If it’s not too terrifying for you, we’ve found the perfect way to experience the venomous side of Australia – safely – from as close as it’s possible to get. Australian Venom Zoo in Kuranda, northwest of Cairns, is home to beasties you won’t find in any other zoo on Earth.


Aside from daily live venom extractions, they also house a variety of tarantulas (some up to 17cm in size for goodness’ sake), Australia’s top five venomous snakes, various scorpions, centipedes, insects and reptiles. In fact, why would anyone in their right mind go to this place? It’s a specialised centre for breeding Australian Tarantulas. Isn’t that warning enough?

But if this is up your alley, by all means, head down there. You’ll witness some very important scientific work: the various venoms are sent all over the world for medical research to find cures for some of the most fatal diseases. Set your fears to one side and delve into a world of fascinating and much maligned animals.

WHERE // 8 Coondoo St, Kuranda (25km northwest of Cairns), Queensland. More info at www.tarantula.com.au 

DID YOU KNOW? // Scientists are currently researching venoms as cures for such conditions as heart arrhythmia, as medication for brain cancer, and arthritis pain relief.  

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