WILD LIFE Hamilton Island impacted by Cyclone Debbie and closed until further notice
Last week, Cyclone Debbie brought destruction to the North East coast of Queensland, including Hamilton Island. The slow moving system sat over the Whitsunday Islands causing 18+ hours of intense weather conditions including wind speeds of up to 270kmph. Hamilton Island itself was less than 15km from the eye of the storm and suffered widespread damage.
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island can confirm it was affected by the cyclone with extensive damage to the park including the primary external perimeter fence, internal containment fences, walkways and safety railings.
The excellent pre-event planning and preparation by the team, including the implementation of the park's local cyclone crisis management policy, ensured that all staff were safe and accounted for and there were zero animal injuries or deaths.
Due to vegetation being stripped in the region and no Eucalypt leaf available as food supply for our koalas, all of our koalas have been temporarily relocated to Australia Zoo, who have very kindly offered their support. Our Dingos will also be moved to Australia Zoo for the time being due to their exhibit being severely damaged. We thank Australia Zoo along with a number of other Qld Zoos for their support during this difficult period.
Rob Hall, General Manager of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island said; "Cyclone Debbie was a terrifying experience that will challenge us all for some time, emotionally and operationally. Our pre-planning prevented loss of life both human and animal which when considering the scale of the event is quite remarkable. While our beautiful park has suffered a considerable amount of structural and asset damage, the resilient WILD LIFE Hamilton Island team is highly motivated to take this challenge head on to have us up and running again as soon as possible.
"The Regional Zoo community support has been fabulous and we are extremely grateful to Australia Zoo in particular for reaching out the way they have to take care of some of our animals while we rebuild exhibits and stabilise essential life support elements. Our sincere thanks also go to Hamilton Island Enterprises for their outstanding support and care of the island community as a whole during and following Cyclone Debbie."
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island's expert team of keepers are on-site to continually monitor all animals and ensure their wellbeing. Our staff, guests and animals are our top priority and for safety reasons the park will remain closed with an estimated date of 01 June for reopening.
For further information, please contact:
Quinn Clarke <Quinn.Clarke@merlinentertainments.com.au>
Please note that koala holding is not currently available on Mondays or Fridays.
Children must be 12 years or older to cuddle a koala.
Step into a true Australian animal adventure at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island.
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island is one of the world's most memorable and hands-on animal adventures located within the stunning Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, amidst crystal clear blue waters and tropical greenery.
Go on an Australian Animal Adventure as you meet some of the most loved, feared and unique animals. Daily tours, feeding sessions and animal photo experiences are available, as well as our special Breakfast with the Koalas.
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island (formerly Hamilton Island Wildlife Park) is one of only a few places in the world where you can experience the thrill and excitement of cuddling a koala. This is an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with one of Australia's most famous and unique animals.
8:30am - 5:00pm
7:00am - 10:00am
From 11:00am (a selected range of take away or eat in sandwiches, rolls, baguettes, wraps, salads, muffins, and sweet treats).
Adult $25 / Child $15
(*Unlimited entry for entire stay on Hamilton Island).
Phone: +61 (0) 7 4946 9078
The residents of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island are true Aussie characters and there's no better way to meet them than catching a daily tour or two!
Say hello to our animals Freddie the talking cockatoo and our resident koalas. We also have many other incredible Aussie animals including dingoes, cassowary, bettongs, pademelons, kangaroos, crocodiles and other reptiles. We often have new arrivals so there's always something new to see!
Start your day with Breakfast with the Koalas enjoying an Aussie‐style buffet breakfast of juices, fresh fruits, cereals, pastries, toast, tea or coffee, pancakes, bacon, sausages and eggs cooked how you like them on the BBQ and all served in open natural surroundings.
The cafe dining area is transformed into a Koala Exhibit for breakfast, with koalas lazing about in the trees close to your table. Breakfast with the Koalas takes place every day between 7.00am and 10.00am and no booking is required.
Start your day with Breakfast with the Koalas enjoying an Aussie-style buffet breakfast of juices, fresh fruits, cereals, pastries, toast, tea or coffee, pancakes, bacon, sausages and eggs cooked how you like them and all served in open natural surroundings.
The cafe dining area is transformed into a Koala exhibit for breakfast, with Koalas lazing about in our tree pods right near your table.
- Breakfast Only: Adult $36 / Child $15.50
- Breakfast and Unlimited Park Entry: Adult $50 / Child $28
- Adult $65 / Child* $49
- Adult $55 / Child* $49
Includes Breakfast, Park Admission and Koala Cuddle Photo
- Adult $85 / Child* $63
*NOTE: Children are classed as 12-14 years for all koala cuddle experiences. Under 12s are not allowed to cuddle koalas. Children under 3 years have free breakfast and unlimited entry to the park.
One of very few places in Australia where you actually get to hold and cuddle a Koala! Our Koala Cuddle Photo Experiences are the only time that you get some one-on-one interaction with our Koalas.
Koala Cuddles are very popular on the island so book in advanced to make sure you don't miss out, especially during peak periods such as school holidays!
When: 8.45am-9.15am (not currently available on Mondays and
Includes: 6x8 print presented in souvenir folder
When: 1:30pm (not currently available on Mondays and
Includes: Two 6x8 prints presented in souvenir folder. Limited to four people, this special half hour behind the scenes experience is led by one of our keepers, and allows you to enter the koala's home and get up close and personal with our resident koala family.
NOTE: Children are classed as 12-14 years for all koala cuddle experiences. Under 12s are not allowed to cuddle koalas.
Additional prints of your photo can be purchased at the gift shop for $5 per extra print.
Bookings are recommended to make sure you don't miss out!
Are you feeling brave enough? Come and meet our animals face-to-face with the chance to hold a snake, cuddle our dingoes or have a chat with Freddie the talking Cockatoo.
10.45am - 11.15am - Reptile photo session including Snake and
Blue Tongue Lizard
11.15am - 11.30am - Freddie the Cockatoo photo session
11.30am - 12.00pm - Dingo photo session
3.15pm - 3.45pm - Koala Encounter (non-holding photo session - great experience for kids!)
All Reptile, Cockatoo and Koala Encounters: $20
Includes: 6x8 print presented in souvenir folder
Dingo Encounter Photo Session: $50 (subject to weather)
Includes: Two 6x8 prints presented in souvenir folder
Our keeper tours are included with admission and run for approximately 45 minutes.
Come and join us on our 10:00am Keeper Tour to learn more about some of Australia's unique and fascinating wildlife including bettongs, potteroos, pademelons, wallabies and koalas.
This Keeper Tour introduces our guests to the Australian reptiles and birds. During the warmer months, the star of the tour is McCulloch, our Saltwater Crocodile where you get to see him fed! Freddie the talking Cockatoo also makes a feature and slithering their way in are Cleo and Medusa our resident snakes.
Lunch and snacks are available in our Koala Cafe. Includes a light deli style range of daily prepared sandwiches, rolls, wraps, baguettes, salads, muffins, sweet treats, organic grinders coffee and a range of cold drinks. Please speak to our friendly staff regarding available daily selections.
Phone: +61 (0) 7 4946 9078