Located on the outskirts of Port Douglas is the award winning Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. It’s here where you can get your fill of wildlife encounter experiences.
With a strong emphasis on conservation and appreciation, the staff at the Wildlife Habitat are passionate about what they do.
This passion is passed on through their work into the experience received by their guests and it clearly shows throughout the well maintained, and highly impressive 8 acre property.
The last time I visited The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, I was there just a few days after a cyclone.
There was a lot of work happening to clean up fallen tree branches, and collecting birds which had escaped from their sanctuary.
While the kids and I still had an enjoyable time checking out all the animals, I didn’t feel that it was fair to review this awesome establishment at that time.
So, instead, I decided to head back there again and use my most recent visit to give you a better idea of what to expect when visiting the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas animals.
Admission / Park Entry
Your admission ticket will give you access across all five of the wildlife habitats within the park (savannah, nocturnal, wetlands, rainforest and woodlands).
In fact, you’ll actually get access for 5 days (day of admission + 4 consecutive days after).
That way, you’ll have plenty of time to really take in the experience and not rush through each of the habitats… You can even explore the park as one habitat per day! .
This is particularly handy if you’re visiting Port Douglas with kids that love animals, or if you love to take things slowly – an avid photographer waiting for the perfect photo opportunity.
The range of species the park has is impressive. Here’s some of the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat Animals you can expect…
- Over 75 different species of birds,
- Four species of mammals (Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo, Spotted-Tail Quoll, Mahogany Glider and Northern Bettong)
- One of the largest collections of macropods (large footed) animals in Queensland (e.g. kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons and bettongs)
- A range of the more iconic Australian reptiles including salt water crocodiles, snakes, lizards, dragons, and more
- An exhibit/habitat specifically featuring nocturnal animals including owls, and tiny marsupials you’ll unlikely find anywhere else (such as Feathertail Gliders, Spinifex Hipping Mice, Striped Possums and more)
The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas Experiences
But the folks at Wildlife Habitat don’t just leave it there. They’re truly about providing an immersive experience and leaving their guests with lasting memories.
Throughout the day, there are a number of wildlife tours and presentations which you can watch or participate in, many of which are included in the price of general admission.
Experiences Included In General Admission Ticket
Watch on and witness the power as the keepers at The Wildlife Habitat feed the crocodiles! Get up close to the powerful cassowary during the cassowary feeding tour!
You’ll also get access to daily animal presentations where you can get up close and touch the animals yourself – keep an eye out for the pythons, koalas and crocodiles!
If you wish to get a up close photo holding some of these animals, you can also purchase a souvenir photo while at the park.
Here’s what you can expect (a timetable is provided to you when you purchase entry at reception)
- Interactive Bird Experience
- Cassowary Feeding Talk
- Wetlands Stork Talk
- North Queensland Reptile Experience (Croc Feeding – Fridays to Mondays)
- Interactive Bird Experience
- Koala Feeding Talk
- Pelican Talk
Considering this is all included in your general entry price, I felt this was great value for the day.
As well as those listed above, there are also some other optional experiences on offer which do have an additional cost.
Such as Swimming with the Salties (Crocodiles), Breakfast with the Birds, Lunch with Lorikeets, Junior Keepers, WildNIGHT Nocturnal Tour and Feature Creature Photos.
Breakfast With The Birds Port Douglas
This highly popular experience has been sought after for over 20 years. It is a must-do experience when visiting Port Douglas with kids – The impressive birds chat away to you – saying ‘Hello!’ ‘How You Going?’ ‘What’s Your Name’ as clear as a bell – you truly can’t help but smile!
Enjoy your first meal of the day alongside friendly tropical birds such as parrots, lorikeets and cockatoos.
Snap up the opportunity to get an up close and personal photo with these beautiful birds with the assistance and supervision of a Wildlife Habitat Keeper.
Up until recently, Breakfast With The Birds offered a buffet breakfast including pastries, fresh tropical and exotic fruits, cereals, hot foods, juices, tea and coffee. However, as a result of COVID government restrictions, the breakfast is not longer offered as a buffet, but rather you can purchase food from the café.
This experience is offered between 9am-10.30am each day.
The ticket for the Breakfast with the Birds also includes entry into the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, as well as all of the other wildlife presentations as I mentioned earlier.
Swim With The Crocodiles (Salties)
The newest experience on the block is the Swim With The Salties – the only Far North Queensland experience of it’s kind.
Officially opening for guests since September of 2021, this experience is not for the faint hearted.
The Croc Arena is very new to the park and is great not just for those participating in the ‘Swim with the Salties’, but also those wanting to watch on from the safer amphitheatre.
Inside the dunk tank, you’ll immerse yourself into a 180 degree clear underwater viewing platform with little more than snorkelling equipment and a few centimetres of glass between you and FNQs most notorious apex predator.
The entire experience lasts for around 45 minutes, with around 10 minutes being in the water.
You can choose to enjoy this experience either on your own or as a couple, but keep in mind that personal cameras will not be allowed in the tank with you.
Reach out to me if you’d like help arranging your Swim With The Salties.
WildNIGHT Nocturnal Tour Port Douglas
After the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas closes up at the end of the day (4pm), the nocturnal animals are just getting geared up for a big night!
