Mount Lofty, South Australia
Where to have a koala encounter
Meeting a koala is a wildlife experience like no other. Here's where to experience this special moment for yourself.
There’s only one country on Earth that koalas call home – Australia! These gorgeous little creatures can be seen at sanctuaries, wildlife parks, and even in the wild, where they spend lazy days hanging out in the trees. Here are a few of the best koala experiences on offer.
Visit a sanctuary in Queensland
The world’s first and largest koala sanctuary is located just outside of Queensland's sunny capital city, Brisbane. Home to over 130 fuzzy koalas, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is dedicated to the research and conservation of this cute Aussie icon. While you're visiting Queensland, you can also pay a visit to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast. When you arrive, pop into the wildlife hospital, which treats injured animals and releases them back into the wild.
Go on a koala safari in South Australia
Australia's best zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
Kangaroo Island, with wide open spaces and stunning coastal cliffs, is like one big animal sanctuary. Your best chance at spotting a koala in the island's wilderness is at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a conservancy dedicated to preserving natural habitats for Australia's native creatures. Book a walking tour and pack your camera to capture a shot of the koalas, kangaroos, emus and echidnas you might see on the way. For a guaranteed encounter, you can also head to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, where you'll also get to see a variety of other creatures, such as snakes and lizards.
Ride through a koala colony in Western Australia
You can visit sleepy koalas in Western Australia, too. Pop into Cohunu Koala Park, just over a half-hour drive from Perth. Cohunu currently has a colony of more than 25 koalas alongside its largely free-roaming emus, wallabies, dingoes and 30 talking parrots. Climb aboard the park's miniature railway and chug your way through lush eucalypts where koalas nestle in the branches.
Fall in love with koalas in the East
In New South Wales, you can see koalas at numerous venues, including Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney. Here, the kids can even become zookeepers for the day, shadowing one of the park's keepers in their very own uniform to learn about the different animals on site. In Victoria, you can see the marsupials at Ballarat Wildlife Park or spot koalas in their native habitats in Gippsland. On Raymond Island, Ride the Koalas let you rent two- and four-seater bikes from which to gaze up at koalas in the treetops.