Wildlife

While exploring Townsville North Queensland you might be surprised by some of the local creatures you can meet along the way. Hand feed the cute and extremely photogenic rock wallabies on Magnetic Island’s Geoffrey Bay, spot Koala’s lazing amongst the eucalyptus trees along the historic Forts Walk, meet JR the Texas Long Horn with the world record for having the longest horns and have a truly magical encounter with Nemo and his mates on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

List View Map View

Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary is a wildlife park featuring over 100 species of Australian animals, specialising in the fauna of North Queensland such as the saltwater crocodile and the endangered cassowary. The wildlife park is set in 25 acres of natural bush land. There are three representative habitats - rainforest, eucalypt woodland and wetlands all set around a billabong which is teeming with North Queensland waterfowl offering great photographic opportunities. Many of the animals and birds are free-ranging while captive animals are displayed in enclosures that replicate the animal's habitat in the wild and subtly blend into the landscape. Billabong Sanctuary is Australia's best interactive wildlife experience. Animal encounters is a series of unforgettable, hands-on adventures between you and Australia's native animals. You can expect to have the time of your life experiencing the sight, sense and feel of Billabong Sanctuary's native animals: some cute and cuddly, some slippery and fascinating. Hold a koala, hug a wombat, hold a crocodile or wrap a python around your shoulders. The Sanctuary's focus is the conservation and preservation of native species. To this end, Billabong Sanctuary places emphasis on education at all levels and ages by providing an informative but fun and relaxed day out.

Reef HQ Aquarium

Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium is the the world's largest living coral reef aquarium and the Australian Government's national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef. Immerse yourself in the underwater viewing tunnel offering magical views of a living coral reef and the predators that prowl the water depths. Discover beauty and wonder of the Great Barrier Reef. Home to the world's largest living coral reef aquarium, the 2.5 million litre coral reef exhibition will open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. Appreciate the challenges faced by Reef HQ Aquarium's Turtle Hospital patients and how you can play a role in protecting marine turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. The turtle hospital operates and promotes the C.A.R.E (Conserve. Act. Rehabilitate. Education) philosophy playing a key role in raising community awareness. Join their experienced and friendly interpretation staff on one of Reef HQ Aquarium's premier visitor experiences. Let their volunteers inspire you as they share their passion for the Great Barrier Reef.

SS Yongala Dive Site

Bursting with colour and home to the most spectacular marine life you will ever encounter, diving the SS Yongala is simply breathtaking and ranked as one best dive experiences in the world. The SS Yongala is a 110 metres long and 28 metres deep shipwreck that sank off the coast of Ayr during a tropical cyclone in 1911. Today it is a well renowned wreck dive in the Great Barrier Reef and home to a captivating array of large fish and enormous structures of coral. Much of the ship is still intact making for a stunning sight and a remarkable experience. As this is the only reef formation in the area, it attracts a much higher amount of marine life than most other dive sites. You will be overwhelmed by the diversity and size of the species and are likely to see eagle rays, turtles, giant Queensland gropers, schooling barracuda, sea snakes and much more. You might even be lucky enough to come across the majestic Humpback Whales during their migration season. Regular dive trips operate to the SS Yongala site. Divers are required to have open water certification and a minimum number of logged dives.

Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours and Safaris

Witness the majestic and historic Texas Longhorns on a horse drawn wagon ride or Safari - an experience like no other. Take a traditional horse drawn wagon ride or Ranger Safari and a trip back in time, back to the 'Old West' to the time of the legendary Texas Longhorns. Situated 10 kilometres from Charters Towers, North Queensland, is Leahton Park, home to the largest purebred herd of Texas Longhorns in Australia. These cattle are direct descendants of the millions of Longhorns that walked in the great trail herds from Texas in the late 1800s. It is also home to the 2013 Guinness World Record Texas Longhorn steer - JR. JR was born and raised at Leahton Park and was certified in 2013 to have the longest horns measured tip to tip of all cattle in the world. His horns are now three metres from tip to tip. Listen to the yarns and learn the history of this magnificent breed of cattle while enjoying the canvas covered wagon ride in the bush on the one and only experience of its kind. Kangaroos, water buffalo, Scottish Highland cattle, American Bison, African Watusi and native Aussie wildlife are all at Leahton Park.