The family of the late Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin has realized his dream by opening a series of ‘immersive’, luxury cabins at his Australian zoo.
A night at one of the eight family-size cabins will cost guests a cool $900 a night. Each cabin has two bedrooms and guests will enjoy exclusive access to the zoo, special tours to see the wildlife, a gift pack, and breakfast.
Steve, who rose to fame as the fearless and charismatic star of Animal Planet’s Crocodile Hunter series took over the management of the 700-acre Australia Zoo in Queensland in 1991.
From a young age, he had a keen interest in wildlife and was handling dangerous animals from the time he was a boy, having grown up helping his parents care for tiger snakes, freshwater crocodiles, magpie geese, and kangaroos at the 2-acre Beerwah Reptile Park.
CRIKEY! Celebrating #WorldReptileDay with a one hour special on @AnimalPlanet tonight at 8pm in the USA. See Steve in action and get the inside scoop with Terri & Wes. Put on your best khaki, lace up your boots & get ready for The Crocodile Hunter: The Best of Steve Irwin!🐊 pic.twitter.com/Mj1Xrm8MGv
— Australia Zoo (@AustraliaZoo) October 22, 2018
There his mother nursed injured animals, rehabilitating them and releasing them.
Today, thanks to Steve’s help and successful TV franchise has grown and expanded. According to its website, it aims to “exhibit wildlife in its natural environment” and educate the public about conservation and animals “through exciting education”.
“As filming generated extra funds, Steve and Terri had agreed to put all money raised from filming and merchandise back into conservation. From its humble beginnings as an avocado packing shed, they established the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital,” says the zoo’s website.
“This world-class facility continues to rescue, rehabilitate and release over 7000 native Australian animals every year”.
Steve and Terri, now 57, filmed over 300 episodes of the show. They had two children together, a daughter, Bindi, 23, and Robert, 18.
— KTVU (@KTVU) February 23, 2020
Since Steve’s tragic death in 2006 when a usually passive manta ray pierces his heart with its barb as he dived with the animals during filming, the Irwin family has continued to honor his legacy by promoting conservation and the care of wildlife.
Terri said expanding the zoo to include an over-night experience was always something Steve had aspired to do:
“Steve always had a dream that one day, people would not just visit Australia Zoo, but stay overnight, and have the immersive experience of listening to and being around wildlife after dark,” said Terri.
“It was so important for us to make his dream come true through the opening of The Crocodile Hunter Lodge. This stunning luxury accommodation is surrounded by our conservation work, providing a home to endemic wildlife species while further continuing Steve’s important legacy.”
The Crocodile Hunter Lodge
Coming soon … pic.twitter.com/zQs8tEa98y
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) June 22, 2022
The eight lodges center around an eco-friendly hub which includes a restaurant and a luxurious infinity pool dubbed The Billabong where guests can indulge in cocktails or bar snacks.
The lodge was built using recycled pieces of timber from the crocodile viewing stands that Steve built himself. Wildlife is always at the front and center, there are 3000 native species of trees and shrubs in the facility, and animal nesting boxes are dotted around the area.
“The Crocodile Hunter Lodge has adapted several eco-friendly initiatives, helping us maintain a minimum carbon footprint on the planet, and prioritizing conservation as we always do,” said Steve’s son, Robert.
Guests will be truly immersed in nature at the lodge, as the area is an open habitat for a variety of native species including red kangaroos and koalas.
“By building this luxury accommodation with lush bushland around for our animals, we are achieving Dad’s vision of a world where humans and wildlife can peacefully coexist, making this planet a better and more harmonious place for future generations.”
“It is absolutely wonderful to be able to carry forward Dad’s vision for Australia Zoo. Our efforts revolve around wildlife conservation, and with spectacular wildlife integrated into the Lodge, it’s the most beautiful way of honoring Dad’s legacy and everything he stood for,” added Bindi.