Kuranda Koala Gardens – North Queensland’s Wildlife Wonderland!

Kuranda Koala Gardens

By James Dixon | 20th March 2015

Located in the heart of Kuranda, the Kuranda Koala Gardens is a family friendly location that is sure to keep you entertained for an entire day, if not more. A day at the Gardens will bring you face to face with a huge variety of Australia’s unique send wonderful wildlife. Of course, the star of the show is Australia’s iconic koala.


With their Indigenous-derived name meaning ‘no drink’, the koala is an extremely well recognised animal, synonymous with the ‘land down under’.

This small herbivorous marsupial spends almost its entire time hanging around in eucalyptus trees (also known as gum trees) and only come down to change trees or to find water during droughts. In fact, Koalas only ever source water when situations, such as drought, mean there is not enough moisture in the eucalypt leaves they are eating. Besides the Ringtail Possum and the Greater Glider, the koala is the only mammal that can eat a diet made up entirely off eucalypt leaves – a diet that would generally prove fatal for any other mammal.

Despite having a chubby appearance, Koalas are actually quite lean and muscular under their fur! Koalas possess thick, furry grey or brown coats that offer them cushioning against the hard tree branches, as well as project them from the often-harsh weather conditions they experience. Adult males are recognised by their brown patch of fur – caused by a scent gland – located on their white chests. Their sharp nails, double opposable thumbs and rough pads allow them to climb trees with ease and their large ears allow them to hear for many kilometres. Koalas have large noses which gives them an amazing sense of smell and helps them differentiate the 40 to 50 types of safe and edible species out of the 600 or so species of eucalyptus.

Being a marsupial, female koalas have a pouch for use by their immature young, who develop to maturity within the warm confines of the pouch. The koalas native to Kuranda are noticeably smaller than those from the southern parts of the country. This is because southern koalas have more fat to protect them from the cold. Regardless, they can still weigh anywhere between six and 14 kilograms, with females being smaller than the males.

Koalas are primarily nocturnal, which allows them to conserve more energy and moisture then they would during the heat of the day. These cute fur-balls spend up to 20 hours per day snoozing! The rest of their time is spent eating, grooming and socialising, and you can socialise with these fascinating creatures at Kuranda Koala Gardens. Besides interacting with the koalas within their natural habitat, you can also have a cuddle and be photographed doing so. Being one of only many places where you can actually cuddle a koala, we take their (and your) safety very seriously, so we abide by strict codes of practice, ensuring your interaction has minimum impact on their wellbeing.

While at the Gardens, you can also smile at a saltwater crocodile, witness the graceful movements of a kangaroo (including swamp wallabies, Parma wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos, red legged pademelons and more), say hello to a slithering snake and wink at a wombat. The Kuranda Koala Gardens is also home to a variety of other reptiles – including lizards, monitors and dragons.

There’s just so much to see and do at the Koala Gardens, so bring the family, bring a camera and get ready for a memorable, wild experience!