Top 5 places to see koalas in the wild

In celebration of Wild Koala Day – a day to celebrate wild koalas and to protect their habitats – here are the top five places in Australia where you can see this unique Australian marsupial in its natural habitat. Top 5 places to see koalas in the wild
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Top 5 places to see koalas in the wild

In celebration of Wild Koala Day – a day to celebrate wild koalas and to protect their habitats – here are the top five places in Australia where you can see this unique Australian marsupial in its natural habitat. 

Although you can go and see a koala in select zoos around the world, Koalas are only found in the wild in Australia. Their food is very specific - they feed almost exclusively on the leaves of eucalyptus trees, which means not only is the Australian bushland their home, the trees they live in and feed off are very important. 

If you're planning a trip to Australia, mark one of these Koala sighting spots on your itinerary as a must-do wildlife experience. From Victoria to South Australia, here are some of the amazing places where you can visit a koala at home. 

You Yangs, Victoria 

Why: The You Yangs is the home to one of the most unique koala-viewing experiences in Australia. These healthy koalas have been researched for 10 years, and you can see whole families of koalas who have names and personalities. Koala Clancy, one of the most famous wild koalas lives here with his mother, father and his many girlfriends.  

How: Anyone can visit the You Yangs and entry is free. The best way to experience the koalas is with an Echidna Walkabout Nature Tour. 

Where: The You Yangs is a 45 minute drive west of Melbourne and a 20 minute drive north of Geelong, Victoria.

Port Stephens, NSW

Why: The beautiful harbour of Port Stephens is surrounded by National Park, providing a beautiful home for lots of koalas. The town has been very pro-active to protect koala habitat in their region. Koalas can ben seen throughout the region, particularly on Soldiers Point and in the Tilligerry Habitat where there are free walks, maps and an information centre. If you're there in November don't forget to add your wild koala sighting to the Great Koala Count. Port Stephens residents encourage everyone to get involved in this important citizen science project, and help them stay at the top of the list of regions with the greatest number of koala sightings.

How: Most accommodation is close to bushland, so you can simply walk to see koalas.   

Where: Port Stephens is a 2.5 hour drive north of Sydney. 


Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Why: Koalas are one of the wildlife highlights of Kangaroo Island. Koalas can be seen in most parts of the island and in some areas are so plentiful that some need to be relocated to other parts of South Australia. 

How: The best way to enjoy and fully understand koalas on Kangaroo Island is to travel with an experienced Wildlife Tour Operator like   Exceptional Kangaroo Island. 

Where: Kangaroo Island is about four hours south of Adelaide, South Australia.

Raymond Island, Victoria 

Why: This beautiful island in the Lakes National Park in eastern Victoria is home to many koalas, and the local people love them. Koalas live in the front yards of people's homes, and often the home owner will come out to talk to you about 'their' koala, or will stop their car to give you directions to the nearest koala. The island is also home to kangaroos, echidnas and rainbow lorikeets, plus dolphins are often seen near the ferry.  

How: You need to have a car to get to Paynesville, then you board a short car ferry to Raymond Island. Once on the island you can walk or drive to see the koalas. There is a free Koala Trail maintained by the locals.  

Where: Raymond Island is a four hour drive from Melbourne, in East Gippsland. 


Noosa Headland National Park, Queensland

Why: The beautiful koalas of Noosa are the most tech-savvy in Australia. They have a facebook group dedicated to them: Noosa Koala Sightings with pictures submitted by the public, and for those without a smart phone, a blackboard at the park entrance that shows visitors where koalas have been sighted. Most of the koalas are named and well known by researchers from Queensland Koala Crusaders.  

How: You can walk from the town of Noosa Heads into the National Park. Check the blackboard at the park entrance, or log on to Noosa Koala Sightings before you go and chat to Bernard about where the koalas have been lately. If he can, he will sometimes come out and help you.

Where: Noosa Heads is on the Sunshine Coast, a two hour drive north of Brisbane, Queensland.  

More of Australia's Wildlife Experiences

14 days wild about Australian animals

14 days wild about Australian animals

Australia is home to more than one million species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Among the most well-known of these are the koala, wombat, kangaroo, kookaburra and platypus. This itinerary will give you a great chance to see some of the country’s amazing wildlife in some of the most stunning destinations, including major capital cities.

View more information

Nature and wildlife experiences

Nature and wildlife experiences

Australia has some of the world's most distinctive and diverse natural environments, with unique wildlife, spectacular landscapes, national parks and World Heritage Areas.

View more information