If you want to know more about Koalas, the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is the place for you! The Koala Sanctuary provides visitors with a unique opportunity to view koalas in their natural habitat, and the local guides know pretty much everything there is to know about caring for koalas – from the human help they need while they’re at the Sanctuary, in terms of daily care and rehabilitation, through to what they need to survive in the wild.
Nestled within 8 hectares of idyllic natural bushland in beautiful Port Stephens, the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is, first and foremost, a safe haven for rescued koalas that can’t be released back into the wild.
Created by Port Stephens Council in partnership with Port Stephens Koalas and the NSW State Government, the Koala Sanctuary is a first-class facility that caters to the needs of sick, injured and orphaned koalas, providing them with the special care and assistance they need while enabling them to live happy and stress-free lives in an environment that is as close to the wild as possible.
What will you find at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary?
In addition to providing respite for sick and injured koalas and a safe, life-long home for koalas that can’t be released back into the wild, display enclosures give visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with koalas and the friendly staff and enthusiastic volunteers are more than happy to share their knowledge and answer any questions you might have about koalas and their habitat.
Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary also incorporates the Koala Hospital, the Sanctuary Story Walk, the Newcastle Airport-sponsored SKYwalk and viewing platform, and a café and giftshop.
The Koala Sanctuary is home to a purpose-built, state-of-the-art hospital, where experienced veterinary staff tend to ill and injured koalas and other native fauna that have been rescued from the local Port Stephens area.
In addition to X-ray facilities and a fully equipped operating theatre, for rapid diagnosis and treatment in emergency situations, the hospital has an intensive care unit for critically ill koalas, recovery pens for recuperating koalas and rehabilitation yards where staff and volunteers care for koalas and prepare them for release back into the wild.
The Koala Hospital also includes a clinic, where routine care, examinations and treatments take place, and a viewing window allows Sanctuary visitors to observe the day-to-day running of the clinic. If you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time you can watch on as veterinary staff and dedicated volunteers care for their furry patients.
Sanctuary Story Walk
The Sanctuary Story Walk is an immersive experience that is fun and educational for all ages. ‘Kasey’s Tale’ tells the story of one special little koala as you stroll through a 250-metre-long stretch of native koala habitat filled with large-scale sculptures and information about local environment.
Newcastle Airport SKYwalk and elevated viewing platform
The SKYwalk, sponsored by Newcastle Airport, offers visitors to the Sanctuary a truly unique viewing experience and the opportunities for up-close photos of these native animals, completely as they are in the wild, don’t get much better than this.
Situated in a completely natural environment, the SKYwalk’s 225-metre-long elevated treetop canopy boardwalk and observation platform offers visitors a new perspective of the koalas’ natural habitat – not to mention picturesque views of beautiful Port Stephens and Samurai beach.
Fat Possum Café
Located in the idyllic bush surrounds of the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, the Fat Possum Café stocks a variety of drinks and treats, along with snacks for the kids and barista-made coffees. You can even use your $25 “Dine & Discover NSW” dining vouchers on purchases made in the Café.
The café also sells a range of reasonably priced gifts and quality souvenirs, so you can purchase a memento of your visit while helping to support the Sanctuary. The Fat Possum Café opens at 9am, but closes an hour before the Sanctuary’s closing time, so if you don’t want to miss the opportunity to grab food, drinks, souvenirs or gifts, make sure you don’t leave your visit until the last minute!
Admission details and opening hours
The Koala Sanctuary is open 9am to 5pm daily, excluding Christmas Day… with some provisos and exceptions. Admission to the Koala Sanctuary closes at 3:30pm and the SKYwalk and viewing platform closes at 4pm. During winter, the Koala Sanctuary closes at 4pm, with admission to the Sanctuary closing at 3pm. Because opening hours are completely at the discretion of the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, we strongly recommend checking the Koala Sanctuary website for current details and contact information.
Tickets are available for purchase online or at the Sanctuary, with reasonably priced family passes and a range of general admission and concession tickets available. Tickets allow all-day admission to the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, and unlimited access to the Newcastle Airport SKYwalk and elevated viewing platform, the Sanctuary Story Walk, and the Fat Possum Café. Special tours and educational talks can be pre-booked, at an additional cost. Again, check the Koala Sanctuary website for up-to-date information on ticket prices and inclusions.
The NSW government-issued $25 Dine & Discover NSW vouchers can be used for entry to the Koala Sanctuary from Monday to Sunday, so access to this amazing experience is now even more affordable.
Where can you find Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary?
The Koala Sanctuary can be found at 562 Gan Gan Rd, One Mile – a quick 7-minute drive from The Retreat Port Stephens. If you are driving directly to the Koala Sanctuary, travel time is 30 minutes from Newcastle Airport, 55 minutes from Newcastle or 2.5 hours from Sydney.
Located on the Port Stephens peninsula, the Koala Sanctuary is just minutes from One Mile, Birubi and Samurai beaches, and a short drive from the Worimi Conservation Lands sand dunes, Nelson Bay city centre and Nelson Bay Marina.