From 6pm, the Wildlife Habitat reopens for a whole different experience – it’s ‘WildNIGHT Nocturnal Tour’.
For two full hours, you’ll get exclusive access to the parklands by torchlight, guided by a Wildlife Habitat keeper.
Because of the nature of this tour and the fact that it’s in the evening, infants and children under 5 are not able to participate.
It’s worth keeping in mind that tour numbers and days of the week that the tour runs is subject to interest and availability – it needs a minimum of 4 people to run.
So, if this tour is one that you are certain you want to do while visiting Port Douglas or Cairns, I highly recommend trying to secure a spot in this tour as early as possible, then working out your other tours to fit around it.
If you’d like to help creating your holiday plan during your FNQ vacay, you can contact me by email at kate (at) pinthistrip.com. I help people create custom holiday plans that I they’ll love, giving them the best experience possible while visiting FNQ.
YOUR Wildlife Habitat (Private Tour)
For the ultimate up-close animal encounter, the ‘YOUR Wildlife Habitat’ private tour provides you with amazing opportunities for you to interact with a range of Australian Animals in the onsite Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre (TARC).
You can opt to make a donation to TARC during your visit to the park. These donations go to a great cause.
Get a glimpse into the workings of this incredible cause which provides highly needed veterinary treatments, including medication, food, transport and more for injured, displaced or orphaned animals.
This special tour of the park runs for two hours and includes general admission into the park (for 5 consecutive days), and requires two people for the tour to run.
You’ll also get a private reptile presentation, two 6×8″ souvenir photos (per person) and a premium dining experience along side resident Australian wildlife.
Because of the nature of this tour, the park requires a minimum of 24 hours notice to organize this.
You’re welcome to take your own happy snaps of holding and engaging with hand-raised wildlife, reptiles and more.
If you have children aged between 8 and 14 years old who have a special interest in animals, this is going to blow their minds!
This is a school holiday program with limited numbers, but it’s sure to inspire your little ones to follow their dreams!
Kids will become apprentice keepers for 4 exhilarating hours (11am-3pm). They’ll be given the opportunity to assist keepers in their day-to-day schedules.
The program is limited to just 8 children per day, and includes lunch and afternoon tea. Children are also welcome to bring along their camera to get some amazing snaps to remember the day by.
To book your child in for this unforgettable experience, contact the Wildlife Habitat on (07) 4099 3235 or email them direct at info (at) wildlifehabitat.com.au. The program costs $55 for one day (4 hours) and payment is required at the time of booking to secure the place.
Feature Creature Photos
Each day between 10am and 1pm, you’ll get the opportunity to have an up close and personal photo with one of the many wildlife creatures living at the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.
Each day will be a new opportunity to interact with a different animal. You can expect to find the Blue Tongue Lizards, Koalas, Cockatoos, Snakes, Crocodiles, birds and more!
Other Things You Need To Know
The Park Is BIG!
The park is 8 acres in size and can take a good 10 minutes or so to walk from the reception entry to the Croc Arena at the other end of the park (longer if you are traveling with young kids or if you take your time).
I also highly recommend keeping a copy of the map close by. Because of its size and many different pathways, it can be easy to lose track of where you are.
Much of the Wildlife Habitat is covered in shade cloth to protect the birds from escaping so on warmer days you’ll get a small level of relief – Even so, I would highly recommend bringing plenty of water, hat, sunnies and possibly an umbrella
If you need a short break from the heat, head to the Curlew Café where they have fans, or the giftshop is well air conditioned. Alternatively, the Savannah Habitat often has sprinklers running to help the kangaroos and birds cool off… you could always join them for a sprinkle down with cooler water.
No BYO Food/Drinks
Because of food and safety regulations, food must not be brought into the wildlife park. Water bottles are accepted, but if you wish to eat while at the park, you’ll need to purchase it from the onsite Curlew Cafe.
Wheelchair / Pram Accessibility
Wheelchair access is available to every area of the park with the exception of the upper deck of the Stork Tower, within the Wetlands Habitat.
If you’re travelling with a toddler who’s fine on their feet but not for long periods, I’d highly recommend packing the pram so you don’t end up carrying them for long distances.
4 Park Pass
You can purchase a 4 Park Pass which will gain you general admission into the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary (Kuranda), and Rainforestation Nature Park (Kuranda).
If purchasing this pass, you’ll still need to book entry with each park directly – the dates on the travel voucher will reflect the date of the purchase (not the date of entry). You have 12 months to use the entry for each park.
Overview of The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Overall, my time at the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat left me thoroughly impressed. The activities and exhibitions included with the general admission mean you can easily fill your day.
I love that the park allows you to return for four extra days after purchasing your admission – it really does give you bang for your buck!
The amount of work that would go into caring for the wide variety of animal species, and maintaining the parks themselves would not be an easy feat; but, it has been executed seamlessly and the staff truly should be applauded.
Despite hundreds of birds being within the main enclosure, I was surprised by the high standard of hygiene – the lack of bird poo on pathways and railings, and the lack of smell you’d expect to be associated with that many birds.
I’d highly recommend the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat to anyone with a love for wildlife, photographers, or families young kids.
Planning on visiting? If so, let me know in the comments below and let me know how you plan on spending your time there.
As always, if you have any questions, or would like some help planning your FNQ vacay, be sure to contact me!