While the beautiful golden sands of the Gold Coast attract thousands of beach bumbs and party-goers, we mustn’t forget that this area is also a great place to commune with the wild. It’s home to a number of the most iconic wildlife sanctuaries, the most popular of them being the Sunshine Coast Zoo. The Australia Zoo or the Sunshine Coast Zoo is late-alligator-hunter Steven Irvin’s living legacy, and while he’s no longer around, fans continue to flock his wildlife preserve.

It’s certainly a worthy day trip if you want a break from the beach. All you have to do is pre-book coach transfers through the Australia Zoo office. The Zoo is open daily from 9 AM to 5PM, and is only closed up during Christmas Day. As one of the top tourist destinations from the Gold Coast, you can be sure that you’ll be entertained, whether you’re viewing the crocodiles at the arena or the observing cuddly koalas from their trees.

You will have to wake up early on the day of the tour itself as coaches leave from select locations across the Gold Coast earlier than 9AM. The earliest departure is from Noosaville at around 8 AM and this shuttle picks up more passengers from other stops including the Esplanade bus stop at 9AM. While the zoo closes at 5PM, the coach leaves the Australia Zoo at 3:30 PM. According to the zoo’s website, children below 14 years of age are given the child rate, but those older than that will be given the adult rate.

The price difference isn’t that big, though, and the Sunshine Coast Zoo is enjoyable for both children and wildlife loving adults. These day trips also allow you to select the attractions you would want to include in your day trip. While the Crocoseum Arena packs up a crowd, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the hands-on encounter with the red pandas, cheetahs, lemurs, giraffes and rhinos. There are also 14 wildlife shows to choose from, a visit to the Tiger Temple, the Elephantasia, and more.

The day trip packages cover the entrance fee to the Australia Zoo located at Glass Mountains in Sunshine Coast. However, there is no mention of lunch in any of the tour packages we’ve come across. You will have to ask the zoo about this when you make your call. For Gold Coast accommodation that is close to this tour’s drop off points, visit https://hrsp.com.au/.