Visiting a zoo, seeing all the creatures big and small, then coming home to sleep in your own bed is one way to get a fix of animals. But menageries across the country have started to offer more than just a day trip – with Taronga Zoo hosting a wildlife retreat, as well as its own glamping experience; Melbourne Zoo allows people to spend the night in its elephant exhibit; and the Australian Zoo in Queensland is now launching its own cabins.
If this news sounds familiar, it’s because the move was first announced in 2019, with an opening date of 2020 originally planned. Of course, we all know what has been holding life back in general over the past few years. So if you fancy a slumber party among the animals at the Irwin Family Beerwah Zoo, the Crocodile Hunter Lodge is now up and running.
Guests can choose from eight rustic cabins, with spacious decks that overlook the site’s surrounding bushland – and the wildlife found there. Indeed, the zoo calls the entire Crocodile Hunter Lodge facility a “multi-species habitat.” In addition to the various human visitors to the cabins, red kangaroos, emus, echidnas and koalas that were impacted by the 2019-2020 summer bushfire season also inhabit the site.
Want to keep an eye on the animals while you bathe? The Billabong, the 25-meter infinity pool at Crocodile Hunter Lodge, also overlooks native wildlife.
Unlimited entry to Australia Zoo – where over 1,200 animals await – and a glimpse of Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital also come with every stay, for every guest.
Back in the cabins, which are made from reclaimed wood from the zoo’s famous crocodile viewing stands — which Steve Irwin built himself — you’ll find a queen bed and two single beds; a kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave oven, hotplates and a dishwasher; and a living room with a TV. There is also a dining area on the veranda and, for snacking while enjoying the breeze, each reservation also comes with a breakfast basket. And, you will also score a welcome gift.
A stay doesn’t come cheap, however, with prices starting at around $949 for a one-night visit for two adults.
If you like to eat out, the Crocodile Hunter Lodge has opened next door to the zoo’s new Warrior Restaurant & Bar. . The focus inside its charred wood-clad walls is Australian cuisine, local ingredients, and a tribute to Indigenous Australians and plants that have long been part of the First Nations diet.
Breakfast options include halloumi and corn fritters with poached eggs, corn and tomato salsa, avocado, fresh herbs, and tahini yogurt — plus cranberry and lemon granola. pecan nuts, with Maleny cane sugar yogurt, bee pollen and berry compote.
The lunch lineup includes duck liver parfait with kumquat pepper marmalade and toasted brioche; grilled sourdough salmon rillettes, capers, cucumber and marinated shallots; and a selection of sandwiches. And, for dinner, there’s seared snapper, blue pumpkin and rosemary risotto with acacia seed breadcrumbs, and river mint-crusted Tasmanian lamb loin – among other dishes. .
At the bar, a small snack offering helps fill the stomach — think plates with cheese, ham, and quandong chutney — while the wine list spans three pages.
Opening the Crocodile Hunter Lodge, Terri Irwin said “Steve always dreamed that one day people would not just visit Australia Zoo, but spend the night and have the immersive experience of listening and to rub shoulders with wildlife after dark.”
She continued: “It was so important to us to realize his dream through the opening of the Crocodile Hunter Lodge. This beautiful luxury accommodation is surrounded by our conservation work, providing a home for endemic wildlife while continuing the important legacy of Steve.”
Sustainability and conservation are at the heart of Australia Zoo’s new addition, with grounds featuring more than 3,000 native trees and shrubs, including greenery that provides food for species such as the endangered glossy black cockatoo. of disappearance.
“By building this luxury accommodation surrounded by lush bushland for our animals, we are realizing Dad’s vision of a world where humans and wildlife can peacefully co-exist, making this planet a better and more harmonious place for future generations.” , said Robert Irwin.
Find the Crocodile Hunter Lodge and Warrior Restaurant & Bar at 88 Irwin Road, Beerwah, Queensland. For more information, visit the hotel’s website.