This review of Daisy Hill Koala Centre was updated in 2013
Next time you are stuck for something fun to do with the kids I would strongly recommend packing them (and a picnic basket!) into the car and heading out for a daytrip to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre. Nestled within the leafy confines of the Daisy Hill Conservation Park, this small but interesting enclosure is a great way to educate your little ones about the threat to one of our countries cutest animals whilst also getting up close and personal with our furry friends.
Built by the Queensland Government as a dedicated koala education facility in 1995, it was extensively refurbished in 2009 and now features a large outdoor koala enclosure and many new interactive displays.
Authentic Fun for Kids
The fun begins as soon as you walk under the welcoming sign marking your arrival. Your children will feel the excitement as they a greeting with a long boarded walkway through the trees leading up to the centre. Make sure to tell the kids to keep an eye out as you navigate the path for local wallabies that frequent the grounds around it as well as the man-made possum boxes hidden in the trees nearby!
Koala sightings assured
As soon as you enter the two gates to the enclosure you are greeted on either side with our beautiful national treasures. Usually found tucked up sleeping in the high branches, or munching hungrily on some gum leaves, these irresistibly cute little residents of the centre will be the first ones to greet you and although you can’t touch them they will be easy to meet at close proximity thanks to the two levels of walkways that snake their way around the inside of the enclosure. Signs on either side of the path introduce you to the koalas – Celeste, Mangiri, Faith and the newest and youngest member, Elsa – all of whom are cared for by the friendly and chatty rangers who work at the centre. You may also be entertained by another Australian icon and resident, Harold the Kookaburra. Unlike the koalas, he spends less time sleeping and more time attacking rival birds (namely his reflection in the tall glass windows that surround him)!
The Daisy Hill Education Centre
The education centre is a highlight in itself with lots of large, colourful displays giving details on the koalas, their current plight to survive and ways in which we can all help out. The layout is easy for kids to work their way through quickly with lots to keep them entertained along the way. There are interactive games, tracking devices, an observation tower (for a “koala’s eye view of the world”) and even a woodland theatre displaying two short movies for the older Brisbane Kids. For the younger ones there is an area with a colouring-in table, a small wall game and even a giant koala in the corner just perfect for little people bear hugs (and maybe some adult ones too)!!!
Along with the tranquil music that plays overhead and the beautiful, green surrounds it is the perfect way to spend a hour or more with the family either mid-week or on the weekend.
Don’t forget, once you have exhausted the centre there is no better way to wind down then by taking that picnic and setting up at one of the many beautiful, shady spots sprinkled within the natural reserve that surrounds it. And if, after all that, you still have a little time to spare you can always explore some of the numerous bike and walking trails within the park!!
You can find out more information or make group bookings by either visiting the website: http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/daisyhill-centre/ or by calling them on 3299 1032.
- Located 25km south of Brisbane on Daisy Hill Road, Daisy Hill
- Directions to the centre are well signed from the entrance of Daisy Hill Conservation Park and it has a designated car park for its guests
- Open every day except Christmas, New Years and Good Friday from 10 – 4pm
- Admission is free
- Group bookings can be made so that you can have guided tours and talk with the rangers but needs to be booked in advance
- Walkways and ramps on both levels are all accessible by prams, wheelchairs and small children
- The theatre closes each day at 3:15pm so it’s a good idea to get to the centre before then as its woodland-decorated interior should not be missed!
- If it has been raining access to the viewing tower may be closed, so best to wait for a sunny day to make the most of it
- Make sure you pack a picnic and a frisbee and make use of the 435 hectares of Eucalyptus forest that makes up the Daisy Hill Conservation Park. The park has numerous picnic tables and bbqs and whilst there is no man-made playground it does have plenty of space to throw a ball or explore one of the many walking trails.
If you loved this wildlife centre then make sure you check out Walkabout Creek the Gap where you will find another wonderful opportunity to introduce your Brisbane Kids to the native wildlife of Australia.