Charleville Bilby Experience
Regarding the Charleville Bilby Experience 2020
It is with some sadness that we have to announce that we will not be opening the CBE this year.
Our number one priority is the safety of our bilbies, our staff and our visitors. The social distancing protocols and the vulnerable nature of our community means that we will not be able to deliver on that priority.
This is a massive blow to us as a tiny charity. And we realise that this may cause inconvenience to our bilby-lovers and other visitors to Charleville, but we hope you understand our position.
We are extremely grateful for the hundreds of people who have donated to the Fund already this year, so that despite losing the income from the CBE, we can continue our work breeding and releasing bilbies to Currawinya National Park.
Here are some FAQs for those of you that want to know more. Last Updated: 16 July 2020
Why is the CBE closed?
We have a short season – around 6 months from Easter to Spring – and have not been open at all yet in 2020, due to COVID-19 measures.
But Queensland is open to Queenslanders – why haven’t you opened up now?
We have taken this opportunity to breed as many bilbies as possible. These animals are destined to be release animals, and as such we are reluctant to handle them or use them as display animals. We carefully select display bilbies, we are mindful of their personality and their suitability to be housed with one another. It also takes us approximately 3-4 weeks to prepare our animals to change their day night cycle. We take that long as it is a gradual process of adjusting the lights. So we delay “sun down” by 1-2 hrs every few days. This is so there isn’t a massive shift from day to night for them. We hold animal welfare as the utmost importance, and work with the animal. we have to ensure bilbies who are going to live together are happy to do so with one another. Bilbies can be like people, some instantly enjoy their new house mates, others take some time to adjust which all has to be nutted out well before we open.
So, are you planning to open at all this year?
The preparation needed for the bilbies to acclimatise and also to staff the CBE, takes time and money. We can just about cover our costs if we open for a full season – any shorter period of time would actually cost us money to be open. That doesn’t feel right for a charity.
We do not want to spend our bilby-lovers’ precious donations on being open to tourists. Unlike the other attractions in Charleville, we are a charity and have no guaranteed income. We are heavily reliant on volunteers and we have to be very careful with our outgoings. Our supporters donate to the work we are doing in our breeding facilities and predator proofed reserve, to save the bilby for future generations, and we are very mindful of honouring that.
About Charleville Bilby Experience when we reopen
The Charleville Bilby Experience is a centre dedicated to bilbies. During our shows you will not only see bilbies and learn about them, but in our Up Close and Personal Tour at 9am (Mon-Sat) you have a unique opportunity to touch a bilby. Guides will introduce you to our bilbies and discuss the fascinating world of bilbies. You will also hear first hand what Save the Bilby Fund are doing to save this environmental engineering marvel from extinction.
By visiting the Charleville Bilby Experience and booking into one of our experiences you are helping to save the bilbies as all of the proceeds from the tours and souvenirs go directly to the vital work we do in saving them.
Come visit us, and meet and enjoy a wildlife experience that is close to our hearts and will become close to yours as well.
A word from our visitors
This was our main reason for stopping in Charleville. I had heard about the Bilby centre and Bilby man on TV. It did not dissapoint - the centre is professionally displayed, staff is very knowledgeable and passionate. And of course seeing the Bilbies is the highlight, very active and cute. Only regret is we couldn't also do the bilby patting the next day! Maybe next time. Keep up the great work.
Was a great informative day about the Bilbies. You get to see them up close and pet one. Just a fun day for families.
We did the up close encounter tour whilst in Charleville! It was wonderful! The staff were very knowledgeable and it was so interesting to hear what’s being done to save these cute mammals! We loved patting these soft little creatures and watching them run around in their environment. The displays are very informative. Highly recommend supporting this great organisation if you visit Charleville.
What a highlight - getting to pat a bilby. The Bilby Experience is a great attraction and such a good way to educate people about this beautiful little, adaptable and super cute critter. Easy to book online.
Great hands on experience, so cute, and dedicated staff to the preservation of this endangered species.
We did a morning tour - the young lady who looked after us was great - knew a lot and was very good at getting us involved. We got to pat a bilby and came away feeling we knew about them and their plight.