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Meet Dreamworld’s purrfect tiger cubs

In what may just be the most adorable news in Gold Coast history, two tiger cubs were born at Dreamworld a few weeks ago and, as of right now, you can go stare at their fluffy little faces while repeatedly needing to remind yourself why tigers don’t make good pets.

The pair, Melati and Mya, who were officially named today (February 13th) weigh only 3.66 and 3.36 kilos respectively and are still just learning to walk (bless).

Melati is an Indonesian name meaning ‘Jasmine flower’ and Mya is a name with many origins essentially meaning ‘beloved’ or ‘great’. Which they clearly both are.

The wee babes have now been relocated from post-natal care to Tiger Island’s ‘up close’ nursery den where the aforementioned staring at fluffy faces will take place.

Due to poaching and deforestation, it is estimated there are less than 4,000 tigers in the world today and that, friends, is devastating.

The Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation has contributed over $2 million toward tiger conservation programs since their launch in 2012. Which is why (besides the fact that there are TIGER CUBS on the Gold Coast) you need to get down there and tell all your pals to do the same.

Dreamworld’s tiger team (not the technical term) provide funding to organisations such as Wild Cats, Fauna and Flora International and The Phoenix Fund who police the jungles to find and destroy traps and track and arrest poachers.

Interactive tiger cub experiences, including photos with the little loves and walks around the park, are expected to be available in March – just in time for the Commonwealth Games.

As parents of human babies say, they don’t stay little for long, and right now they are the size of a large cat (like a domestic cat obviously) but without all the anger and entitlement issues.

Mostly the cubs just sleep and eat, which is the dream quite frankly, but it’s not every day you get to see a baby tiger, so get there before they grow into, you know, animals that can fit your whole head in their mouths.

What a time to be a Gold Coaster.

LOCATION: Dreamworld, Dreamworld Parkway, Upper Coomera
HOURS: 10am to 5pm daily

Words and photo by Kirra Smith

5 reasons to visit Dreamworld’s LEGO Store

Australia’s first official LEGO store opened at Dreamworld in early 2016 with fans lining up outside overnight to be the first to experience the magic.

They weren’t disappointed and the stand-alone store has proved popular ever since with everyone from children to adults enjoying the experiences on offer.

While there are many reasons to make the drive to the LEGO Store at Dreamworld, here are the top five:

1.     BIG LEGO

There are life-sized LEGO creations. That’s right, a LEGO genius somewhere in the world has spent countless hours putting together a seven-foot-tall Incredible Hulk, two Stormtroopers and, in honour of the Gold Coast and Dreamworld, a giant tiger, koala and blonde surfer guy. The life size models are iconic to Dreamworld and the Gold Coast were built by Ryan McNaught, here in Australia. They must been seen to be believed.

2.     MAKE A LEGO MAN

There’s a Make-Your-Own Minifigure station where, as the name suggests, guests can choose from hundreds of pieces of LEGO to put together their very own LEGO person.

3.     CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

A world famous Pick a Brick wall is a floor to ceiling, four sided structure made up of hidey holes with every colour and shape of LEGO piece under the sun. Use the wall to create a new toy or to add some extra pizazz to something you’ve already made.

4.     LOTS OF LEGO

There are almost five tonnes of LEGO pieces available throughout the store with everything from tiny Superman key rings complete with a red cape, to a stunning Disney castle with themed rooms from favourite movies.

5.     RELIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD

As an adult, it will take you back to the wonder of childhood and for the kids, a world of opportunity awaits.

Weekend sorted, get building.

HOURS: 9am to 6pm daily.

LOCATION: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

9 adorable Gold Coast animal encounters

Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)
Mountview Alpaca Farm (image supplied)

Without a shadow of a doubt, Gold Coasters have a strong affinity with the animal kingdom. From our four-legged furry friends joining us for coffee dates to the abundant wildlife everywhere you turn; all creatures great and small are inherently a part of our coastline, and therefore most people’s lives here.

It turns out there are many other charming creatures around these parts and you can share an experience with some of the cutest and mightiest of them! So whether you’re a local or enjoying the Gold Coast short term, here are our recommendations on how you might find yourself on the furry/feathered/scaly end of an endearing animal encounter.

