Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


If you’re hoping to meet some iconic Australian wildlife, you’ve come to the right place! Our beach meets bush backyard is home to a menagerie of feathered, furry, finned, spiky and scaly creatures you’ll find on land, in the sea and soaring in our skies. But to see some of our most magnificent up close, a visit to one of our popular wildlife parks is a must. Join a tour with a ranger, go behind the scenes on a wildlife encounter or cuddle up with a koala. Or perhaps you’d just prefer to sit still in nature to spot wildlife in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You’re likely to spot plenty of wildlife as you explore the Gold Coast. From myriad birds that call our coastal shores home, kangaroos that frequent our bush to beach backyard (and golf courses) and koalas that can sometimes be spotted snoozing in the treetops on Burleigh Headland. Offshore, you might be lucky to see pods of dolphins playing offshore, and whales cruise the coast from June to October. If you want to get up close with Gold Coast Wildlife, it’s best to pay a visit to one of our wildlife sanctuaries; Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or David Fleay Wildlife Park at Burleigh. Dreamworld also has hundreds of native Australian animals in residence, and Paradise Country, an authentic Australian farm experience, has native animals to meet too.



  • Bluebottles are blown into beaches when certain wind conditions prevail. Surf Lifesavers will usually advise swimmers if bluebottles are present in waters, and while some will not let it deter them from a swim, if you don’t want to be stung, it’s best to opt out of swimming until they are no longer present. Stinger suits can limit the opportunity for blue bottle tentacles to touch bare skin and are available to purchase in most good sports and swimwear stores. If you are stung by a bluebottle, the recommended treatment from surf lifesavers is to remove any tentacles with copious amounts of sea water before immersing the affected area in hot running water for 20 minutes.
  • The Gold Coast is a menagerie when it comes to Australian wildlife. From our coastal sweeps where whales, dolphins, fish and sharks dwell, to our leafy surroundings that are home to koalas, possums, bats, birds and plenty of reptiles and insects too. Some of our shiest creatures call the Gold Coast Hinterland home, and if you are quiet you might be able to spot koalas, echidnas, kangaroos, wallabies, tree-dwelling possums and gliders. Some of the most vibrantly coloured birds you are likely to ever see flit between the treetops. For something more unusual, the Lamington spiny crayfish calls the floors of the rainforest home too, and be on the lookout for lizards, snakes, and frogs hiding throughout our subtropical landscape too.
  • From late May to October, whales from Antarctica pass by the Gold Coast on their way north to calf in warmer waters, and then again later in the year as they head back south. Known locally as the “Humpback Highway” whales are quite easy to spot from shore (look for the spouts of mist when they blow), and often cruise close enough to our headlands so you can get a good view of them breaching, fin slapping and tail throwing too. A majestic sight to see, but if they are passing when you are swimming, try going underwater to see if you can hear them singing. Whale-watching cruises also depart daily from the Gold Coast during whale season.
  • Koalas are regularly spotted in the wild on the Gold Coast, but to see them in one of their favourite places to snooze, take a walk through Burleigh Heads National Park and keep your eyes peeled in the gum trees. They are harder to spot than you might imagine but have been seen scampering along walking paths and during mating season, heard fighting at night (for such cute animals, they create a truly awful noise!). Koalas frequent many Gold Coast backyards that fringe bushland, and can be spotted in the Gold Coast Hinterland too. If you want a guarantee of seeing some, visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can admire them from up close and via wildlife handlers, learn more about these adorably cuddly creatures too.
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is easy to reach from any location on the Gold Coast. From Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, travel south on the Gold Coast Highway to Currumbin and then simply turn left at Tomewin Street and you have arrived. Public transport is also easy to navigate, with G:link taking you as far as Broadbeach South station and bus 700 delivering you close to the gate at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Taxis, Ubers and private transfers can also take you to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. For more details, check out their website which has plenty of helpful information including directions, and times for a range of interactive animal encounters that you can participate in. Don’t forget to be there for at least one of the daily Rainbow Lorikeet feedings at 8am and 4pm – an essentially experience for visitors to the Gold Coast. (Entry to the gift shop, cafe and lorikeet feeding is free.)
  • All wild animals can be considered dangerous and a safe distance should be maintained from them at all times. While it is rare for any animals to attack humans, during breeding season or if an animal is feeling threatened, there have been recorded incidents of human and animal conflict. Respect for wildlife is to be observed at all times and a safe distance should be maintained around them. Do not attempt to feed or pat wild animals. Report any animals that appear to be sick or injured to local wildlife charity Wires (1300 094 737) and take the time to appreciate and enjoy your wildlife encounter without getting too close.
  • Yes, the Gold Coast is home to some of Australia’s venomous snakes and spider species. While it’s rare to see snakes in densely populated residential areas, be on the lookout for them in the sand dunes and around native bushland areas. Snakes are generally shy creatures that will retreat if you come within close range. It’s important not to approach or try to handle or harm them, as when animals feel threatened they are more likely to strike. If you do come across a snake or spider, simply stay still, slowly back away and let them find their own escape without hindering or helping. If you are bitten, seek emergency medical assistance immediately and call 000. Snake catchers do operate in most Gold Coast suburbs, so if the snake poses a threat to your safety, please give a professional snake handler a call. Fees may apply for removing snakes.
  • Insects are an important part of the ecosystem in sub-tropical regions, and you’ll find mosquitoes, sand flies and flies active on the Gold Coast, especially during our warmer months. Dawn and dusk are when mosquitoes and sandflies are considered to be more prevalent, so make sure you are wearing insect repellant and consider covering bare skin with loose-fitting garments to avoid being bitten. Flies are a part of the Australian experience, and while a pest, they do not bite or sting.
  • Insects are a part of the native fauna of the Gold Coast, and you’ll find sand flies in and around our waterways, as they prefer to breed in the sand, and when the weather is warm, you'll find mosquitoes about. It’s important to protect yourself from insect bites by dressing appropriately at dusk and night when they are more frequent and using insect repellant or natural remedies to help repel insects too. If you do get bitten, if you can resist scratching the bite, the itch should soothe. Insect bite creams can help relieve any itchiness, as can putting cool compresses on the bite. Most bites are not serious and the itching will pass quickly.