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Trip to the Gold Coast - Dec 16/Jan 17

Discussion in 'Australia' started by ZooBoyNZ, 4 Aug 2016.

  1. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Hello Zoochatters, :)
    I live in New Zealand, and in late December/Early January, I will be going on a short trip to the Gold Coast. I have never been to Australia before, and I love visiting zoos and wildlife parks. However this trip is more of a family holiday, and as much as I would love to visit some of the big zoos in Australia like Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, this trip we will just be staying in the Gold Coast. (However I definitely want to make a trip to Taronga Zoo in the future.) So I guess that rules out Australia Zoo which I believe is the closest big zoo to the Gold Coast, just because we don't want to do too much traveling this trip. (Especially around Christmas time.) And after seeing some of the negative comments about Australia Zoo on here, I don't think it would be wise to visit there anyway. :D

    We will definitely be doing a few of the Gold Coast theme parks on our trip. There are two theme park pack options; one for Movie World, Sea World and Wet & Wild; and the other for Dreamworld, White Water World & Sky Point. I realise that Dreamworld has some Australian animals and tigers, however I like the look of Movie World's rides better, even though it's a smaller park, so I think I will go with the first pack option. We originally intended to do one theme park & one water park, but I see Sea World is also in the pack so I want to know if it is worth doing; not the ride side of it but the animal/marine part of it. We might not end up going to Sea World, but I thought it would be worth asking for an opinion on it.

    Then I would like to do a wildlife park. I believe the two main wildlife parks in the Gold Coast are Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, and David Fleay Wildlife Park. We would probably only be able to visit one, so I would appreciate knowing which would be the best to visit. I am looking to go to a park that has a good range of Australian animals, has nice exhibits, and would be suitable to spend most of the day at.

    If anyone knows anything about anymore wildlife parks/attractions in the Gold Coast, I would love to know about them and if they are worth a visit.

    Thank you! :D
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I spent three days in Gold Coast in June of this year and have written reviews of the three Gold Coast zoos that I visited:

    David Fleay Wildlife Park: https://www.zoochat.com/community/posts/974164

    I didn't visit Dreamworld so I can't advise on that and I'm not into theme park stuff so I can't advise on that either.

    I would of course suggest trying to visit both Currumbin and David Fleay but if you can only visit one and it had to be a full day then that would have to be Currumbin because David Fleay would only be a few hours (unless you are also interested in birding). However David Fleay Wildlife Park is a superb small collection, in my opinion the best I have visited, beating The British Wildlife Centre which I previously held in that position.

    It would probably be possible to do both Currumbin and David Fleay in one day actually if you got to the first at opening time and left the second at closing time and you had your own transport to get between the two quickly. Though I wouldn't recommend that if you can avoid it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21 Oct 2016
  3. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I have actually been following your Australia trip thread, but somehow I missed a couple of those excellent reviews. :eek::D I'm actually surprised how good the exhibits at David Fleay Wildlife Park look, and the collection of unusual species they have. Of course I would love to do all three zoos (David Fleay, Currumbin & Sea World) Even better that Sea World is included in my pass to Movie World. But if I was only able to do two of them, which two would you recommend? I might end up being able to all three, I'm not sure yet. But I want as many opinions as I can about any great wildlife attractions in the Gold Coast so I can make the most of my short trip. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21 Oct 2016
  4. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I personally would choose David Fleay and Currumbin but that's from the point of view of someone not interested in rides. Sea World is definitely worth a visit though and if it's included in a pass that you are buying and you don't have to pay any more to enter then it is definitely worth it.

    I think you have to decide which you do depending on what you're interested in. David Fleay has a couple of super cool and really rare species as well as excellent surroundings and high quality exhibits but it's not very big.
    Currumbin is a reasonably large zoo with a few unusual species and some nice exhibits but it isn't quite as nice as David Fleay. Currumbin could be a full day out if you wanted it to be but David Fleay could not, it's just not big enough.
     
  5. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your opinion. I might end up visiting all three; but if not maybe just two. I think David Fleay would be a definite choice. There's still a lot of time for me to make up my mind though! :rolleyes::D
     
  6. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Sea World and Movie World are definately worth a visit. Sea World is the only place in Australasia where you can see polar bears, plus there's all the seals, sea lions, dolphins etc. Many people agree Dreamworld isn't as good but for me, seeing the tigers would make it worth the visit if you have time. They've recently closed a large part of it for rennovations so you may want to check these are finished so you can be guaranteed the full experience.

