marsupial at australia zoo

Visiting the Steve Irwin Zoo in Australia? Here’s Your Travel Guide

Steve Russell - January 20, 2024

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Welcome to the Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin and his family. The Steve Irwin zoo is equal parts a glorious tribute to the master animal researcher and an incredible display of animal conservation. Whether or not you live in Australia, it is a bucket list item for fans of Earth’s gorgeous wildlife. Learn about the zoo’s history, what it does to help the species it houses, and what it’s like to experience this legendary animal haven.

What Is the Steve Irwin Zoo and How Was it Started?

The Steve Irwin zoo is called the Australia Zoo — they are the same thing. The Australia Zoo claims to be the ultimate wildlife adventure, and the Irwin family exudes this well through their passionate history of animal care.

The zoo’s humble beginnings started in 1970 as Steve Irwin practiced his natural animal caring skills under his mom’s tutelage. Steve became a legend after caring for reptiles and other creatures on a once two-acre facility, marrying his wife Terri, and starting to film their animal rescue experiences. The Crocodile Hunter television series caused the park to transform into the Australia Zoo. 

After the unfortunate interaction with a stingray that led to Steve’s death in 2006, the zoo remains a pillar of animal conservation, rehabilitation, and restoration. It is run by Terri and their children, Bindi and Robert. They educate people from all around the world and heal animals in their animal hospital.

tiger at australia zoo

What Animals Can You See at the Australia Zoo?

There are over 1,200 animals at the Australia Zoo from all over. They have sections for Australian natives and exotic animals. They have special zones for current conservation efforts, but these are only a few of the many magnificent creatures you’ll find during your zoo journey:

  • Cassowaries
  • Quokkas
  • Southern hairy-nosed wombats
  • Tasmanian devils
  • King cobras
  • Bearded dragons
  • Fresh- and saltwater crocodiles
  • Lemurs
  • Rhinos
  • Tigers

You can also see some gorgeous flora native to the nation, from stunning birds of paradise to wheels of fire.

What Does the Australia Zoo Do for Animal Conservation?

The Australia Zoo manages all conservation and nonprofit activities with its Wildlife Warriors project. Over the years, they have rescued hurt animals, restored species, and reintroduced them safely into the wild. Their priorities shift with the animals’ needs, but these are some projects the zoo is currently working on:

  • Women for Wildlife: A peaceful anti-poaching unit of women patrolling South Africa’s Olifants West Nature Reserve.
  • Cambodian Elephants: When these beasts feed on local agriculture, it encourages farmers to kill on sight. These efforts work to find non-violent ways to discourage elephants from traversing farmlands so they remain safe while finding ways for them to stay fed and healthy.
  • Australia Zoo Rescue Unit: An emergency response team dedicated to rescuing wildlife in danger from vehicles, disease, and other influences.

Additionally, the Australia Zoo promotes signing petitions that assist animals, throws the annual Steve Irwin Gala for larger donations, and allows visitors to “adopt” an animal.

snake at australia zoo

Everything You’ll Want to Know If You’re Planning a Visit

The Australia Zoo is located on Steve Irwin Way in Beerwah, Queensland. As of November 2023, the park is open every day, opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. 

Visitors can purchase single tickets or season passes, which range depending on your age, if you’re a student, group pricing, and if you want a sneak peek into the Animal Hospital. To get a ballpark idea, adult admission for the day starts at $64.95 and children between three and 14 get in at $41.95. Season passes are $139 for adults and $99 for children.

We saw how many amazing animals are on the property already. What other experiences can you expect at the Australia Zoo?

Let’s start with animal encounters. You know the Irwin family advocates hands-on learning if you have seen even five minutes of The Crocodile Hunter. They have many animal encounters, which you must purchase a separate ticket for. Each meeting has an assigned time, so plan your day accordingly. Here are some examples of some of the animals let visitors get up close and personal with, which are subject to change:

  • Giraffes
  • Red pandas
  • Meerkats
  • Koalas
  • Otters
  • Rhinos
  • Tortoises
  • Dingoes
  • Wombats
  • Echidnas

Sign up for a caddie tour if you don’t want to lead yourself through the park. You’ll get all of the mind-blowing commentary and education with the help of one of their many professionals. This is all alongside other attractions, like the Cheetah Grasslands and the Crocoseum, and conservation shows where the zoo shows how they care and feed the animals.

Finally, the Australia Zoo has the fantastic Zoo Keeper for a Day program. It encourages kids to come on school holidays to see what working with the animals is like.

What Does the Zoo Recommend to Do to Prepare?

Prepare for your day at the zoo the way the professionals would. Make a plan for what animals you care about to ensure you don’t miss anything. There is more than a day’s worth of animals and events to enjoy, so if this is potentially a one-time visit, create a schedule. The park has places to eat, but they also allow guests to bring drinks and snacks — just don’t feed the animals.

Let’s talk about the weather. Queensland gets hot, so wear sun protection. Additionally, you will want to bring clothes and shoes fit for water — the Laughing Frog Water Park is great for kiddos. 

Last but not least, you will want to bring a camera. This is one of the best zoos for getting crystal-clear shots of many animals. However, remain present and enjoy nature for what it is. You’ll treasure what your eyes see more than what the viewfinder does.

Steve Irwin’s Zoo Is a Fitting Tribute to His Legacy

Any animal lover would find Steve Irwin’s zoo a happy home for many creatures. It is a fitting haven for animals native to and outside of Australia. The staff caring for them have an unparalleled enthusiasm for animal care, which translates to their visitors. 

This level of dedication is essential for setting standards across all zoos. Conservation and education must always usurp profit and other motivations. The Australia Zoo also reminds us that all animals need protection, especially during the climate crisis.

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About the author

Steve Russell

Steve is the Managing Editor of and regularly contributes articles related to wildlife, biodiversity, and recycling. His passions include wildlife photography and bird watching.