The Best Animal Encounters Around Brisbane 

  • Family

With Christmas fast approaching you may be trying to think of present ideas that don’t fill up your house with yet more toys and allow you to do something together as a family. If so, these animal encounters around Brisbane will be right up your street. 

Pat a Rhino at Australia Zoo | Beerwah

Ever wondered what it would be like to cuddle a rhino? Find out at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast with their Ripper Rhino Encounter. There is no age limit for this animal encounter and children under two are free with a paying adult ($79 per person). If rhinos aren’t your thing there are 22 other encounters to choose from at the zoo, including giraffes, cheetahs, tiger cubs and red pandas. 

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Cuddle a Koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary | Fig Tree Pocket

Whether you want a quick cuddle and a photo to take home with you ($25) or a 45-minute long koala snuggle sesh ($120 including entry to the sanctuary), Lone Pine is the place to go. With 130 resident koalas, plus a host of other animals, it makes for a great day out for the whole family. If you are coming from central Brisbane you can even catch the ferry to and from the sanctuary and take in views of Brisbane’s iconic river. 

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Feed a Wild Dolphin at Tangalooma | Moreton Island

Feeding the wild dolphins of Moreton Bay at Tangalooma Resort has been available to guests since 1992. It started with the owner and his wife feeding the dolphins and has gradually grown to be one of the resort’s most popular attractions. Head out into the knee-deep water with the resort staff, fish in hand, and one of the evening’s visitors will swim along and gobble it up. If you aren’t staying at the resort you can book a day trip from Brisbane ($199 for adults and $149 for children) which includes the return boat trip, lunch, dolphin feeding and a choice of activity. You can pick between: the Desert Safari Tour, Marine Discovery Cruise, Snorkelling the Wrecks, Aussie Jet Boat or Whale Watching (in season).

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Swim with Seals at Sealife Sunshine Coast | Mooloolaba 

Suitable for kids 13 and over, the Seal Swim Experience at Mooloolabah’s Sealife is one you won’t forget. Not only will you get to swim with these cheeky marine animals but you get to check out how the keepers take care of them in a behind the scenes tour of the Seal Fish Kitchen. Plus, get a professional photo to take home with you. Adults $116 and children $104 including entry to Sealife. 

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Play with Penguins at Sea World Gold Coast | Main Beach

Head out into the icy penguin enclosure in a small group of four people and get to know the playful penguins of Sea World Gold Coast. Get a behind the scenes tour before suiting up and spending twenty minutes feeding and playing with the penguins. This animal encounter is suitable for kids eight and up (under 14s must be accompanied by an adult). The Penguin Arctic Adventure is $129 not including entry to Sea World.

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Train birds at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary | Currumbin

Suitable for kids over ten, this small group experience shows you some of the tips and tricks the trainers use to teach the feathered inhabitants of the sanctuary to perform in the amazing Bird Show. The Bird Training Experience Package is $68.95 including entry to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Image credit: Sea World