Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Location and History

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the picturesque southern end of Queensland’s Gold Coast in Currumbin Valley. It spans an impressive 27-acres, encompassing beautiful natural bushland and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Currumbin rainforest landscape. The sanctuary was first established in 1947 by a philanthropic couple named Alex and Siggy Griffiths who owned the land. The Griffiths used the property to care for sick, injured, and orphaned native wildlife. By 1975, the sanctuary was officially opened to the public and has since grown into one of Australia’s biggest and most respected not-for-profit wildlife parks.

Today, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plays an integral role in rehabilitating wildlife, allowing visitors to observe Australian native species, and protecting rainforest ecosystems across South East Queensland.


There are various unique attractions making Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary a must-see for both nature lovers, families and tourists. One of the most popular attractions is the expansive Kangaroo Reserve, where visitors are welcomed by hundreds of red kangaroos and wallabies that are free to move across the grounds. There is also a dedicated Koala Conservation Centre with elevated wooden walkways, allowing close-up viewing of these cuddly icons. Other highlights include the Reptile and Frog House, displays of endangered wildlife like the Southern Cassowary, a Free Flight Bird Show featuring trained falcons, owls and eagles, as well as daily animal feeding presentations across the park.

Native Animal Exhibits

Kangaroos and wallabies

The expansive Kangaroo Reserve is undoubtedly one of the most iconic attractions at the sanctuary. Here, visitors can walk amongst over 50 inquisitive red kangaroos and wallaroos as they roam freely across the landscape. Friendly wallabies can also be spotted hiding amongst the bushes and trees. Guests have the special opportunity to purchase a bag of food at the entrance to hand-feed these charismatic marsupials up close. It’s the perfect encounter with Australia’s most famous wildlife.


The Koala Conservation Centre at Currumbin provides rare insight into the lives of koalas. An elevated boardwalk loops through sprawling eucalyptus woodlands, allowing visitors to spot wild koalas snoozing in the branches. The sanctuary is also home to the country’s only koala hospital – a specialist facility for treating sick and injured koalas through medical care, rehabilitation and research. Guests can even have their photo taken while patting or holding a koala, supporting this vulnerable and endearing species.


Australian wombats – stout, muscular marsupials – can be seen burrowing and grazing in their timber and stone enclosure. Fun Fact: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary established the first ever wombat breeding program for the endangered southern hairy-nose wombat. Guests can watch these cute diggers playing and rooting for vegetation.


One of Australia’s most peculiar egg-laying mammals, the short-beaked echidna, can be found waddling along dirt tracks across the sanctuary’s wild bushland spaces. These spiny monotremes use their long snouts and tongues to feast upon ants and termites from fallen logs and rocky nooks. Echidnas are elusive creatures, so spotting one forages for insects is an exciting experience!

Tasmanian devils

Tasmanian devils became extinct on mainland Australia prior to European arrival, so Currumbin provides people with a rare glimpse of these fierce marsupials. Their ‘Devil’s Cave’ enclosure showcases up to 10 devils at once, exhibiting their unique behaviors – from play fighting, ear-splitting screeches to dominance displays. The sanctuary houses the country’s most successful devil breeding program outside of Tasmania.

Reptiles and frogs

From lace monitors to green tree frogs, the sanctuary’s Reptile and Frog House features an array of Australia’s incredible herpetofauna species. Follow the wooden boardwalks to discover crocodiles, turtles, lizards, pythons and an array of colourful rainforest frogs going about their day. Expert keepers regularly host educational reptile talks and feeding demonstrations for visitors too.

Birds of prey

Guests can enjoy free flight bird shows daily, displaying some of Australia’s formidable hunters including wedge-tailed eagles, barn owls and black-breasted buzzards. These presentations showcase the raptors demonstrating their aerial prowess and natural behaviors to a crowd of visitors in a predator-prey style show. Trainers also often mingle amongst the crowds, enabling people to observe Australia’s birds of prey up close.

Endangered Species Programs

Tasmanian devil breeding

The Tasmanian devil is the largest surviving carnivorous marsupial in Australia. Devils are found in the wild only on the island state of Tasmania. However, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary operates the most successful Tasmanian devil breeding program outside of Tasmania. Through managed breeding and care, the sanctuary has supported the birth of over 300 healthy Tasmanian devil joeys. Visitors can observe the devils in their ‘Devil’s Cave’ enclosure and may spot young emerging from their mothers’ pouches. This program aims to create an insurance population against a cancer threatening wild devils.

Parrot conservation

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary runs critical conservation and captive breeding programs for two endangered parrot species – the swift parrot and the regent honeyeater. These bright coloured parrots face threats of habitat loss, climate change and low breeding rates. The sanctuary has established specialised breeding facilities to support their survival. Visitors can walk through the conservation aviaries to potentially spot chicks emerging in nest hollows while learning about these species’ plight. Over 150 swift parrot chicks and 60 regent honeyeater chicks have successfully hatched at the sanctuary.

Turtle rehabilitation

Various species of freshwater turtles face a range of threats across South East Queensland’s waterways. The sanctuary’s turtle and tortoise program rescues and rehabilitates injured turtles found locally. Turtles receive specialised veterinary treatment and recovery care before being released back into their natural habitat. Visitors can walk through the turtle enclosure to see turtles swimming through ponds and basking under heat lamps as part of their rehabilitation. Educational signs provide background on the issues these remarkable reptiles face in the wild locally.

