Back to nature
‘Look at the joey!’ cries one of the kids, pointing at a cute, furry face with big dark eyes peeking inquisitively out of it mother’s pouch. Eagerly, the kids proffer handfuls of food, and the mother kangaroo bounds towards them. She stretches forward, delicately nuzzling the palm of each hand for food, and allowing her devoted admirers to stroke her soft fur. A moment later, there are kangaroos and wallabies of all shapes and sizes, and two tall emus, crowding in, all eager for a feed.
Cnr Captain Cook Hwy and Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas; (07) 4099 3235
■ The free guided and feeding tours of each habitat where you learn more about the animals. Reception will let you know the tour times on arrival. Try to plan your visit around these tours.
The birds you meet at Wildlife Habitat have many interesting characteristics. Stone curlews can carry their baby birds or eggs under their wings to remove them from predators. Emerald doves feed their babies ‘pigeon milk’ which is produced in a muscular pouch near the throat. Rose-crowned fruit doves build loosely woven nests so that tropical rains do not fill them up with water.
■ The park is divided into three habitats. In the wetlands there are black-necked storks and many different coloured parrots and various free-flying birds. In the rainforest, look for cassowaries (huge, flightless birds), forest dragons (a type of lizard) and brightly coloured eclectus parrots. The grasslands habitat is a favourite with kids because it is here that they meet and feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus. Representatives of the world’s only successful captive breeding colony of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos can also be seen here.