Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary
Billabong Sanctuary
Event Management Firms-SOUTH TOWNSVILLE, QLD
Event Management Firms-South Townsville, QLD
"Australia is full of weird and wonderful native animals! Meet your favourites here, in a tropical bushland setting on the shores of the billabong, where everyone is guaranteed a rewarding..
Bruce Hwy, South Townsville, Qld, 4810.
Bruce Hwy, South Townsville, Qld, 4810.
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"Australia is full of weird and wonderful native animals! Meet your favourites here, in a tropical bushland setting on the shores of the billabong, where everyone is guaranteed a rewarding personal experience. The adventure begins as soon as you walk into the park: gentle grey kangaroos come hopping right up to you. Be sure to grab a bag of seeds—they'll be eating out of your hand! Throughout the day our dynamic team of Rangers presents exciting interactive wildlife shows. You'll be invited to feed, to cuddle, to photograph and to be totally amazed. When it's time for a break, relax by the pool, or enjoy a tasty meal from Blinky Bill's Café."

How it all began

Billabong Sanctuary through the years

Field of dreams .

A bare paddock was transformed into a tropical woodland

A bare paddock was transformed into a tropical woodland

Thirty years ago, Bob and Del Flemming stood at the edge of a bare paddock, and dared to dream about building their own wildlife park.

After teaching primary school in Sydney for 15 years, Bob was ready for a change.

He and Del sold up and moved north with the goal of establishing a sanctuary for native animals in their natural habitats.

In such an environment, Bob recognized that he could have a much wider impact on conservation education, reaching out to thousands of students every year instead of just a few dozen.

Building the park was back-breaking work

Building the park was back-breaking work

With their 5 year-old son Brett in tow, Bob and Del pitched a tent at the edge of White's Creek and set about building their dream.

Over the next two years the family worked 18-hours days. They excavated a large permanent lagoon, planted thousands of native trees, laid 3 kilometers of irrigation pipe, built enclosures, and designed the Queenslander-style building to house the reception area and shop.

Locals came forward with offers of native animals. First to arrive were Todd and Judy, a pair of dingoes. The collection soon included an olive python, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, crocodiles and an emu with attitude, named Gonzo.

Huge drainage pipes were installed under the causeway

Huge drainage pipes were installed under the causeway

Del planting palms

Del planting palms

Grand opening .

In March 1985 the dream became reality when Billabong Sanctuary opened to the public.

From the beginning, the emphasis was on fostering awareness of conservation of native animals and their habitats. School groups started flocking in, and local families came to pitch their own tents by the creek.

Some of those original animals are still here:

  • Jacko the cheeky sulphur crested cockatoo greets visitors from his perch by the koalas.
  • Our red-tailed black cockatoos continue to breed successfully. One of their many chicks is Ash, currently everyone's favourite. Over the years many of their offspring have been traded to other wildlife parks.
  • Riley, one of our biggest crocs, came from a croc farm in the Northern Territory. (He's our only croc with a known age.) With his mate Bonza beside him, and fresh food every day, he's truly living the life of Riley
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