Tips for Visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Opening hours and Entry fees

As one of the Gold Coast’s premier wildlife attractions, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary opens its doors from 8am till 5pm daily, welcoming guests to enjoy a fun day out with Australian native animals. Plan your visit and purchase tickets online with regular entry priced at only $39.50 for adults, $21.40 for kids, while under 4’s enter free. Annual membership passes are also available for locals, providing year-round entry and special member benefits across the park.

Onsite amenities

Despite being nestled amongst 27 acres of natural bushland along the Currumbin rainforest valley, the sanctuary offers modern visitor facilities for convenience and comfort. Find park maps at the entrance to navigate between key exhibits and don’t hesitate to ask the friendly wildlife keepers and staff if you have any questions during your visit. Picnic spots, clean barbeques, sheltered eating spaces and toilet blocks are dotted across the expansive grounds when you need a break. Refuel with tasty light meals at the centrally located Rainforest Café or grab Australian-themed souvenirs from Wild Things gift shop.

Tips for visiting

Arrive early to check out Wildlife Wonderland and hand feed kangaroos before crowds arrive! Don’t forget to pick up a show schedule to catch unique wildlife encounters like the Crocodile Feed, Free Flight Bird Show and the chance to cuddle a koala. Comfortable walking shoes are a must and pack layers of clothing as the weather changes rapidly in the valley. Most importantly, embrace your childlike curiosity, be present amongst our treasured native animals and the pure natural beauty this special place has to offer. For a quintessentially Australian adventure brimming with conservation inspiration, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is your ticket! Escape the bustle of Surfers Paradise for the day and come connect with wildlife in this coastal rainforest haven.

Special Events and Experiences

Wildlife shows

In addition to their regular native animal exhibits, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary runs a variety of exciting wildlife shows and presentations throughout the day. A highlight is the Free Flight Bird Show held in the Birds of Prey Arena which showcases the aerial talents of wedge tailed eagles, little eagle, falcons and owls. Visitors will be wowed as these raptors swoop closely over the heads of the crowd. Guests can also attend the informative Crocodile and Snake Show to observe snake handlers wrangling dangerous pythons and watch as keepers feed fresh meat to the sanctuary’s massive saltwater crocodiles.

Behind-the-scenes tours

For animal lovers hoping for a more immersive wildlife experience, intimate behind-the-scenes tours take visitors to restricted access areas around the sanctuary. These 90 minute expeditions include special encounters like meeting endangered cassowaries, watching the vet treat native animals in the hospital, and stepping inside the koala rehabilitation facility. Those on the VIP Wildlife Tour may even have opportunities to hand feed fresh eucalyptus to koalas recovering behind the scenes or pat a wombat in the keepers’ enclosure. It’s a memorable insider’s look at this renowned sanctuary.

School holiday activities

During Queensland school holiday periods, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ramps up their roster of family-friendly activities. Kids can join free ranger talks at the Reptile Enclosure, take part in environmental arts and craft making, or join guided educational tours of wildlife hospital facilities tailored for children. Face painting, circus shows and didgeridoo musical performances also feature at these peak times. Unique holiday events like Conservation Week teach environmental awareness, while Easter is marked by the arrival of cute baby animals around the park.

Feed the birds

For close encounters with feathered wildlife, visitors can head to the sanctuary’s designated feeding areas. The lively Rainforest Aviary allows hand feeding of strikingly coloured lorikeets as they perch on branches and swoop down for a taste of nectar mix. Guests can also purchase seed trays at the entry to the Walk-in Aviary to get friendly with inquisitive finches, parrots and doves that flock at foot level around the woodland enclosure. It’s the perfect opportunity to have cheerful Australian birds eating straight from the palm of your hand.

How Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Protects Animals

Research projects

Scientists and vets at Currumbin study native animals and their health. By doing research they learn new ways to better care for injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife at the hospital. Their research also helps protect endangered species.

Threatened species breeding

Breeding programs at the sanctuary are saving threatened Australian animals. Special breeding areas help Tasmanian devils, regent parrots, swift parrots, southern cassowaries, and endangered turtles have healthy babies. Visitors get to see these rare baby animals being raised by their mothers.

Habitat restoration

The staff work hard to look after the native bushland, rainforests, and wetlands around Currumbin. By removing weeds and planting local trees they provide safe habitats for native wildlife to live in. Clean rivers and forest spaces are essential for animals to thrive.

Environmental education

The sanctuary teaches visitors about conservation through fun exhibits, shows, and tours. People can learn how to protect animals like koalas, reptiles, and clever birds of prey. Encouraging people to care for nature is key for these special species’ survival.

Why Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Matters

Importance as a wildlife sanctuary

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary plays a big role as a safe place for sick, hurt or orphaned animals to recover. Caring for native wildlife at their hospital since 1947, they have helped over 9,000 koalas and thousands of other special Aussie animals!

Awards and recognition

The hard work of vets and staff at Currumbin has been recognised many times. The sanctuary has won top awards for their breeding programs helping endangered species, as well as for tourist attractions and conservation efforts across Queensland.

Future development plans

There are exciting expansion plans to make Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary even better! Building new habitats and facilities will allow them to breed more threatened wildlife while upgrading amenities will improve visits. New animal encounters, children’s nature activities and digital technologies are also arriving over the next 5 years for an even more interactive experience.