Magnetic Island Wildlife: Getting Cuddly with Koalas
Magnetic Island’s wildlife includes Australia’s largest wild koala colony but if you’re on a tight schedule, a trip to Bungalow Bay Koala Village might be for you.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village is owned by the Flemming family who are also the owners of the Billabong Sanctuary Wildlife Park south of Townsville.
As you might imagine, they are passionate about wildlife and very committed to educating people about wildlife conservation. In recognition of this the Bungalow Bay Koala Village received an Advanced Accreditation with the Australian Eco Tourism Association in 2006 for their dedication to conservation and the environment
the wildlife park
One of the things we enjoyed so much about Koala Village was being able to get up close and hold some of the animals.
During our two-hour morning wildlife tour we held a baby saltwater crocodile, python, lizards and baby turtles and we also patted a wombat, fed a cockatoo and cuddled a koala.
It was fantastic experience to get so hands-on with the animals and learn all about them at the same time.
There is a small charge for holding and having your photo taken with a koala but the money goes back into wildlife care on the island, to help take care of sick, injured or orphaned animals.
The local cuisine on offer consists of lamb encrusted in outback spices, local fish, sausages, egg and bacon, pancakes and fruit, toast cooked over the fire and all the usual breakfast beverages.
The Champagne Bush Tucker Breakfast with the Koalas runs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 8.30am to 10am so you either need to be staying on the island or catch the early Sealink ferry from Townsville, preferably the 7.05am (arriving 7.30am) or the 7.45am (arriving 8.05am) so you have time to drive to the park.
feeding rock wallabies
Make sure you buy a bag of wallaby food before leaving because Magnetic Island’s wildlife includes rock wallabies.
If you head down to Alma Bay you can feed the rock wallabies who live amongst the boulders by the beach. A little bit of wallaby food always coaxes them out of their hiding spots, although sometimes a bit of patience is required.
travel nq fast facts:
• Magnetic Island is about a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville
• Bungalow Bay Koala Village is about a 10-minute drive.