2 Best Sights in Burleigh Heads and Beyond, The Gold Coast

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Fodor's choice

A Gold Coast institution and perhaps the most ecologically minded wildlife facility in the region, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a 70-acre, not-for-profit National Trust Reserve featuring more than 60 koalas and an on-site wildlife hospital. Established in 1947 as a lorikeet sanctuary, it now shelters a wide variety of Australian species, including kangaroos, crocodiles, wombats, dingoes, Tasmanian devils, echidnas, emus, and rare birds. There are more than 10 daily animal feedings, shows, and performances, friendly 'roos (often with joeys in their pouches!) love to be petted and hand-fed, and the fleet of young koalas make for perfect cuddle and photo opportunities. All revenue goes toward Currumbin's work protecting, treating, and rehabilitating local wildlife.

Tickets are much cheaper if bought online in advance, especially in low season.

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David Fleay Wildlife Park

Located in the town of Burleigh Heads—7 km (4½ miles) south of Broadbeach—and named for an Australian wildlife naturalist, the park features a daily program of ranger-led walks and presentations, a boardwalk trail, and picnic facilities. See koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, platypuses, and crocodiles, grouped together in separate zones according to their natural habitat, or discover threatened species and the elusive platypus in the state-of-the-art nocturnal house. There's also a café and a gift shop.

Daily presentations are included in the ticket price; the platypus feeding at 10:30 am is a must-see.