Business & invest,
Industry sectors,

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary opens Gold Coast hearts

Marshall Hall | July 9, 2020

The award-winning Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is warmly welcoming thousands of visitors again after closing its doors for 10 weeks during the COVID-19 crisis.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Manager Michael Kelly says the nature-based tourism attraction prides itself on showcasing Australian native wildlife and culture, as well as protecting wildlife with the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital located onsite.

“Our goal as a local business on the Gold Coast, is to be a leader in Environmental Tourism through education, community engagement and best practice. To do this we are reinventing the way in which we run a zoological tourism business to ensure we achieve this outcome” says Mr Kelly.

This commitment to innovation was one of the reasons Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was named the annual winner of the Tourism, Hospitality and Events category at the 2019 Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards.

The Sanctuary has 27 hectares of sub-tropical rainforest and bushland for visitors to explore, animal exhibits featuring more than 1000 amazing native and exotic animals, and encounters such as cuddling a Koala so tourists can get up close.

Having been in operation for more than 70 years, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary annually attracts more than 570,000 guests, with more than half traditionally being international visitors.

Mr Kelly says “The Sanctuary has been a popular destination for tourists ever since it was first opened in 1947 by Dr Alex Griffiths. The Sanctuary was gifted to the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) in 1976, which turned the site into a not-for-profit social enterprise.

Koala being treated at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
Crocodiles are one of the many Australian wildlife animals you can see at the sanctuary
Aboriginal Dance Show

The Sanctuary has operated successfully ever since, with the exception of the temporary closure during the COVID-19 crisis.

But while visitors were prevented from enjoying the Sanctuary during the 10 weeks closure, its staff were worked tirelessly caring for the animals and maintaining the Sanctuary.

“The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital provides treatment to over 12,200 wildlife patients annually, including approximately 600 Koalas which are listed as a vulnerable species in Queensland. We provide this as a free service to the community. Since the Wildlife Hospital opened in 1989, we have released well over 100,000 native wildlife patients back into the wild.” says Mr Kelly

Now, the Sanctuary is back open for visitors, the staff are making sure precautions are made to keep patrons safe.

“Here at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, we so believe our guests have suitable space to social distance appropriately and we’ll put other measures in place to ensure that everyone has a fantastic time here whilst maintaining the appropriate social distancing,” says Mr Kelly.

Now that the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is up and operating again, the Sanctuary was hopeful of claiming another win in the Excellence Awards in 2020.

Entries for the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards are due for the monthly awards on the 1st of each month from July through to November, with the annual awards presented at a gala due in late November. Enter online.

Keep up to date with all things Gold Coast and subscribe here.