When I think about taking my kids to see animals in Brisbane and greater surrounds, I immediately think about Australia Zoo, Sea World or Lone Pine. All great places, all great days out. But none are cheap and all are a good distance out of the CBD.
Luckily there are some great places, closer to town and less expensive, where you can treat your kids to a dose of cute and cuddly. You just have to know where to look. One great place is Walkabout Creek and its fantastic Wildlife Centre. It is located within the D’Aguilar National Park. Just 12 km out of town at 60 Mount Nebo Road, The Gap. We live on the south side of Brisbane and it took less than half an hour to get there.
The wildlife centre boasts a huge variety of critters – from the scaly to the furry, the winged and the web-footed. The helpful staff were on hand to tell us about each of the creatures. One of the most popular residents is the platypus. He was a bit shy but he eventually came out of hiding and we were able to watch him enjoy a yabbie lunch.
My boys thoroughly enjoyed the snake and frog exhibits (as boys do) and had a lot of fun in the open aviary. The tawny frogmouth owls and the bush stone-curlews seemed very use to company and came quite close to us. The centre is also home to a group of wallabies and a number had joeys when we went, which was extra special. The spotted quoll was also a favourite with my kids, as was the sleepy wombat.
Admission costs are a very reasonable $6.80 for adults, and $3.30 for children (4 – 17) with under 4s free of charge. A family pass for two adults and up to four children is $17.10. There are also daily animal feeding sessions and wildlife talks given by rangers included in the price.
The Green Tree Frog Café, which is located on site at the wildlife centre, serves decent coffee, sandwiches, salads and yummy cake. But we chose to picnic around the reservoir.
After checking out all the animals (a few times over), we made our way down to the water – a short walk from the wildlife centre. The area has recently been rejuvenated and is perfect for picnics. There is plenty of grassed area and a small patch of sand for the little ones to play. My six year old son enjoyed a dip with his brave Aunty (what would we do without brave aunts?) The reservoir is large enough to go for a paddle, if you are kayak-minded and there are mountain bike and bushwalking tracks surrounding the reservoir if you are not.
We enjoyed a lovely picnic – supplied by my gorgeous mother. But if your gorgeous mother isn’t preparing you a feast, you can stop off at the Gap Subway or, for a more gourmet option, the Megafresh gourmet market. Both are located on Waterworks Road and are on the way.
I love places that let my kids explore, have adventures and learn – and Walkabout Creek has all that in spades.
Just don’t tell everyone about it.
Are your kids mad-keen on animals too? Do you have a local wildlife park?