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School Holidays at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Spending quality time with the family during Easter and the school holidays is a great Aussie tradition, whether that’s along the coast enjoying miles and miles of golden sands and surf or exploring what inland and country NSW has to offer. It’s great to experience all that nature has to offer together.

Caring for our environment has never been more critical, and educating the next generations about ensuring the long-term sustainability of Australia’s unique fauna and flora is vital.

The recently opened Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, a $10M education and conservation facility located at One Mile, minutes from Nelson Bay, is a partnership between Port Stephens Council and Port Stephens Koalas making it the perfect location to learn about how sick, injured and orphaned koalas are cared for until they can be released back into the wild.

The Sanctuary offers an array of educational experiences that are assured to generate interest in how we can all play a part in the ongoing preservation of this beloved iconic Australian marsupial.

Passing through the enormous sliding gate of the Koala Centre, home to the Sanctuary’s Guest Reception and Fat Possum Café & Retail store, you immediately get a sense that you are entering a natural and idyllic bushland setting.

Your education and conservation journey begins with the Sanctuary Story Walk, a meandering pathway 250mtr in length that offers an immersive experience for all ages telling the story of the current plight of koala through huge artistic sculptural representations.

Along the Sanctuary Story Walk, you are introduced to “Kasey”, an injured Koala who was brought to the Sanctuary for treatment and rehabilitation. Follow Kasey’s journey from when he is first rescued, through to his care by experienced volunteers and recuperation before final release back out into the wild.

The Sanctuary Story Walk allows you to interact closely with many large Koala sculptures, making wonderful photo opportunities and learning experiences via the interpretive signage.

At the end of the walk, head left towards the purpose-built $2.5M Koala Hospital, home to 4 Intensive Care Unit Treatment rooms, state-of-the-art Clinic with X-Ray facilities and pharmacy room. You can take a look through the huge hospital viewing window where you may see veterinary staff carry out *examinations and administer treatment to the koala inpatients’. *Subject to clinic times.

Leaving the Koala Hospital behind, it’s now time to make your way onto the Newcastle Airport SKYwalk, a 225mtr elevated pathway and viewing platform that offers a unique ‘treetop’ perspective into the koala’s natural habitat. Here you may witness volunteer carers tending to koalas in their ‘gunyas’ who now live out their days here in the Sanctuary due to their injuries prohibiting release back out into the wild.

On the SKYwalk, you will enjoy views toward the coastal sand dunes. Being elevated up to 10mtrs into the tree canopy allows you to directly ‘eyeball’ koalas living in their natural environment. Learn about how the koalas came to live in the Sanctuary by reading their stories on interpretive signage conveniently placed around the SKYwalk.

For an even more immersive conservation experience, why not stay in a Superior Family Glamping Tent. The Glamping Tent sleeps up to 4 persons, is located within the Sanctuary grounds and offers exclusive ‘in-house guest only’ after hours koala access and encounters.

Enjoy a completely unique experience staying overnight in a 4-star Glamping Tent surrounded by natural bushland. ‘Wake up’ with koalas when you join an exclusive morning tour providing tailored information on the care, rehabilitation and survival techniques of koalas in the wild.

Your family will leave the Sanctuary with a greater appreciation of how you can assist with the current plight of Australia’s iconic marsupial, ensuring its long term survival for generations to come.


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