Ah, spring: the time of blooming flowers and baby animals so cute we could just die. But how can us urban dwellers get the quality animal petting time we need in our lives without having to hoof it to the country for a day or two?
It’s a problem we know we certainly struggle with. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to round up the best spots in and around Brisbane to pet baby animals this spring. What can we say, we’re givers like that. Just pretend to not see us when we abscond with a baby cow in tow. We have a problem, okay?
Ready to get started? Here’s where to pet baby animals in and around Brisbane this spring.
Summerland Camel Farm
When you think of frolicking with baby animals, camels are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But everyone’s favourite desert cow isn’t as homely as we’ve been led to believe. Well, at least the team over at Summerland Camel Farm certainly don’t think so. The minds behind camel-milk ice cream and cheese (its waaay better than it sounds, guys) are also firm believers in it always being the right time to get up close and personal with their resident camels. Summerland is located only a 45 minute drive from the CBD and is home to over 450 Australian camels, of both the fluffy baby and more mature kind, which you can get hands on with during a day tour. Artisanal ice cream AND the chance to get your pet on with baby camels under one roof? Summerland, we’re ready.
When: Sundays between 9:00am–4:30pm at the Homestead Café, or group tours are available on request.
Where: 8 Charles Chauvel Drive, Harrisville
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Fig Tree Pocket
We might be biased but we’re pretty sure that Aussie baby animals are the cutest animals around. Two words, guys: baby quokkas. That’s where Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary comes in, offering up the opportunity to cuddle with koalas, hand feed kangaroos and get to know a plethora of native animals any day of the year. Lone Pine’s shtick is all about fostering its guest’s connection with the wildlife through specially crafted close encounters, so you get to indulge in some serious cuddle time without worrying about stressing out the animals. But do you want to know the best part? Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located only a short jaunt, or roughly 12km, from the CBD. Now that sounds like a win-win to us.
When: Open seven days a week from 9:00am–5:00pm.
Where: 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket
How much: Adults $36.
Ottaba Llama Walks
You know what we all need more of in our lives? A good romp through the countryside with a llama in tow. Enter Ottaba Llama Walks, a working llama farm that will let you hike through the best of the Brisbane Valley region while leading along a new llama-shaped best friend. The walks meander through stunning natural scenery and some tours even include a wine tasting at a nearby winery. If walking isn’t really your style (don’t worry, we feel you), you could always book in for a llama encounter or farm visit, allowing you to get to know the farm’s resident llamas, alpacas, camels, donkeys, mini goats and lambs on a more personal level. Inside tip: with spring in full effect, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the fluffy balls of joy that are baby llamas when visiting the farm. Yes, you can thank us later.
When: Llama walks available on most weekends. Farm visits are by appointment only.
Where: Ottaba Llamas, Brisbane Valley Highway, Ottaba
Located in the lush green hillsides of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Maleny Dairies is a rite of passage for any Brisbanite worthy of the name. This fully functional dairy farm isn’t just about self-bottled rich, creamy milk or handcrafted cheese, Maleny Dairies also lets visitors into the daily workings of the farm on the regular. Farm tours include a visit to the baby pen (the real reason we’re attending, to be totally honest) where you’ll be able to bottle-feed itty-bitty baby cows before feeding chickens and pigs. Of course, spring means there’s likely to be the odd piglet or two running around. Okay, you can let out that squeal of excitement. Just don’t forget to grab some dairy products on your way out for a feast to remember. Talk about paddock to fork.
When: Farm tours run from 10:00am–2:30pm on every day except Sunday.
Where: 70 McCarthy Road, Maleny
How much: $11 per person.
Ipswich Nature Centre
Located smack bang in Brisbane’s backyard, the Ipswich Nature Centre is a well-kept local secret for a very good reason. The centre is totally free to enter and lets you meander through enclosures and nocturnal houses containing more than 40 species of native Australian animals. We’re talking everything from dingoes to bilbies to spotted-tail quolls. Afterwards, head on over to the baby animal barn for the chance to pet piglets, calves, lambs, baby goats and even guinea pigs. Yup, there’s a place to pet baby animals to your hearts content only a quick trip from the city. What are you waiting for?
When: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30am–4:00pm
Where: Ipswich Nature Centre, Queens Park, Goleby Avenue, Ipswich
How much: Free, though a gold coin donation is appreciated.
Tommerup’s Dairy Farm
Okay, so this one’s a bit more of a weekend getaway and a petting chance rolled into one, but Tommerup’s Dairy Farm is more than worth the trip. Specialising in rustic yet cosy farmstay accommodation, Tommerup’s is a working dairy farm that allows visitors to get stuck into farm life as little or as much as you please. Throughout your stay, you’ll be invited to help with miking, animal feeding and, of course, calf and pig feeding. There’s just nothing like arriving to a pig pen and hearing the piglets’ squeals of delight as you bring them their breakfast. Afterwards, you’re free to explore the gorgeous property, situated in the stunning Lost World region of the Scenic Rim, as you please before retiring to a country cabin straight out of your best Pinterest board. Go on, give yourself this one.
When: A number of accommodation options are available to suit your budget and group size.
Where: 2142 Kerry Road, Kerry, Scenic Rim
Need more weekend wandering inspo? Be sure to check out our travel page for everything worth knowing about.
Image credit:Tim Marshall