful penguins in penguin playground, venturing through the underworld in mermaid garden and coming face-to-face with one of the largest saltwater crocodiles, the Pinjarra. For fans of the family hit Ice Age, join Scrat the nut-crazed squirrel and his friends Sid, Diego and Manny on a 4D adventure through time. The theatre is fully wheelchair accessible.


=5Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

Sydney, NSW


Located in the beautiful Darling Harbour, Sydney’s SEALIFE aquarium takes visitors on a journey through Australia’s freshwater and marine environments. Take a look at what is really going on below your feet with the Sydney Harbour exhibits, showcasing a snapshot of the 600 species of fish inhabiting the depths below. If you’re brave, wander through the Shark Walk and get up close and personal with the Grey Nurse Sharks and the Queensland Groper.


6Taronga Zoo Western Plains

Dubbo, NSW


African lions, Sumatran tigers, zebras and koalas are just a few of the animals that can be seen at this zoo in Dubbo. A little over five hours from Sydney, this zoo makes for a great weekend getaway discovering New South Wales’ inland treasures. For the ultimate experience, treat your little animal lovers to a night in the zoo’s on-site accommodation. Whether you stay in one of the lodges, cabins or camp sites, kids will love gazing upon giraffes roaming in the afternoon and waking to the roar of lions in the mornings. Head the zoo on your birthday and get in for $1!


7Sea Life Sunshine Coast

Mooloolaba, QLD


Finding Dory fans will love this aquatic paradise, with one of its 11 themed zones dedicated completely to her and her friends. Created with Disney Pixar, journey through Dory’s reef and interact with scenes from the box-office smash movie. Seal island is also a favourite, featuring two presentations daily for kids to discover the sight, smell and sounds of seals through fun interactive experiences.


8National Zoo & Aquarium

Canberra, ACT


Australia’s only combined zoo and aquarium has so many close encounter options you’ll be hard-pressed to prioritise which animals you most want to meet. Feed the beautiful white lions and watch as they roar and compete for food (from behind the protection of a glass wall!) or meet the new cheetah cub, Solo and his puppy pal, Zama. Single-day tickets for adults are $45 and children (ages four–15) are $25.


9Werribee Open Range Zoo

Werribee, VIC


This open-range zoo gives visitors a chance to delve into the world of the African savannah, meeting some of your favourite inhabitants. Take a free safari tour over the 200 hectares of property and see giraffes, rhinos, zebras and ostriches roaming the plains. The park is also home to three silverback gorillas, who spend their time living it up in an enormous 6,000-square-metre exhibit. Make the easy one-hour drive from Melbourne for a day the kids are sure to remember.


10Perth Zoo

South Perth, WA


Perth Zoo is a short 10-minute drive out of the CBD and its many animals, activities and events are bound to entertain all ages. Not only home to some of the most fabulous animals alive today, the zoo has its own ‘Zoorassic Park’ which features a range of prehistoric dinosaurs and megafauna that aspiring archaeologists will love. This includes the beady-eyed velociraptor, the impressive hammer-tailed ankylosaurus, a mammoth and sabre-toothed cat.


Highly commended

Australian Reptile Park

Healesville Sanctuary

See the winners for:

Theme Parks

Museums and Art Galleries

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