I have wanted to visit Bird World on the Sunshine Coast for a while now, so while in Maleny, Bird World was absolutely on my must do list.
Bird World is located in Maleny on the grounds of the Maleny Botanic Gardens, just 10 minutes drive from Maleny’s town centre.
At Bird World, visitors can get up close with some of the most beautiful birds from around the world, including various native parrots, cockatoos and massive macaws.
Bird World offers an aviary tour experience, where visitors can join a 50 minute aviary tour and get close to the amazing birds in the aviary.
The tours run 7 days a week with several sessions throughout the day.
The aviary tour is completely step free and accessible to visitors in wheelchairs and mobility aids. A combo ticket can be purchased which gives entry into the Maleny Botanic Gardens and access to the bird aviary experience. Tickets can be purchased on the day or online, however due to Covid it is recommended to pre-purchase tickets online. The Government Companion card is accepted for free entry for carers into the gardens and aviary and can be organized and collected on the day.
The pathways to the aviary are cemented, however there are sections that are made of gravel, including within the aviary. The gravel was thankfully thinly laid, so I was able to move around reasonably easy on the gravel without getting bogged.
Before heading into the aviary for our booked tour, everyone was asked to remove their jewellery and basically anything the birds could get hold of. We were warned the birds are very mischievous and will steal or pull anything off that catches their eye! How true this was!!
It is also recommended not to wear anything with buttons unless you want to be de-buttoned by the time you leave the aviary.. When moving around the aviary, I had to be mindful as there were a few birds on the ground.
There are four sections of the aviary. The first sections are where the smaller birds are, such as doves. This area I found wasn’t too exciting. The middle section led us to the larger birds, such as the bigger parrots, cockatoos and colourful rainbow lorikeets. This section was more amusing. as the birds flew freely around the aviary and randomly landed on peoples heads and shoulders.
Our tour group was fairly large, but we just hang at the back of the group as we moved through the aviary, trying to capture photos.
Unfortunately, our tour guide was tough to hear from the back, so we missed a lot of what she said. Understandably weekend tours would be their busiest time, so maybe tours during the week might be a better idea with a smaller group,
The last section of the aviary is where the macaw birds are located. When entering the macaw aviary, there are several rules visitors have to follow for safety. Macaws have a powerful beak, and the number one rule is not to touch them and, of course, to keep fingers away from their beak.
Each person was able to get a photo opportunity with a macaw as a macaw flew around and landed on our heads. But we had to be quick with the camera as the macaw quickly moved on to the head of the next person.
The aviary tour at Bird World in Maleny is a unique experience. It was fantastic to get so close to the beautiful birds in the aviary and the opportunity to get some very cool photos of the macaws. Still, I have to admit it was also a little scary knowing their beaks are so powerful, and I made sure to keep my fingers and toes hidden away at all times!
After our aviary tour, we went off to explore the rest of the grounds of Maleny Botanic Gardens. Most of the roads/walkways are cemented, but there are a number of off road sections. In saying this, the landscape is very hilly, and I did find it difficult to get around in some areas in my wheelchair because of the steepness of hills and driveways. Because the Maleny Botanic Gardens are spread out over 18 acres, many of the visitors opted to drive a golf buggy around the gardens, which can be hired for the day. Pedestrians and buggies share the paths throughout the grounds, so we had to be mindful of the buggies as we travelled around.
There are several excellent picnic spots throughout the gardens that over look lush greenery, ponds and mini waterfalls. There is also various locations that offer great viewing points that look out over the Glasshouse Mountains.
Even though the gardens are step free, exploring the Maleny Botanic Gardens is definitely more suitable for electric wheelchair use rather than manual wheelchairs because of the hilly terrain. There are some massive hills, especially the hill down to the waterfall. We stupidly decided to tackle the massive hill to get down to the main waterfall, not realising how steep the hill actually was until it was too late to turn back. Let’s just say, the journey down to the waterfall was not fun, but the journey back up was even worst, luckily we did survive… Just! Lesson learnt, don’t ignore the signs. And to be honest, the journey was not really worth it, the waterfall was a big rock with a dribble of water.. But than again it does make a funny story that we can now look back on and giggle about, so maybe it was worth it after all.
Accessible Cafe & Gift Shop:; Yes
Accessible Parking: Yes
Step Free Access : Yes
Wide Pathways:; Yes (Some areas are steep)
Step Free Bird Aviary Tour: Yes
Companion Card Accepted : Yes
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In my opinion I give Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World a rating of 3 for wheelchair accessibility, and a rating of 3.5 stars for the overall experience.
* I was not financially compensated for this review. The review is based on my own opinion and personal experience.*