Set on eight hectares of stunning bushland, the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary in Australia offers visitors a unique opportunity to see koalas in their natural habitat
On the grounds of Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary in New South Wales sits a world-class medical facility which rescues, treats and rehabilitates sick or injured koalas, as well as provides a home for orphaned koalas.
One of Australia’s most iconic animals, unfortunately, the koala population in Port Stephens has shrunk to mere hundreds, as compared to more than a decade ago they numbered in the thousands. This is why the work of the sanctuary is important when it comes to the rehabilitation of injured koalas.
During a one-hour-long educational tour of the sanctuary with a local guide, I learnt about koalas’ dietary needs, their lifestyles, and how they are taken care of at the sanctuary. It was a nice touch to see signage located across the grounds with the names and details of the many koalas that have passed through the sanctuary’s gates.
Although most of the injured koalas are released back into the wild, there are a few that call the sanctuary their home for various reasons. Visitors will be able to watch these koalas from the Newcastle Airport SKYwalk, a 225m-long elevated pathway and viewing platform that winds around the koalas’ habitat, offering a unique tree-top perspective.
Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is a collaboration between the local government agency, Port Stephens Council and Port Stephens Koalas Hospital.
Although the sanctuary has been in existence for more than three decades, it only just set up 20 glamping units during the pandemic. Corporate groups will be able to stay overnight on the sanctuary grounds in comfortable one-bedroom deluxe suites or deluxe studio rooms.
This would provide incentive groups with an immersive experience, allowing groups to wake up with the koalas, and spend more time observing these marsupials from the viewing platform. There might also be chances for groups to look through the hospital viewing window, and see the vets in action, administering treatment to injured koalas.
Aside from staying overnight, incentive groups can also purchase souvenirs and other products at the Koala Centre Kiosk, where proceeds will go towards the continued rehabilitation of rescued koalas. – Additional reporting by Rachel AJ Lee