Wildlife Habitat officially opens its new rainforest attraction


Karlie Brady


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The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas officially opened their new aviary “Rainforest Habitat” today featuring the sky high Birdseye Bridge.
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The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas officially re-opened its new aviary “Rainforest Habitat” today.

Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, had the honour of cutting the ribbon to mark the opening.

The new features opened today will take visitors on a multi-level adventure up to the breath-taking Birdseye Bridge through the treetops and the Licuala Tower which offers views of the whole aviary.

To celebrate the opening Newsport and the Wildlife Habitat are giving away one free annual family pass to the attraction. To be in the running simply enter the code word ‘HABITAT’ in the comments below or on Newsport’s Facebook post. The winner will be announced on Monday, 21 September.

The public is now invited to come and share in the fun at Wildlife Habitat this weekend 19 and 20 September for the Rainforest opening extravaganza full of special activates for the kids including fancy dress, book readings, crafts and more.

Over the past 18 months, the wildlife sanctuary has been busily upgrading the park with two massive new aviaries, the world’s first Predator Plank, a state-of-the-art, ultra-modern Nocturnal Habitat, the Rainforest Habitat, and will soon break ground on CrocArena.

The opening of the Rainforest Habitat marks the completion of stage two of three major improvement projects. These three projects are the Nocturnal Habitat which opened in 2019, the Rainforest Habitat, and CrocArena which will open in 2021, offering visitors a chance to jump in a cage and swim with five-metre crocodiles.

The cost of the projects will come in over $2,300,000 which has been funded by the CaPTA Group and the Australian Government with $900,000 being provided through the Community Development Grants programme.

Managing Director, Peter Woodward, said the upgrades have been a long time in the planning and it is an exciting time for the Woodward family who have owned the Habitat for 30 years.

“It's been an exciting day for the Wildlife Habitat to reopen this magnificent aviary,” he said.

“When COVID-19 hit in March we could have stopped the project but we have confidence not only in our people at the park but also Port Douglas as a region is very popular and we know tourism will return so we are going to make sure we have new and exciting attractions for when visitors do return.”

Wildlife Habitat Manager Andrew Hearn said they were grateful to the local visitors who have been supporting Wildlife Habitat while the borders are shut.

“These improvements, and the sales efforts we are making, will allow us to bring tourists back, create jobs and do our bit in the recovery of the Port Douglas economy. The whole team has worked incredibly hard and we can’t wait to show it all off,” he said.

After touring the new features Federal MP Warren Entsch said it was great to see a local business continue to evolve.

“What we’re seeing in here is just phenomenal, this is world-class,” he said.

Mr Entsch added it was great to see the resilience from the family business, who were able to forge on with their work and keep locals employed, despite having fewer people through the doors.

“When things are difficult you can really gauge the strength of businesses when instead of going into a hole, they start spending money, that's why they’re successful and I think we all in Northern Queensland should be appreciative that they've done this,” he said.

Tara Bennett CEO of Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree said a new offering in Port Douglas is just the lift we need right now.

“Seeing private investment and confidence in the tourism industry is really important not just for the local community but for the industry as a whole.”

"The Wildlife Habitat is an icon for Port Douglas and to see this level of investment and a new element to their product is wonderful,” Ms Bennett said.

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