    If you're going as a family, a lot would come down to the ages in your family. Wet and Wild is great for kids/teens/young adults, whereas Sea World and Movie World would appeal to those in their 40s and 50s just as much as young people as there is something for everyone. I'm more of a mammals kind of guy so I've never been to Currumbin, but I know several people who have and they seemed to enjoy it. They have the largest collection of lorikeets I believe.
     
  7. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately we won't be able to visit dreamworld as well as movie world because of time and it won't be included in our park pass that we are getting. And I'm not sure if the tiger island redevelopment will have finished when we visit. I'm more into mammals as well rather than the bird side of things, so maybe Sea World is good option. What are the enclosures at Sea World like in your opinion? (i.e Polar bears, seals, dolphins) Do you know of any other wildlife/zoo/animal related activities in the Gold Coast? After LaughingDove's review of David Fleay Wildlife Park, I'm slightly leaning more towards that than Currumbin; just because of the more interesting collection of Australian mammals and supposedly better exhibits. :D
     
  8. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Whilst Currumbin does have a large bird collection with several particularly unusual species, the do also have a mammal collection with all the standard Australian zoo animals (various kangaroos and wallabies, dingoes, koalas, quokkas, Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas, possums, etc.) as well as a few more unusual species, particularly in the nocturnal house. And they have a few interesting reptiles too. Here is a list: http://www.zoochat.com/24/currumbin-wildlife-sanctuary-show-species-list-452224/

    Whilst they do have several species of lorikeets, I'm quite sure they don't have the largest collection in terms of species or number of individuals, however they do have a lorikeet feeding where, particularly towards the end of the day, they have a ridiculous number of individuals. Though those are wild so couldn't be considered part of the collection and are also all rainbows.
     
  9. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you'll enjoy Sea World, I've heard a lot of good things about it. The Polar bear enclosure is especially impressive. I'd have loved to have been there when Henry was a cub as they had a dedicated area for him and Lia.

    As for other attractions nearby, how far is Wildlife HQ from Brisbane? Alma Park Zoo used to be in Brisbane. If so, they have sun bears etc.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it's north of Australia Zoo, well away from Brisbane and Gold Coast.
     
  11. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, sea world sounds great. :) And I just checked out Wildlife HQ, too far away unfortunately. :eek:
     
  12. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    I had completely forgotten about this thread, and have just stumbled across it again some 6 months after my trip to the Gold Coast. I had a great time, and the zoos I ended up visiting were Sea World and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Thank you @LaughingDove and @Zoofan15 for helping me make my decision, and while I would have loved to visit David Fleay as well, I was simply unable to because of time constraints. However, I was very impressed with both Sea World and Currumbin and could write up short trip reports/reviews of them if anyone is interested. Not sure whether I should write them here on this thread or make new ones under their specific zoo headings though.
     
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  13. Najade

    Najade Well-Known Member

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    Definitely interested in SeaWorld.
    Thinking about going there in two days.
    Although the entry fee is kind of scaring me off atm. Anything interesting in there other than the Humpback Dolphin?
     
  14. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    Sea World is a great park and I would recommend a visit. It was included in my 7 day theme park pass (with Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild) so I thought it was great value for money, but I agree that the single day admission to just Sea World is quite expensive.
    It really depends on what you consider interesting, because to me a lot of things at Sea World were interesting as it was my first time overseas! (eg. only polar bears in Australasia) @LaughingDove has a great review of Sea World here incase you haven't already read that: Trip to Australia – June and July 2016
     
  15. Najade

    Najade Well-Known Member

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    I did read that. But it only mentions the big stuff (polar bears, dolphins, penguins) which wouldn't be of any interest to me. Do they have any small critters?
     
  16. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I only mention big stuff because that's all they have (with the exception of fish). Also of interest in addition to the dolphin may be some of their pinnipeds (Subantarctic and NZ Fur Seals, Australian and Californian Sea Lions) or maybe some fish, but I don't really know enough to say if any of the fish in their big tank are rare.
     
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  17. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    There are starfish and small fish species in the rock pools of Shark Bay, however mainly just larger animals at Sea World. The humpback dolphin is very cool though! :D
     
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  18. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    When I was there seven years ago I don't recall any of the fish being rare, however the display tanks are very large and quite interesting (well, for me anyway).
     
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  19. Najade

    Najade Well-Known Member

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    Well that's an easy decision then. I'm not paying eighty-something dollars for one dolphin.

    Thank you guys though.
     
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