Centered around a 4-acre (2-hectare) billabong in the heart of the Australian outback, the family-owned Billabong Sanctuary has been devoted to the protection and conservation of Australian wildlife since it opened its doors in 1985. Today the center is a fully accredited Advanced Ecotourism Attraction and is teeming with native Aussie wildlife, home to over 50 different species, including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, dingoes, and emus.
The emphasis at Billabong is on education, and experienced handlers are always on-hand to offer fascinating facts and advice about each animal. Visitors can watch the park rangers feeding the koalas, kangaroos, cassowaries, and crocodiles; see barn owls, lorikeets, and black kites take to the skies during the daily flight show; and brave a peek at the snake pit, home to some of Australia’s deadliest snakes.
The Billabong Sanctuary is located in Nome, around 10.6 miles (17km) south of Townsville, and is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Adult admission is AU$35 and for children between the ages of four and 16, entry is AU$22.
Although Viator tours do not include this activity, the Billabong Sanctuary also offers various wildlife experiences for an additional fee, including holding a koala, wombat, or dingo; feeding crocodiles and kangaroos; and handling snakes and reptiles. Photo packages start from AU$24.