Billabong Sanctuary is committed to conserving and protecting Australia’s wildlife, and the park emphasizes education through close-up encounters. Experienced handlers allow visitors to interact with animals safely and provide information through events like crocodile feedings, turtle races, and bird shows. The sanctuary also offers opportunities to hold and have your photo taken with a koala, wombat, dingo, or snake.
Things to Know Before You Go
Bring a hat and sunscreen; you’ll spend most of your time at the park outdoors and in the sun.
There is an extra fee to hold a koala, but many other interactive experiences are included with the price of admission.
The park’s Blinky Bill’s café serves meals until mid-afternoon and snacks and ice cream after.
There is a swimming pool at the sanctuary, so bring your bathing suit if you want to cool off. The park offers showers for rinsing off after your swim.
How to Get There
Billabong Sanctuary is located 10 miles (17 kilometers) south of Townsville, on the Bruce Highway, and is easiest to reach by car. There is plenty of on-site parking. There is no public transportation to the park.
When to Get There
Billabong Sanctuary is open every day of the year, except on Christmas, from morning until early evening. Visit in the morning, when the temperatures are generally cooler, to see the animals at their most active; many prefer to rest at midday and in the afternoon, when the temperature rises.
Reef HQ Aquarium
Travelers with more time to spend in Townsville can learn about Australian marine life at the Reef HQ Aquarium. The attraction’s 660,000-gallon (2.5 million-liter) tank houses the world’s largest in-aquarium living coral reef. Visit to see more than 150 species of fish and 120 species of coral and learn how the aquarium cares for injured turtles.