The Koala and Wildlife Park within RainForeStation is an awesome place to hand-feed kangaroos and wallabies, see rare Australian wildlife, like wombats, Tasmanian devils, and more! It is also one of the few places you can hold a koala bear.
While at the ticket office, pick up a bag of “roo” food to hand-feed the kangas and wallabies. Bags of “roo” food are $2AUD each and are cash only.
We enjoyed the freedom to walk about the center and take our own time observing the animals. Guided tours are offered with the wildlife keepers and are available on the grounds to answer any questions.
Kangaroos and Wallabies
After entering the double entryway into the wildlife center, we saw kangaroos and wallabies everywhere! Some were lazily lounging around, some were being social, and others were hidden among the beautifully landscaped enclosure.
This area had a lot of room for the animals and people to mingle, and the marsupials had a special place to retreat to when they need a break from the public.
Everyone was excited to open our “roo” bags and start hand-feeding these creatures we have only seen at a distance in zoos. It was adorable to watch the wallabies use their little paws to hold onto our fingers, and the kangaroo’s little teeth would nudge at our palms while they eat out of our hands.
Next to the reptile house is an enclosure for koalas to leisurely hang about. These marsupials are native to eastern Australia and typically live in eucalyptus forests. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous, but koalas have a long digestive organ called a cecum, which allows them to break down the leaves without any issue.
There are only 80,000 Koalas in Australia and we were fortunate to be able to visit them up close and personal at the Wildlife Center.
Other Australian Wildlife
Walking along the cemented pathways, we strolled past many enclosures where the animals appeared to have plenty of space and were well taken care of. These iconic Australian animals are difficult to see in the wild, so we appreciated the opportunity to visit such a large variety up close.
If you want to see a Tasmanian Devil while visiting Cairns, this wildlife center is the only place to find them.
Two dingos reside in Rainforestation’s Wildlife Center; Ned and Kelly. The wildlife keepers explained the history of dingos living in Australia and how they are very similar to domesticated house dogs.
From an elevated platform, we safely viewed “Jack the Ripper”, a 16.5-foot saltwater crocodile weighing over 1400 pounds! Jack is kept in a separate enclosure because he killed 12 of his “girlfriends”.
Near Jack, the crocodile’s enclosure had other scaly friends. Look for juvenile crocodiles, turtles, komodo dragons, snakes, and lizards. Some can be spotted along the elevated boardwalk and others inside the reptile house.
There are only a few places where you can hold koalas in Cairns, and the Koala & Wildlife park happens to be one of them. When visiting RainForeStation, arrange your schedule to see them first. The lines will be short, the Koalas are “fresh”, and the employees haven’t been dealing with tourists all day. We had a great time with our koala and the staff was wonderful!
We had an amazing time visiting the Koala and Wildlife Center at Rainforestation! Between holding a koala bear or feeding the kangaroos, we couldn’t decide which was our favorite.
- There are three “experiences” within RainForeStation. Make sure the package you purchase covers the Koala & Wildlife Park if you want to have close-up encounters with Australian wildlife.
- Hold a Koala while you still can!
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a high quality camera.
- Bring water and eco-friendly sunblock.
- Purchase “roo” food at the box office.