1638 Steve Irwin Way
Number of animals
Australia zoo houses over 1,000 animals.
Harriet was a Galapagos Giant tortoise who once met Charles Darwin. She was taken from Santa Cruz in 1935 at 5 years of age. She spent a short time in England before coming to Australia with Darwin’s friend John Wickham.
In 1842 Harriet arrived in Australia where she took up residence at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. During the 1900s she was named Harry after the groundskeeper.
She was transferred to Fleay’s fauna sanctuary where the owner David Fleay discovered Harry was a Harriet. He raised her public profile before she was moved to what was then known as the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park in 1987. Here she spent her last 2 decades before her death in 2006. During her stay at Australia she had a birthday each year. In 2005 she turned 175. This meant she was the oldest living animal and the second longest living ever.
The zoo has a range of animals which they take around the zoo for people to pat. These include koalas, wombats, possums, lizards, young alligators and birds.
Feed the animals
In the zoo’s Roo heaven habitat and at the Kids Zoo farmyard visitors can get up close with the animals and feed them with the specially provided food.
The zoo is home to the Bindi’s boot camp playground. This space is modelled on the TV show and features a climbing wall and interactive games.
The Size of the zoo
The Australia Zoo is set on 40ha of land.
Australia Zoo was established in 1970. Originally it was known as the ‘Beerwah reptile and fauna park’ and sat on just 2 acres. At this time it was owned by Bob and Lyn Irwin. By the 1980s the zoo grew in size to 4 acres. The name was change to the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park.’ Part of the new area was made into the crocodile environmental park where saltwater crocodiles are housed.
In 1991 Steve Irwin took over running of the park. During the 1990s the parks name was change to ‘Australia Zoo.’
During 2004 the zoo opened the Australian Animal Hospital. This was built inside an old avocado packing shed which had only a single operating theatre. The facility cared for 6,000 animals per year.
In 2007 a land swap was made which saw a parcel of land in the Beerwah state forest given to the zoo. They gave an area of land near Peachester State forest to the government in exchange. This area was used to create the African Savannah exhibit.
During 2008 a new wildlife hospital opened which was billed as the world’s largest. It features 2 operating theatres, a CAT scan room, pharmacy, nursery and facilities to house the rescued animals.
Africa is Queensland’s only multi species savannah. Here giraffes, rhinos and zebras all live together. Cheetahs also go for walks throughout the area with keepers on a daily basis.
The tiger temple is home to Sumatran and Bengal tigers. It features lush surroundings, an underwater viewing area and much more. Each day keepers enter the exhibit to play with the cats.