The perfect place to introduce little kids to Australian Wildlife
If you only have the chance to see native Australian animals once on your Australian trip, this stop will be perfect for your younger kids. With many up-close encounters, daily walks, talks and feeding opportunities this is a great place to get a hands-on experience.
This post is part of our series Discover Australia – learn more about our favourite parts of Tropical North Queensland and beyond to explore our home country of Australia with kids
What to expect at Wildlife Habitat
The park is broken up into four different environments you will experience in Queensland – Savannah, Wetlands, Rainforest and Woodlands.
Visitors walk through the different environments on an elevated boardwalk at their own pace, then you can choose to join in with any of the daily talks, tours and feeding times that coincide with your trip.
The park is not huge, so dependent on whether you join in any extra tours or experiences you could be done in less than 2 hours or easily take up 3 to 4 hours.
There is a café area on the grounds and if you are looking for nice Australiana gifts this is also where we found one of the nicer selections in northern Queensland.
Special add on extras at Wildlife Habitat
There are some bonus extras offered at an additional price that you may want to book in advance to enhance your Wildlife Habitat experience:
Breakfast with the Birds – 8am – 10.30am. Dine on-site in the Curlew Café with the colourful morning managery
Lunch with the Lorikeets – 12pm to 2pm. Lunch in Curlew Café with a bird presentation.
WildNIGHT – An exclusive 2-hour evening tour behind the scenes with the parks nocturnal residents (Note minimum age 5 years due to the nature of the experience it’s not suitable for very young kids)
Junior Keeper – Visiting during the school holidays? Look out for their scheduled Junior Keeper program days, perfect for your 8 to 14-year-old kids.
YOUR Wildlife Habitat – personalised tours that include one on one time with the koalas, a personalised tour throughout the grounds, a visit to the Wildlife Care Center, meals and souvenier photo.
There are many other add-ons to your experience including “feature creature” photos and buying feed for the savannah animals.
What our kids loved about Wildlife Habitat
Whilst undoubtedly the highlight was getting to hand feed the wallabies and kangaroos in the savannah, I loved how engaged the kids were with the talks through the rainforest and wetlands. We learnt a lot about the fascinating and mysterious southern cassowary.
We found even in the peak of the dry season (though out of school holidays times), the park was not crowded and the free tour groups were of manageable size.
Our first day we arrived when the animals were hungry and ready to feed, but they do warn you when entering if it’s not a good time of day, no matter how much you encourage the ‘roos they have no interest in feeding.
The highlight was undoubtedly getting the meet the roos. The only other place we had a truly up close experience like this so far has been at the very remote Uralla Sanctuary in Western Australia.
Visiting Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas – The Practicalities
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas is situated immediately off Captain Cook Highway as you turn towards the township of Port Douglas. Coming from Cairns it’s approximately a 50-minute drive up the incredibly picturesque Great Barrier Reef Scenic Drive coastline. There’s plenty of on-site parking.
Coming from Port Douglas, it’s about 4km away. A bit far too walk but good biking distance or you can catch one of their shuttle buses.
Booking tickets to Wildlife Habitat
Note children under 4 years are free and tickets allow you re-entry up to 5 days – a fabulous feature if you are staying in the area. We definitely used this option when the kids just wanted to pop in and see their favourites just one more time! And it meant we could visit at a different time of day and catch different tours.
When to Visit
Open year round (except Christmas day) 8am to 5pm.
Like much of the Tropical North, you are better visiting in the cooler months April through to October. You can read more details on average Port Douglas weather conditions here.
Where to stay
You can’t go wrong staying anywhere in the Port Douglas region. For those looking to stay super close, Nimrod Resort Apartments and TiTree Resort Apartments are good family options. We stayed at Mango Tree Holiday Apartments nearer to town so we could also easily access 4-mile Beach.
Have you visited Wildlife Habitat? We’d love to hear your tips for family travellers on how to make the most of your Port Douglas day trip
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