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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin

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Currumbin Sanctuary, Green Cauldron Display (2009); EHP

Currumbin Sanctuary, Green Cauldron Display (2009)

Currumbin Sanctuary, Crocodile Wetlands (2009); EHP

Currumbin Sanctuary, Crocodile Wetlands (2009)

Currumbin Sanctuary, Bird Feeding Arena (2009); EHP

Currumbin Sanctuary, Bird Feeding Arena (2009)

Currumbin Sanctuary Aboriginal Dance Arena (2009); EHP

Currumbin Sanctuary Aboriginal Dance Arena (2009)

Currumbin Sanctuary, old Entrance (2009); EHP

Currumbin Sanctuary, old Entrance (2009)

Alex Griffiths at Currimbin Sanctuary 1950s; courtesy GCCC Libraries

Alex Griffiths at Currimbin Sanctuary 1950s

Alex Griffiths Currumbin Sanctuary 1963; Heritage Branch Staff

Alex Griffiths Currumbin Sanctuary 1963

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary began serendipitously in the mid-1940s when Alex Griffiths began feeding lorikeets to prevent them from destroying his flower farm and eating the honey from his bee-hives. Griffiths' bird-feeding soon became a public spectacle. As bird numbers increased, so did the tourists. In 1947 Griffiths erected a kiosk in Tomewin Street and his small enterprise quickly became one of the major local tourism attractions. Griffiths conserved vegetation on the property and provided shelter to native animals. A public campaign to stop sandmining in Flat Rock Creek in the 1950s shored up public support for Griffiths' conservation efforts. He soon became the region's unofficial wildlife carer. In the early 1970s the Sanctuary expanded west across the Gold Coast Highway, increasing the number of species kept on the property. The miniature train ride which was started in 1964 traversed the entire site by the early 1970s. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has evolved to meet current tourism demands and now hosts a free-flight bird show, koala feeding, sheep shearing, Aboriginal dance and a high-ropes course. It also boasts a new wildlife hospital. What began as a bird feeding spectacle is now an internationally-recognised nature-based tourism attraction on Queensland's Gold Coast.

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Coordinates: -28.13757309, 153.48532372

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023