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Get up close to koalas in NSW

Featherdale Wildlife Park, DoonsideCredit: Destination NSW

Koala resting in a tree at Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside

#ilovesydney

Get up close to koalas in NSW

Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside Credit: Destination NSW

Koala resting in a tree at Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Feel your heart melt when you encounter koalas in New South Wales. Native to the state, these endearing marsupials known for their big fluffy ears and adorable snoozing habits, are found throughout coastal and Country NSW. Here’s where to admire the iconic creatures at home among the gum trees.

Get a thrill admiring koalas up close around Sydney

Experience the buzz of a close-up koala encounter without leaving Sydney at of Taronga Zoo, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park, Koala Park Sydney and Wild Life Sydney — while cuddling koalas is not permitted in NSW, you can get close to them at these venues. At the Australian Reptile Park on the Central Coast, an hour’s drive north of Sydney, your visit directly supports conservation with its charity partner, Aussie Ark, creating and protecting koala habitats. And an hour’s drive south of the city centre, you can take happy snaps with koalas at the family-owned Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, bordering the Royal National Park.

Get a glow glamping with koalas

Spend an unforgettable night at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, less than an hour’s drive from Newcastle, or 2.5 hours north from .  Unwind and recharge in a glamping tent, studio room or deluxe suite all set in stunning Port Stephens bushland. Get acquainted with your furry neighbours — they tend to sleep for up to 20 hours a day — on the informative Sanctuary Story Walk, then head to the Skywalk for a close-up view of the charismatic creatures from an elevated platform. Stop by the on-site Koala Hospital and look through the observation window at furry patients being treated for injuries or illnesses. Take comfort in the knowledge your visit helps fund the Sanctuary’s not-for-profit partner, Port Stephens Koalas, which works to conserve the local wild population and its habitat.

Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie Credit: Destination NSW

Resident koala at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie Credit: Destination NSW

Resident koala at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh Credit: Destination NSW

Friendly koala at Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh in the Illawarra region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh Credit: Destination NSW

Friendly koala at Symbio Wildlife Park, Helensburgh in the Illawarra region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Pay it forward to koalas in Port Macquarie

Uncover one of the state’s largest wild koala populations in Port Macquarie on the NSW North Coast, where you may be lucky enough to spot koalas dozing in the fragrant eucalypt forests of Koolunbung Creek Nature Reserve and Sea Acres National Park — remember to log your sightings with the I Spy Koala app so other visitors can share the joy. Then play a role in koala conservation on a guided tour of the world-renowned Koala Hospital, and observe the adorable resident koalas that were unable to be returned to the wild exploring their enclosures. If you’re visiting in September, roll up to the annual Hello Koalas Festival and Treasure Hunt for a fun-filled family day out that also supports koala conservation.

Help make an impact with a koala safari

Savour the magical feeling of spotting koalas in their natural habitat in the Byron Bay hinterland on the far . The wildlife guides from Vision Walks Eco Tours guarantee wild koala sightings on their half-day koala tour through one of several serene koala habitats in the region. Feel even more of a buzz from the experience knowing that a donation is made on behalf of every tour participant to local charity Friends of the Koala to help fund the care of sick and injured koalas. Or head 20 minutes out of town to the Byron Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to meet koalas as well as wombats, kangaroos and emus.

Fitzroy Falls, Morton National Park Credit: Kramer Photography; www.kramer.photography

The scenic Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, Fitzroy Falls.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Fitzroy Falls, Morton National Park Credit: Kramer Photography; www.kramer.photography

The scenic Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, Fitzroy Falls.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Tomaree Head Summit Walk, Port Stephens Credit: Destination NSW

Port Stephens is prime koala habitat. 

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Tomaree Head Summit Walk, Port Stephens Credit: Destination NSW

Port Stephens is prime koala habitat. 

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Immerse yourself in Koala Country

Breathe in the soothing eucalyptus-scented air on a hike in Guula Ngurra National Park, an easy two-hour drive south of Sydney in the Southern Highlands. Established in 2020, the park protects 3,358 hectares of vital koala habitat — its name means “Koala Country” in the local Gundungurra Aboriginal language. Feel the burn on the short but intense 3km Mount Penang Loop Walk, where 360-degree views showcase a sprawling wilderness in which koalas are protected for future generations. Here you’ll discover that koalas share their home with more than 130 important Australian species, including the endangered glossy black cockatoo and at least 20 more that are under threat, including the red-breasted flame robin and the incredibly cute squirrel glider.

Explore koala-friendly country towns

Escape to Country NSW to marvel at the robust wild koala population in Gunnedah, an hour’s drive from Tamworth in the state’s northwest, where their human neighbours have planted and extended tree corridors to link their habitats. Between visiting and supporting local attractions such as the Gunnedah Cultural Precinct, Breaker Morant Drive and the Water Tower Museum, keep an eye out for koalas around the Visitor Information Centre, along the Stock Road cycling track, at Porcupine Lookout and in the river gums of Anzac Park. Or hone your spotting skills at Narrandera Koala Reserve, around an hour’s drive from Griffith in the Riverina region in the state’s southwest, where more than 200 koalas live among river red gums.

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