It’s hard to know what’s the bigger attraction for visitors to Sydney’s famous zoo: the collection of 4,000 animals to see, or the million-dollar views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo to stroll around the lush waterfront grounds, including the newly opened jungle-themed ‘Tiger Trek’ where you can get up close and personal with the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger.
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW, +61 2 9969 2777
It’s illegal to actually hold koalas in Australia except in the states of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, so this Brisbane sanctuary is a super popular destination for those wanting to cuddle a koala. Lone Pine opened as a refuge for injured koalas in 1927 and now 130 of the furry little fellas reside here, as well as a catalogue of other Australian species including kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses, Tasmanian devils, dingos, echidnas and crocodiles.
708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD, +61 7 3378 1366
The star of this nature reserve 90 minutes from Melbourne is the Penguin Parade, a viewing area at Summerland Beach that provides an intimate perspective of the Little Penguins as they waddle across the sand at sunset to return to their burrows after a day’s fishing at sea. Phillip Island Nature Park also includes an Antarctic museum and jet boat tours to Australia’s largest fur seal colony.
1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands VIC, +61 3 5951 2800
The idea of this revolutionary ‘unzoo’ is to be a zoo without cages, in a bid to save the endangered Tassie devil from extinction. The Unzoo contains four unfenced devil habitats that educate visitors about this rare marsupial, as well as paddocks for kangaroos, wallabies, native hens, bandicoots, possums and 100 bird species to roam free.
5990 Arthur Hwy, Taranna TAS, +61 1800 641 641