Birds hey, just casually flying all over the place, landing wherever they like, seeing the world from way up high, what a life. They don’t even know how good they have it. We’re quite envious to be honest. Of birds. Who knew.
Complex little creatures too aren’t they? So much we don’t know about them. Until now.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has come to the rescue of bird lovers (and those who are simply a little bit curious about our feathered friends) everywhere with the launch of a brand new show featuring, you guessed it, all of the birds.
Wild Skies will take flight onTuesday January 1st at the Gold Coast’s favourite animal playground and we recommend hightailing it down to Currumbin to check it out for yourself at the earliest available opportunity.
As you know, the crew at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are a clever bunch, all knowledgeable and friendly and extremely adept at handling wildlife and Wild Skies is no exception.
The show, taking place in a newly built section of the Sanctuary, is free with entry to the park and it’s both a sight to behold and a good time to learn a few facts about these incredible animals.
We don’t want to give too much away but the show will take you on a sky-high journey of your own through the past, present and future of our winged friends.
You’ll meet some of Australia’s most beautiful species of birds including the largest bird of prey in Australia – the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the Australian Pelican (hilarious) and plenty of colourful parrots to name a few.
We particularly loved the Black Cockatoos, beautiful little guys, who flew across the heads of the audience all colourful and majestic and a fluffy white chicken who pretty much did as he pleased.
There’s also an incredible owl that’ll absolutely mesmerise you and the aforementioned Wedge-tailed Eagle who will absolutely knock your socks off, particularly due to his (could be her) very close proximity to your head.
So, if you’re into witnessing some of the most incredible, up-close animal encounters around, make a date with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Wild Skies, it’s pure magic.
LOCATION: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
HOURS: The Sanctuary is open from 8am until 5pm daily
Words and photo by Kirra Smith
It’s the unassuming seaside suburb quietly making itself known for the hippest coffee haunts and an industrial area that has grown into THE place to be, seemingly overnight.
Because somebody has to do it, we’ve rounded up 13 reasons why locals love Currumbin.
Serving up some of the absolute best doughnuts you’ll ever have the pleasure of sampling is Currumbin’s Fuel Bakehouse. With varieties like Nutella, Passionfruit and Salted Caramel to name a few, you won’t be sad if you buy at least four of each. Not only doughnuts though, they also do epic pies, cruffins, croissants, all of the baked goodies and coffee too. Perfection the lot of it.
Where: 44 Currumbin Ck Road, Currumbin Waters
The Salt Mill
A tiny little space directly across from the beach, The Salt Mill is perhaps one of the most beloved cafes there is on the Coast. They do exceptional coffee, takeaway sandwiches packed with goodness, Açai bowls (arguably some of the best around), smoothies, fresh juices, smashed avo, raw treats, everything that is delicious in the world. Buy one of everything then stroll across the road and take in that unrivalled ocean view.
Where: 784 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Hello homewares. And plants and art and jewellery and clothing. All the things you love and all delightfully arranged in the perfectly styled space that is Gather Store. In case you haven’t been in (WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), allow us to enlighten you. Owners Jan and Sandy Hogg have carefully curated goods from local artists and craftspeople drawing inspiration from the local creative community. It’s pure gold, go now.
Where: Shop 1, 56 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
The newest kid on the block, Consciously Clean is the place to go if you need to stock up on anything and everything eco-friendly in terms of home and body cleaning goods. They have a system where you can bring in your own jar or bottle and fill that with the product of your choice or purchase one there and it’s all very affordable. Not only that though, you can also grab food containers and wraps, drink bottles, pet things and skincare too. It’s a one-stop shop. We love.
Where: 4/42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
The cry of “best espresso on the Coast” has been heard of Portside Coffee more than once and it’s true, this cool little joint is serving up the goods and not just in the coffee department. There’s also buttery homemade pastries on offer and intimate, friendly neighbourhood vibes galore. It’s the perfect place to get your early morning caffeine fix if you’re planning to explore Currumbin’s newly happening industrial area.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Panya Artisan Bakery
The only thing better than the smell of freshly baked bread is the taste of freshly baked bread. Sensory dreams can come true when you visit Panya Artisan Bakery. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t be alarmed, their main jam is supplying your favourite cafes and restaurants, but they do sell limited quantities of baked goodies to the public. Set your alarm for as early as you can handle, it’s well worth the wake up call.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Freeman’s Organic Farm
For a complete change of scenery make sure you add Freeman’s to your weekend plans. The farm was established in 1915 and in the 1920’s became the largest commercial banana farm in Australia with over 100 acres of trees. Today, the farm grows all organic produce which you can sample at the I Eight Cake Kitchen via a variety of delicious organic dishes and (more) baked treats.
Where: 618 Tomewin Mountain Road, Currumbin Valley
All your favourite arty aspects combine at Dust Temple, an ex-warehouse turned gallery, coffee shop and creative community hang. Hosting local, national and international artists, musicians, poets and an in-house ceramicist, leatherworker and silversmith, it’s certainly a place to go if you need to feel creatively inspired. Amp up the happy vibes with a coffee while you’re there.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
Casual Japanese dining at its absolute finest is what you’ll find at Zipang Japanese. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, it’s time you did yourself an absolute solid and booked in there to devour one of the best feasts you’ll ever have. They’re open Friday and Saturday nights at the moment and you’ll absolutely need to book ahead because Zipang is very, very popular. For good reason.
Where: 5/31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
You’ve heard about it and if you’ve not yet had the chance to visit, make today the day. Balter is the brainchild of your fave local pro surfers combining two of the things we Gold Coasters love the most, beer and waves. It’s a delightfully decked out space with big old beer vats on display, a sweet mural on the wall and plenty of outdoor spots to sit. Happy days.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin
Iron & Resin Garage
Primarily a clothing store and coffee shop, Iron and Resin Garage was made for rockers and motorbike riders. The reclaimed industrial space features a famous Sunday session, #onanysunday. Every Sunday from 9am-12pm you and your crew are invited to enjoy great live music from the cream of local musicians and breakfast provided by assorted food trucks.
Where: 6 Stewart Road, Currumbin
Brimming with all the tasty food stalls, arts and crafts and live music, Sanctuary Markets are held every Friday night at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Oh, there’s a bar too. Whack on your stretchy pants and grab your gang, there’s fun to be had on Friday nights in Currumbin. Obviously check out Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary too for that matter, they’ve got a bird show that’s pretty fun.
Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
Parker and Persia
Love all of the vintage things? Us too. Luckily newbie Parker and Persia has us covered with a shop filled with revamped vintage furniture and homewares and some of the most stunning Moroccan rugs we’ve ever seen. Owners Steph and Sam have curated goodies from all over Australia to bring the stunning space to Currumbin. We’re in love.
Where: 2a/42 Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin
Words by Kirra Smith
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
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
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
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.