ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: Sleep with the animals at Jamala Wildlife Lodge and Aquarium in Canberra.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: Sleep with the animals at Jamala Wildlife Lodge and Aquarium in Canberra. Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Get the animal WOW factor into your next holiday

WHEN you head out to have fun on the road, have you ever thought about pitching your tent close to where you can drop in on some of Australia's fantastic animal encounter parks?

Right around Australia there are some amazing animals to meet in venues that are well-known and others that are luckily still not on the main tourism radar.

So, let's pack the tent, the caravan or camper home and get discovering just a few of the many animal encounters on offer.

Sleep with a lion tonight in Canberra

  • Jamala Wildlife Lodge is on Lady Denman Drive in Canberra.
  • Park your caravan outside and indulge yourselves for just one night, at least.
  • The park boasts the most dangerous and endangered wildlife and aquarium experiences.
  • There is a choice of three accommodation venues, with the cost including exclusive park tours, all food and night-time drinks.
  • The rooms are quite snazzy with each featuring African themes and many have wildlife sleeping with you, albeit on the other side of some safety glass.
  • Get in early to enjoy amazing encounters with red pandas, white lions, owls, sharks, tigers, otters, giraffe, tree kangaroos, meerkats, sunbears and cheetahs.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: dine, wine and sleep in the company of some fantastic animals at Melbourne Zoo.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: dine, wine and sleep in the company of some fantastic animals at Melbourne Zoo. Melbourne Zoo

Roar 'n Snore in Melbourne

  • Melbourne Zoo is located in the heart of Melbourne
  • It offers guests, between September and May, the chance to stay overnight within its grounds with camping equipment provided; you just need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Dinner is in the historic Elephant Exhibit.
  • Once dinner is done guests get to wander around the zoo, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the nocturnal creatures before bedding down for hte night.
  • In the morning the local residents will wake you for breakfast and a full day of amazing up-close animal encounters.
  • The cost includes camping equipment, meals and Zoo day ticket.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: walk on the wild site and discover Australian indigenous history at the Walkabout Wildlife Park.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: walk on the wild site and discover Australian indigenous history at the Walkabout Wildlife Park. Walkabout Wildlife Park

Have a wild night out in Sydney

  • Walkabout Wildlife Park is located just north of Sydney on Darkinjung Road at Calga.
  • There are various accommodation choices on site; bush survival with no creature comforts and lots of bush survival skills to be learnt, evening and morning ranger-led animal encounters and eco-cabin luxury so you can wake up with the animals, a ranger-led tour with comfortable camping including just a few luxuries included, or chose grown-up cottage accommodation with comforts and bush outlook.
  • The park has many different types of animals in its bushland setting: koalas, dingoes, Tasmanian devil, python, emus, wallaroos, skinks, turtles and many, many more.
  • Have you thought of taking your grandkids on a holiday to this park?

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: A Monarto Zoo meerkat.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: A Monarto Zoo meerkat. Monarto Zoo

Mingle with the Meerkats in South Australia

  • Monarto Zoo is located on the Old Princes Highway in Monarto.
  • The park is over 1000 hectares zoological park and natural wilderness sanctuary.
  • It also has a centre for conservation and enjoyment of wildlife and nature.
  • The park boasts 500 animals and 50 species of exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles and plays a major role nationally and internationally in rare breeding and endangered species programs.
  • Visitors can book in to sleep under the stars in your tent, caravan or sleeping bag on special dates during the year.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: A rehabilitated northern wallaroo being released into Litchfield Park.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS: A rehabilitated northern wallaroo being released into Litchfield Park. Nina's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Volunteer in Northern Territory

  • Nina's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary is an outback wildlife sanctuary located near Litchfield National Park.
  • Access to the private park and veterinary clinic is limited to April through December.
  • Tours, which are not self-drive, are available once booked.
  • It's a refuge for orphaned or injured native animals.
  • The volunteers come from all over the globe to work with orphaned and injured wildlife.
  • The park is host to many animal species including brush tailed possum, wallaby, wallaroo, black footed tree rat, bandicoot, northern quoll, partridge pigeon, brumbys, cockatoos, curlew and black-necked stork.
  • Basic, clean accommodation for a maximum of two nights is available on site with the $150 per night fee including pick up from the entrance, three meals both days and torch.
  • At night guests join in a BBQ by the campfire and feed some of the animals.


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