Koala & Wildlife Park

koala wildlife park koala ground

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.

rainforestation wildlife center
Inside the Wildlife center at Rainforestation.

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.

koala wildlife kangaroos
Kangaroos curious if we were going to feed them.

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.

koala wildlife kangaroo feeding
Feeding kangaroos was a lot of fun.

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.

koala wildlife park kangaroo
Hand feeding Kangaroos and wallabies was a highlight of our visit.

Koala Bears

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.

rainforestation koala enclosure
The koala enclosure near the reptile house at Rainforestation.
rainforestation koala baby
The mama koala with her baby clinging on to her.

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.

koala wildlife tasmanian devil
Tasmanian devils are ferocious! Pictured here is either Neville or Dennis, quietly sleeping in his safe home.

If you want to see a Tasmanian Devil while visiting Cairns, this wildlife center is the only place to find them.

rainforestation cassowary enclosure
The lush cassowary enclosure at the Rainforestation Wildlife Center.
koala wildlife park cassowary
Only cassowary “Kevin” we saw while in Australia. This cassowary’s name is Keita.
rainforestation tree kangaroo
Our only time in Queensland to see a tree kangaroo. His name is Jimmy.
koala wildlife macaw
Macaws are wild all over the Cairns area.
koala wildlife park dingo
The dingos were way more friendly than I expected.

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.

koala wildlife croc watch
That is one big croc under the tarp canopy!

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”.

koala wildlife croc
I’m not sure we are far enough away from a crocodile that size!

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.

Koala Experience

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!

rainforestation koala center
The Koala Center entrance is located inside the gift shop.
holding a koala wildlife park
Koala bears are so soft and squishy.

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.

Tips:

  • 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.

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