Tiger Island Dreamworld
Get up close and highly personal with some of the animal kingdoms most majestic creatures. Tiger Island is a true one-off as you’re able to watch daily shows — before the next minute finding yourself side by side and patting the big cats themselves for a photo opportunity like no other!
Where: Dreamworld, Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera

Mountview Alpaca Farm
How does meandering your way around a vineyard with a glass of wine and your very own alpaca in tow sound? Be careful though; there may be some confusion around who is walking whom! These guys can be found at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, where you can pat and feed them to your heart’s content.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra

Lorikeet feeding at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the best places for anyone on the Gold Coast to experience wildlife since 1947! There’s a long list of animals to find yourself involved with here, from crocodile feeding, bird shows, and having your picture taken with a koala. If you haven’t been in a while, there’s a relatively new section that opened three years ago called Lost Valley. The highlight is one of the southern hemisphere’s largest aviaries, where you’ll mingle with red pandas, tamarins, and ring-tailed lemurs!
Where: Tomewin Street, Currumbin

Spirit Whale Watching
As whale watching season is just upon us (May — November), you’ll be hard-pressed to see the spectacular sight of migrating whales from a better location than the sunny waters right off our coast. Spirit Whale Watching tours will take you right into the action as groups of whales make their way north around the Whitsundays to give birth before then returning south later in the year. The operator has a history of getting their guests wet with whales breaching and tail slapping the water from proximity. And if you don’t see any whales, they’ll take you on another trip free!
Where: 60-70, Sea World Drive, Main Beach

Australian Outback Spectacular
Saddle up for the night of a lifetime at Australian Outback Spectacular. A hot tip is to arrive early to get photos with the dogs and horses, the stars of the show! Once inside the arena, you’ll then get a three course dinner. Followed then by one of the most spectacular shows you’re likely ever to see, filled with animals, Aussie songs, and a guaranteed few laughs as riders frolic about on stunning steeds — all while you look on in awe. Expect stunts, special effects, and not forgetting a tasty meal. Making for a night, you’re unlikely to forget!
Where: Pacific Motorway, Oxenford

Sea World's Penguin Encounter (image supplied)
Sea World's Penguin Encounter (image supplied)

Sea World
As far as aquatic encounters go, this is your one-stop place to see and learn about a plethora of water-based animals. From Polar Bears to penguins, seals to sharks, there is guaranteed to be an animal that will captivate everyone’s imagination. If this isn’t enough, you’ll come across a selection of shows where splashing around and seeing these magnificent creatures do their thing will leave you speechless, or maybe a dolphin encounter is more your thing: spending time in the water with these animals and their trainers!
Where: Sea World Drive, Main Beach

Paradise Country Aussie Farmyard
Sometimes there are so many adorable animals, yet so little time. From native Aussie wildlife to farmyard animals and even an animal nursery, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Paradise Country. If you’ve never been to a farm, this is the perfect place, only minus the hard work! It’s a great weekend adventure if you need to escape city life. And news just off the press tells us they will soon be expecting their own little mob of meerkats — making your decision to visit, simples.
Where: Pacific Motorway, Oxenford

Paradise Country Animal Encounters (image supplied)

Crazy Cat Café
This feline-orientated experience is purrfect if you like mixing coffee and cats. If you’re not a fan, you can still tag along, as the café section is separated by a window that allows you to look in on the cat lounge while its inhabitants leap around, swat each other, and generally enjoy their cat castle. If you must get involved, don’t panic, you can join them for a play and a quick snap or two.
Where: 63 Centre Arcade, 3131 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

David Fleay Wildlife Park
Right in the heart of Burleigh is an intimate, heritage-listed wildlife sanctuary home to a vast array of animals — and most people drive past without even realising! Wander around at your own pace and soak up the serenity or go on a guided tour and learn all about everything from Dingoes and Rock Wallabies to Bilbies and Owls. There are shows throughout the day too; so be sure to carve out a good chunk of time for a visit.
Where: Loman Lane, Burleigh Heads

Words by Alex Mitchenson.

David Fleay Wildlife Park (image supplied)
David Fleay Wildlife Park (image supplied)
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