It’s always special to see wildlife. We keep a list of the best places to spot wildlife in Australia and love taking our visitors there. My favourite spot near Brisbane is Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island). But it’s an island, so it requires some planning. That’s why I’m glad we found a place to see wild kangaroos and koalas on the Gold Coast. We had a fantastic time exploring Coombabah Lake Conservation Park, and I’m looking forward to showing it to my family and friends. Here are a few tips to optimise your visit to this hidden gem in Australia.

Walking on a path in Coombabah Lake Conservation Park with kangaroos in the nearby grass.

Responsible travel tip: Do not feed or touch wildlife. If you want a close interaction with animals, I recommend visiting a wildlife sanctuary instead (Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, for example).

Coombabah Lake Conservation Park tracks are accessible

Accessibility is one of my favourite things about Coombabah Lake Conservation Park. You’ll find many tracks to explore the wetlands and forest. Paths are well indicated and flat so the entire family can enjoy them. You can walk as little or as much as you want. We walked for 10 kilometres but saw kangaroos even before we reached the path.

When and where should you go?

The aerodrome car park is the best place to start your visit. You should see kangaroos straight away, and you will be close to the koala trail. However, be ready to take your time, as koalas are not easy to spot. There are many trees to check, and koalas usually don’t move and are quiet during the day. So the easiest way is to look for people looking up or ask those leaving or coming in from the opposite direction if they could spot one.

It is lovely to visit Coombabah Lake Conservation Park at the end of winter or the start of spring as many beautiful wildflowers are blooming. We were lucky to spot a few babies too. Kangaroos are more active at the end of the day, so you may prefer to plan your visit in the afternoon. However, we saw so many kangaroos that I’m pretty sure the time of the day doesn’t matter.

The kangaroo trail and koala trail are not to be missed when visiting Coombabah Lake Conservation Park. However, if you have more time and are keen to walk for a bit longer, we enjoyed the other walks around the park. We had a good time walking on the other trail where we could spot more wildlife (a goanna), interesting trees (paperback or melaleuca) and a few beautiful birds (including a kingfisher!). If you’re interested in bird watching, check out this brochure to know what birds you should look for when visiting Coombabah Lake Conservation Park.

Don’t forget to bring water and insect repellent

We didn’t find a place to refill our water bottle, so bring your own water for the walk. We got bitten a few times while walking near the wetland. Insect repellent or long sleeves and pants could make your visit more enjoyable.

Did you see wild kangaroos and koalas at Coombabah Lake Conservation Park? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where is Coombabah Lake Conservation Park?

Coombabah is located on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia), only one hour south of Brisbane and half an hour north of Surfers Paradise.


Eloise is the creator and writer of She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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