There are plenty of wildlife parks in the Brisbane/South East corner area, and they all have Koalas for you to see as well as other native animals.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the place to come to if you only have time to visit Brisbane and want to see Koalas. Here you can have your photo taken with a Koala and see wildlife roaming around calling this place home.
You have plenty of other animals to see such as Birds, Cassowary, Platypus, Flying Foxes, Lizards and Snakes. A couple of Dingo pups were running around their enclosure, playing like a couple of young boys. Mum was watching them from the runway above while I was there. Usually, the Dingos are sleeping when I see them.
Once again, you have shows showing what our native birds and farm life is like. A Raptor Flight show and Sheep Dog Show allow you to see how agile the birds are and how skilled the dogs are in herding sheep.
At 9.45 am and 4 pm there is the feeding of the Rainbow Lorikeets. These colourful, wild birds come into the designated area to be fed and have photos taken with them. A few often hang around during the day, so if you're not there when the feeding is on, you might be lucky and see them around.
Of course, what you really want to see are the Koalas, and there are plenty of them.
There are many places where you can not only see the Koalas but have your photo taken with them as well. Babies are something to keep an eye out for as the cute factor is off the scales.
If you're only in Australia for a short time and it's spent in Brisbane, then this is the park to come to. You can easily spend an afternoon or morning seeing all the animals that call Australia home and learn about them from the talks that occur during the day.
Daily: 09:00 AM–05:00 PM
Home of the Irwin's, Australia Zoo is located at Beerwah, Glasshouse Mountains, about 20 minutes off the highway to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane.
Although it's known as home to Crocodiles, they aren't the only residents here.
Along with the Crocodile shows, there are also Birds of Flight, Tiger, and Reptile as well as talks at the enclosures of other animals.
The Sumatran Tiger talk in the morning and show in the afternoon is another popular place to be to see these magnificent animals. You learn all about their plight in the wild and how zoos are helping to conserve them.
This is a huge park that you can spend all day looking around. As well as the Sumatran Tigers you have, Asian Small Clawed Otters, Australian marsupials, and an African area for Zebras and Rhinoceros to roam more freely.
All the Australian native animals are here, and if you're lucky you'll see a baby Koala or an Echidna running around.
Bindi Island is a large area where the Ring-tailed Lemurs are free to roam. In trees, on the path or walking along the ground, they are so entertaining, and plenty of photo opportunities are here.
The marsupials aren't the only native animals on show. The Snakes on show, are a valuable education into how dangerous this country can be if you're in the wrong place, at the wrong time, encountering the wrong snake.
On your way out, at the end of the car park, is the Hospital which you can also visit if you've paid a couple of dollars extra.
Here you can view the operating and recuperating rooms. You can see all the excellent work that the Hospital does for the local wildlife as well as their own in the Zoo.
You can easily drive from Brisbane, the Sunshine or Gold Coast and there is a large car park.
You can arrive on a train, alighting at Beerwah Train Station, with the Australia Zoo shuttle meeting most trains.
There are also daily bus tours departing from Brisbane, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
This is an excellent attraction for learning all about Australian animals as well as Sumatran Tigers. You may even get to see the Irwins.
Daily: 09:00 AM–05:00 PM
Wildlife HQ is a little zoo at Woombye on the Sunshine Coast and a great place to see Koalas.
This little zoo used to be Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane's northern suburbs before being relocated to the Big Pineapple to allow for more housing to be built.
There is a small train that runs through the zoo and up to the Big Pineapple and its eateries. You have a little cafe for snacks on the zoo grounds although you're welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy.
As you enter the park, you have farm animals, reptiles, Cassowaries and more before heading around to a walk-through of Kangaroos.
Crossing over the railway tracks, you'll find yourself in the middle of the Australian animal section. Here you can find the Koalas, more Kangaroo and Wallaby, including an Albino Wallaby.
The Tassie Devil is usually either asleep or in hiding, but there are plenty of other animals to see including birds.
There are plenty of Koalas to keep you entertained here. They have pit enclosures that make it easy to see them at eye level.
Maly, the Sun Bear, has a large enclosure to roam around. He is included with Binturong, Red Pandas and Blackbutt.
As this is a small park, a small number of animals are introduced over time. The African Wild Dogs came a couple of years ago, and are found in many zoos in Australia and New Zealand now due to their dwindling numbers in the African wild. They also have Meerkats and Baboons.
African Wild Dogs are often found sleeping during the day. I was lucky I found one that was curious about what I was doing
Onto the South American Trail and you have Monkeys, Snakes and Ring-tailed Lemurs.
As this is a small zoo with no government funding, the Monkey's are in the old wire enclosures of the past. Hopefully, one day, they can be moved to a more open area popular with the bigger zoos in cities.
Another great little park to see animals, especially Koalas. Some of the paths are steep, and sometimes you just have grass to cross so bear that in mind if you have wheelchairs or strollers.
You also have the opportunity to have animal encounters which seem to be a lot cheaper than other zoos. You can view your options here.
Daily: 09:00 AM–04:00 PM
The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is located at Currumbin on the Gold Coast.
Whether you're based down here or not, and want to see Koalas, then this is the place to come to.
There are lots of native animals at this park with the usual shows and talks throughout the day.
Not far from the entrance is a bird aviary, where you can walk through looking for native birds.
Looking for the birds in the aviary can take you a while, especially little ones like the Sacred Kingfisher
Some of the birds are well hidden. They are either camouflaged high in the treetops or on the ground looking for grubs.
There are Parrots in other Aviaries further into the park. In these enclosures, you walk along looking into the open area where the birds are free to fly.
There are plenty of shows for you to see as you wander the grounds throughout the day.
Make sure that you plan the day well so you can fit everything in from Australian culture to the Free Flight Bird Show.
Another great show that you have to see is the Crocodile show. Get there early for this one to make sure that you get the right spot to watch the show.
After you have seen the Crocodile show, you should head to the Lost Valley. Home to the rainforest, it is reminiscent of Gondwanaland, thousands of year ago.
Many animals here include the Red Panda, Tree Kangaroo, Lemur as well as many more.
The Lemur enclosure is a walk-through area, also sharing the area with local birds. With the Lemurs, you can look but don't touch them. You can still get very close to them as they wander around.
Lorikeet feeding happens twice a day, at 8 am and 4 pm. It is just outside the entrance so you can enjoy this experience without paying to go in. A gold coin donation is all that is required for the food that you can feed the Lorikeets. They are so used to humans, that they will land on you without an invitation.
Of course, what you have really come to see is the Koalas which are dotted all over the park.
Back near the entrance, are the Koalas that you can have a photo taken with. The Nursery with the Mum Koalas and their babies are near the back of the park.
You can arrive by car, with a large car park for a fee that will go towards the Animal Hospital which cares for wildlife and zoo animals.
You could use public transport. Go to the Translink site to plan your journey.
Shuttle bus transfers can be organised by calling 1300 886 511.
This is an excellent park for families as well as those kids at heart. For the smaller ones, there is plenty of areas where they can play in the playground or enjoy cooling off on a hot day in the Wild Island Adventure Splash Zone.
There are new attractions every year, so if you've been before it's no excuse not to come back again.
All of these wildlife parks are worth your consideration. All do great work in the community helping wildlife as well as there conservation deeds. By visiting these parks, you're helping to keep these animals healthy and in breeding programs as well as supporting the local wildlife.
Daily: 08:00 AM–05:00 PM
Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world, so always bring the sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, even in winter, and don't forget your water.