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In the words of Katy Perry, “I kissed a girl and I liked it”. If you are brave enough to put a carrot in your mouth and pucker up, you too can ‘kiss’ a giraffe at Australia Zoo. One-on-one Animal Experience sessions like this one are certainly memorable. If your children are celebrating a birthday, adding one of these experiences to your zoo visit is a great present. Australia Zoo prices are affordable enough for this extra treat. Australia Zoo is located on over 70 hectares of natural bushland on Australia’s Sunshine Coast in Queensland. With more than one thousand gorgeous native and exotic animals, a line up of interactive animal encounters, an action-packed 24-hour wildlife hospital and an adventurous Zoo crew, there is never a dull moment. I still find it hard to believe that it took us almost 20 years to visit Australia Zoo given we live in nearby Brisbane.

Surveying the African savannah at Australia Zoo
Surveying the African savannah at Australia Zoo

We also signed up for a Lemur Experience where the keeper explained the animals would determine what happened during the session. We were expecting something sedate but when our family entered the cage it was like meeting King Julian and his mates from the movie Madagascar. The lemurs climbed on our shoulders, ate out of our hands and sat on our laps for photos. Just like King Julian, they were far from shy. We got waylaid by a kangaroo on our way to the Wildlife Warriors presentation but still managed to find a seat.

This is what happens when you tell a lemur to look at the camera
This is what happens when you tell a lemur to look at the camera
We had to stop to pat a kangaroo but still made it to the show on time
We had to stop to pat a kangaroo but still made it to the show on time

At busy times it’s a good idea to arrive early so you can get a spot in the shaded grandstand. Most people come here to see the mighty Saltwater Crocodiles but we enjoyed watching the free flight birds that swooped in from different sides of the arena on cue and almost stole the show. One the way out of the stadium we met a friendly wombat out for a stroll. Wildlife Warriors is just one of the 14 free wildlife shows that are available daily.

Getting my wombat fix
Getting my wombat fix

You can also check out talks on Asian otters, koalas, snakes, and watch the tigers interact with their handlers at the Tiger Temple. This is a terrific show but there is very little seating so make sure you arrive early. We also donated a gold coin in exchange for a tour of the on-site animal hospital which is open 24 hours a day. It was great to see the fantastic work that is being done here. Whether you are travelling with kids or as a couple, Australia Zoo is a must visit.

Our gold coin donation at the animal hospital went towards helping injured animals like this cute koala
Our gold coin donation at the animal hospital went towards helping injured animals like this cute koala

Disclaimer: The writer travelled as a guest of Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd.

Heading to the Sunshine Coast? We’ve got lots of helpful information to help make this your best trip yet including accommodation reviews for Eumarella Shores Noosa Lake Retreat Review, Oceans Mooloolaba, Rumba Beach Resort, Seahaven Noosa, King Parrot Retreat, On the Beach Noosa, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and Peppers Resort & Villas Review. We’ve also reviewed Australia Zoo Review, Kanu Kapers Everglades Tours, SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, Sails Restaurant Noosa, Noosa helicopter tours, Noosa Oceanrider, Noosa Dreamboats, and Betty’s Burgers Noosa. Don’t miss our tips for Things to do on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Things to Do for Active Travellers, The Best Restaurants at Mooloolaba, The Ultimate Guide to Noosa, Things to do at Mooloolaba, Healthy Noosa Holidays, Where to Find the Best Views on Hastings Street, and How to Plan Your Noosa Honeymoon.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.