Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
- Type: Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Zoos and Aquariums
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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To be clear: This is not a zoo. The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas describes itself as a "wildlife immersion exhibit," meaning you can roam freely along an elevated boardwalk and observe and interact with the animals that call this 8-acre complex home.
The Wildlife Habitat houses three distinct Tropical North Queensland environments — the rainforest, the wetlands and the grasslands — that together house more than 180 species. In the grasslands, you'll spot Estuarine crocodiles and wallabies; you'll even have the chance to hand-feed one of Australia's most iconic natives, the kangaroo. The wetlands play host to koalas, carnivorous marsupials, flightless birds and the black-necked stork. And the rainforest offers a chromatic display of Rainbow Lorikeets, Eclectus parrots and the elusive Boyd's Rainforest Dragon. You can peruse the habitats at your leisure, or you can participate in a free guided tour to learn more about the behavioral characteristics of each species.
For more of an up-close encounter, consider dropping in on an animal presentation. You'll learn about pythons, koalas and crocodiles and (for a little extra coin), you can snap a photo with an animal of your choice. Despite the added fee, many recent visitors say this intimate animal encounter is their favorite part. "Although the birds and other wildlife were amazing, the standout for me was the koala presentation and opportunity to hold a koala. A moment I will never forget," said one TripAdvisor user. And if feeding the 'roos has you hankering for a quick bite of your own, consider signing up for Lunch with the Lorikeets. While you're munching on the buffet of hot and cold eats, friendly water birds, curlews, lorikeets and cockatoos fly freely.
You'll find the Wildlife Habitat off Captain Cook Highway on Port Douglas Road, about 38 miles north of Cairns. Open year-round, the Wildlife Habitat welcomes visitors every day between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To enter the park, adults pay $32 AUD (about $30 USD); children's admission costs $16 AUD (about $15 USD), and traveling clans with two adults and two children can save with the $80 AUD (approximately $75) family rate. For more information, head to the habitat's website.