Saturday, April 14, 2018

Australian Wildlife Encounter at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


I never liked animals in any form or shape. Well, I don’t mind being near them as long as we both attend to our own businesses. When a friend mentioned that first thing on our itinerary when we land in Gold Coast was to visit an animal sanctuary, I didn’t exactly know how to react. I am no animal lover but I enjoyed our afternoon session with them koalas and kangaroos.
I am the type of person who doesn’t normally plan anything on my trips. It was my buddy who takes care of the nitty gritty part of researching on what-to-do and where-to-go. But on this part of our honeymoon trip, it was one of our best buddies who planned for everything. 

Me and my buddy tied the knot on a laid back backyard wedding in Zambales last February. Our original plan on having a celebratory trip to Japan afterwards was suddenly forgotten after we got a sponsored deal on a Manila to Sydney flight via Scoot

Check out Scoot's year-round fares to key cities in Australia from Manila via Singapore
Our Australian Tourist Visa was approved after consulting with One Vine Migration and gladly, we were given multiple entries for one year (check my guide on how to get Australian Visa in the Philippines). After planning our route (Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast and Brisbane), we scored some great deals on tours, activities and transportation in Australia via Klook App. 


We had a 16-hour layover in Singapore on our Manila to Sydney flight. We used this time to indulge in a full day of gastronomic adventure in downtown. The almost eight-hour flight to Sydney was comfy as we got to ride, for the first time, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. 

We had so much fun exploring Sydney during our first leg. Our five-day jaunt felt fleeting as we needed to check other cities. (check here for discounted tours, activities and transportation in Sydney). 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife
Mini railway operating since 1947
Our good friend Gay who’s based in Byron Bay set our very flexible itinerary. The one-hour and twenty minutes flight from Sydney to Gold Coast was smooth and we were welcomed by the sunny weather at the airport, a total contrast on the breezy Sydney. She then mentioned that we’re going on an animal sanctuary as she got a deal on her mobile app. All four of us laughed as we thought that this was a joke, but no, she was serious about it. 


Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife
Gay's emu encounter
Well, as they say, you've never been to Australia if you haven't had wildlife encounters with kangaroos and koalas, to name a few. So off we went to our first stop in the second leg of our trip.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was built in 1947 and recognized as one of the oldest sanctuaries in Queensland State. The 27-hectare property consists of Currumbin rainforest, open animal enclosures, kangaroo-feeding activities, koala-encounter, bird shows, tree top canopy ropes course, outdoor-themed playground, and much more. A miniature railway has been operating since 1964 and is a hit to kids and adults alike. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Wildlife
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary itself is not like the zoo that I’m accustomed to. Animals here are well taken care of which assured me that no animal is harmed or vulnerable. As a sanctuary, they promote wildlife education, conservation and research. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital is also housed inside it where you could see the resident veterinaries at work. 

Koala Bear Australia
Koala Bear, finally!
Koala Bear Australia
Sleeping whenever, wherever - just like me. Haha.
First stop was the koala bears. The cute fluffy creatures were inside a pen with makeshift eucalyptus trees that serve as their food. Being nocturnal in nature, only one of almost twenty bears on this area was awake. I took snaps of it and observed the others. It was as if they effortlessly dozed in an instant that they left whatever they’re doing. 

Next stop was the kangaroos. 

Kangaroo Sanctuary Australia
Scary at first. But no, they're okay.
I wasn’t particularly scared but I also didn’t have the same excitement as other people would probably have to finally see an animal that you’ve only seen in televisions. Their environment resembled to their ‘supposedly’ natural habitat. 

Kangaroo Sanctuary Australia
Me not coming any closer.
As we entered through the gate, a kangaroo with a joey in her pouch welcomed us in a not-so-cheery mood, she stood still while focusing her attention to us, very maternal. It seemed like she was all set for whatever happens. 

Kangaroo Sanctuary Australia
Cutesy joey
I slowly stayed back and watched as she nursed her young. I was speechless on the sight of a creature who would keep her baby safe at all times.

We got used to being with the kangaroos after quite some time. There are many other areas where they thrive and guests would openly be with them, some were taking endless selfies with them, not my thing. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Review
Emu on the loose
Me and my buddy entered another gate which led us to Lost World. The five-hectare self-guided exotic precinct lets you travel back in time through the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. We got to be up close to world’s most unique wildlife, such as Red Pandas, Cotton-top tamarins, Lemurs and more. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Review
Got no idea what this is.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Review
Tree Kangaroo
It was a fun afternoon as we got acquainted with non-Asian animals on their local environment. I remember vividly how I told our driver in Sri Lanka that Philippines do only have one elephant and it came from his country. He was stunned to hear that we don’t have our own elephants. Culture exchange. 

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will always be a reminder for me that not all animal institutions are there for show-off and for a fee. The main goal of the sanctuary which is wildlife conservation and education is realized here and the fees collected really goes to this purpose. 

Currumbin Beach
The view of Currumbin Beach for lunch.
Next stop was a super late lunch at Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club or Currumbin Surf Club. The restaurant and bar is open for non-club members depending on seat availability. Australian bistro favorites are the diners’ top picks. 

Currumbin Beach
Gay will always be gay :)
It was a treat, yet again, from our friends and we got to enjoy one of the best seafood platters in Gold Coast by GC Bulletin (AUD130). 

Stories of travels and whatnots echoed through the open-aired dining area as we devoured some fresh oysters, shrimps, crabs and more. It’s amazing how we all came from different backgrounds but converge because of our passion which is traveling. 

Currumbin Surf Club Seafood Platter
Named as one of the top 5 seafood platters in Gold Coast by GC Bulletin
It was a lovely day as we drove to our next destination. Our first taste of Queensland with a wildlife encounter and lunch with a view was truly a nice surprise. 

Next stop, Byron Bay! 







Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary 

28 Tomewin St., Currumbin, QLD 4223, Australia 

Contact Number: (+61) 7.5534.1266 

Operating Hours: Every Day 7:30 am to 5:30 pm 
Ticket Prices: General Admission – Adult AUD49.95 | Child (4 to 14 y/o) AUD39.95 | Child (4 y/o and below) Free 

Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club 
741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin, QLD 4423, Australia 
Operating Hours: 
Breakfast – Weekdays 7:00 am to 10:30 am | Weekends 7:00 am to 11:00 am 
Lunch – Weekdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm | Weekends 12:00 nn to 3:00 pm 
Dinner – Sundays to Thursdays 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | Fridays and Saturday 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm





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