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Cairns Tropical Zoo Queensland

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Image of saltwater crocodile at Cairns Tropical Zoo

Cairns Tropical Zoo isn't large, yet it is a zoo where you can get close to a vast array of birds and native Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas and wallabies. With arguably the best bird show presentation of any zoo in Australia, Cairns Tropical Zoo is a fabulous day out for all the family.

There is a huge area set aside for freshwater and salwater crocodiles and fabulous walkthrough areas where you can hand feed and pat kangaroos. Make sure you take the time to Visit Cairns Tropical Zoo. It's Awesome!

We recently visited Cairns Tropical Zoo and was very impressed by the close interaction that visitors can have with the zoo animals.

Image of Major Mitchell CockatooIt may not be as big as the zoos you find in the major cities, yet Cairns Tropical Zoo is a zoo where you can feed kangaroos by hand, pat a koala, hold a snake and walk in bird aviaries, where the birds may even come sit on your shoulder. Now that's getting close to the animals.

You won't see elephants or giraffes. What you will see is Australian animals. Koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, wombats, dingoes and many more. Cairns Zoo does have a few animals from overseas like the Red Panda, Cotton Top monkeys and Madagascan Lemurs, but the majority are native Australian animals.

There are free wildlife shows, where you will learn a lot of interesting facts about the animals. The bird show is outstanding, informative and very entertaining, with black cockatoos, Major Mitchell cockatoos, magpies, Tawny Frog mouths and a very talented and amusing white cocky showing off in front of the audience.

Because Cairns Tropical Zoo is a smaller zoo, keeper talks are more personal and you get a much better view of the animals and their behavior. I loved the bird show and thought it was the best I had seen. Surpassing even the excellent Free Flight Bird Show at Sydney's Taronga Zoo for pure enjoyment and information. Make sure you give the white cockatoo a donation when the show is over, it is amazing how he will take your money and put it in the money box.

Image of a sleeping koala hanging from gum tree.Everyone loves koalas and Cairns Tropical Zoo has quite a few. Look for the times when you can have your photo taken holding a koala or just walk through the koala sanctuary where you are just an arms length away from these adorable animals.

Koalas sleep for 20 hours a day so most times they are hanging in the trees, but they are still so cute.

They say never smile at a crocodile, so be wary when you come to the crocodile enclosure. Some of Cairns Tropical Zoos crocodiles are serving life in prisonment, sentenced for being rather troublesome creatures around Cairns, eating dogs and cattle.

Wildlife Rangers had to trap the large saltwater crocodiles and throw them in gaol at the zoo to ensure they didn't start eating humans. If you are there at feeding time the crocodile show is a real eye opener.

Cairns Tropical Zoo is situated on the highway about 20 minutes north of Cairns at Palm Cove.

Public buses stop right at the front entrance to the zoo, there is ample free parking available for those self driving or you can organize bus pickup and drop off through your hotels tour desk.

Try to give yourself about 4 hours at least at the zoo. There is a lot to see and a lot to learn with photo opportunities galore. Also ensure your camera batteries are fully charged and you have plenty of room on the storage card as you will take lots of photos.

Cairns Tropical Zoo has a good cafe for a welcome cup of coffee or a delicious lunch. Don't forget to purchase a bag of kangaroo feed when you enter the zoo, kids and grown ups love the kangaroos and wallabies eating from their hands.

Cairns Tropical Zoo
Captain Cook Highway
Palm Cove, Cairns, Queensland
Open 7 days from 8:30am to 4:00pm (closed Christmas Day).

There is a great morning tour available which includes breakfast at the zoo. It's a great opportunity to get up close and personal with koalas without large groups. You can book the Morning Tour online below.