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Head to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo to Pet a Kangaroo and Kiss a Koala

Where: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Queensland, Australia, 4519
February 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM | by | ()

February marks the birthday month for Australia's most famous conservationist, Steve Irwin. There might be no better way to celebrate the life of the zoo-keeper than to head off to his very own zoo, aptly named, Australia Zoo.

Located about 60 minutes north of Brisbane, the 100-acre park was originally started by Steve's parents as solely a croc and reptile park. In 1992, Steve took ownership of the zoo and he escalated it to become one of the best zoos in the country, featuring a unique 'Crocoseum' for putting on demonstrations for visitors with live crocodile hand-feedings and a full animal show.

Since Irwin's fatal final expedition, his wife, Teri, has taken over maintaining the park with her children, Bindi and Bob, who are both riding continuing their father's legacy by playing a major role in the lectures and education.

If you aren't lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of the 'stars,' perhaps you will settle for the kangaroo open-range. It's here visitors may pet Australia's national animal or even pat a koala while it's in between sleeps and feeds.

This isn't your regular, look-at-wild-animals-behind-glass kind of zoo. The Crocodile Hunter was a staunch environmentalist and believed in "conservation through education," and this as much a learning experience as it is gawking at wild animals. In fact, junior rangers stroll around with un-caged animals and teach visitors of all ages about the critter, then allow a few pats in for some giggles.

This place has something for everyone with an entire exhibit devoted to Africa, Rainforest Aviary, Elephantasia and a Tiger Temple. With perfect weather almost year-round, the animals spend most of their time outside and think it's their natural habitat, so there's no waiting behind a fence for only a glimpse.

Well, hello there!

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted & rawfish]

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