Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (part 1)

I prefer to see wildlife in the wild (but not going as far as Dr Mike Leahy in his TV series “Bite Me”, where he travels to exotic wildlife places in search of interesting ways to get himself bitten or infected – sheesh!), but sometimes it’s too hard and a visit to a wildlife sanctuary is a softer option.

So I visited Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, about one and a half hour’s drive from my place, to see what I could see. It used to be privately owned, but now the National Trust of Queensland runs it.

Let’s start with mammals, just because I am one. The night-house had sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) leaping all over tree branches and potoroos (rat kangaroos) scuttling around the floor. Andrew has seen a sugar glider at our place, but I’ve not had that privilege.

Sugar glider contemplates its next leap into the dark

The gliders were very active and jumping large distances, and you could easily see the skin flaps between the front and rear legs easily. Unfortunately my camera was not up to the darkness and quick movements of these cute animals.

Tassie devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are another favourite. With most of those in the wild dead from tumour facial disease, zoos hope to replace them with uninfected members of the species. They really look nothing like Tas from the Warner Brothers cartoon, but the sound is right – a real shriek that must sound terrifying in the bush at night when several of them are fighting over a carcass.

A group of students on some sort of study program turned up with cardboard egg cartons, which they chucked in with the devils. All three devils had a great tussle and screamed at each other to get at the yummy dead white rats inside. Mmm, mmm, tasty. The biting is what transmits the fatal disease.

“Why does my breakfast always taste like cardboard?”

“Where’s my morning rat?”

Other charming mammals included Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) from Papua New Guinea…

Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo

Most exhibits are well signposted with brief information about the animals

Another Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo

Info about Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo

Red (Macropus rufus) and eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) are tourist favourites. You can’t always tell which is which just by general colour, but the reds have a distinctive dark patch on the muzzle (which the greys don’t have), and the greys have a dark tail tip while the reds have a pale one …

Staffer giving a talk about kangaroos

We followed a Chinese tour bus group around, but unfortunately couldn’t understand the commentary. They seemed particularly fascinated with the wombat


Nearby were dingoes, our only native dog (Canis lupus dingo) …


The koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) were their usual captivating selves, especially a joey that was jumping from branch to branch, making onlookers gasp. The adult koalas were busy tucking into fresh eucalyptus leaves.

Koala joey

“Don’t do it!”, we humans gasped

From the warm-blooded to the so-called cold … the angle-headed dragon (we get them at our place) …

Angle-headed dragon soaking up heat from a lamp

Angle-headed dragon info board

Green tree snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata, common at home) …

Green tree snake

Coastal carpet python (Morelia spilota subsp. mcdowelli) …

Coastal carpet python

Scrub python (Morelia amethistina) …

Scrub python

Scrub python info board

Boyd’s forest dragon (Hypsilurus boydii or Gonocephalus boydii) …

Boyd’s forest dragon

Boyds forest dragon info board

Coastal or eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata) …

Coastal bearded dragon

Coastal bearded dragon info board

White-lipped tree frog (Litoria infrafrenata) …

White-lipped tree frog

White-lipped tree frog info board

Freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) …

Freshwater crocodiles

Freshwater croc info board

but no salties …

No wonder the crocodile is smiling

On to the birds in part 2.

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9 Responses to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (part 1)

  1. EVrything is so cool. Especialy the snakes are awesome.

  2. Heather Fraser says:

    Hi Joy, I saw the tree kangaroo there many years ago, wonder if it is the same one! Heather

    • Joy Window says:

      There are a lot of tree kangaroos on display there. A quick whip round Google indicates a life span of at least 14 years in captivity (longer than in the wild as they are pampered in captivity).

  3. Cath Clark says:

    Hi Joy ~ thanks for sharing, I quite enjoyed the virtual tour and your narrative and captions. Maybe because I also am a moley.. er…. mammal.

  4. joan knapp says:

    OK – Now I’m homesick. Thanks! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (part 2) | A-roving I will go

  6. Jack says:

    I’m setting up for a Boyd’s forest dragon.
    They just seem so cool…

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