The couple met in 2013 while he was visiting the Irwin family-owned Australia Zoo

By Emily Strohm and Aurelie Corinthios
July 24, 2019 02:31 PM
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Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell have found their forever.

The couple got engaged on Tuesday, her 21st birthday. Bindi, the daughter of the late Steve Irwin, has been dating the 22-year-old wakeboarder from Florida since they met in 2013 while he was visiting the Irwin family-owned Australia Zoo.

“I am overjoyed to be sharing the news that Chandler and I are engaged!” she told PEOPLE exclusively of the happy news. “This has been the most special day celebrating my 21st birthday.”

“I’ve met my soulmate and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Chandler,” she added. “We’ve been together for nearly six years now and he’s my happily ever after.”

Powell gushed that the engagement marked the “most perfect and beautiful day of my life.”

“After Bindi’s birthday celebration at Australia Zoo, we had a photoshoot organized to celebrate her turning 21,” he told PEOPLE. “Just before we started the shoot, I took her to a special part of Australia Zoo to ask the girl of my dreams to become my wife. These past five years together have been the best of my life and we look forward to a lifetime of magical moments to come.”

Russell Shakespeare
Russell Shakespeare
Russell Shakespeare

The couple announced the news on social media alongside several sweet photos from the proposal.

“On my birthday I said ‘yes’ and ‘forever’ to the love of my life,” Bindi captioned a slideshow on Instagram. “Chandler, close to 6 years ago I fell in love with you and every day since has been a whirlwind of adventure and true happiness. I’m so looking forwarding to spending our forever together as your wife. Here’s to a lifetime of friendship, purpose and unconditional love. — Now let’s get married already!”

In his own announcement, Powell opened up about their sweet love story.

“She said YES!” he began. “Almost 6 years ago we met at Australia Zoo. I immediately fell head over heels for her kind and thoughtful heart that radiates so much light. Proposing in her very favorite place in the zoo, surrounded by animals, seemed like the perfect way to embark on this incredible new chapter in our lives. Bee, I love you more than anything in this world and I always will. Happy Birthday.”

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In April, Bindi opened up to PEOPLE about why she thinks Powell, who moved to Australia in January 2018, is the one.

“He’s done so well, I think he’s passed the Irwin family khaki test,” she said. “We’ve had him jumping on crocodiles and feeding alligators.”

“I think I have found my one, and I’m so lucky,” she added. “He is always encouraging me to follow my dreams, reminding me to stand up for what I believe in. I’m truly proud of Chandler because he is always unbelievably kind and optimistic. He’s there [for me] no matter what.”