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Koalas Taking Over - 9 Locations Where You Can Interact With Koalas In Australia.

Needing your Koala hug fix? We got it here with 9 of Australia's best places to wrap your arms around a furry marsupial.

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A recent Australian tourism survey nominated 'seeing and touching a koala' as one of the main attractions visitors from Japan, US and Europe have on their bucket list when they travelling down under. And who could blame them? With an iconic furry face, docile demeanor and cute black nose, the Koala is perhaps the most 'huggable' animal on the planet.

That said, Koalas are relatively difficult to spot in the wild and if you are hoping to steal a hug from one in the Outback, you may leave empty handed. However, thanks to a number of progressive conservation programs and zoos, the Koala population is rebounding.

Here are some of the best places to hang with a Koala in captivity in Australia:

1. Australia Zoo- Sunshine Coast, QLD


One of the greatest legacies left by the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was his Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Perhaps the most iconic wildlife park in Australia, Australia Zoo has a successful Koala breeding program with 18 cuddly Koalas on display. You can pat the Koalas twice daily at 11:00am and 1:45pm, however, it is a popular attraction and you will need to book your place. Tickets to Australia Zoo cost $59.00AUD per adult.

2. Caversham Wildlife Park - Perth, WA


It’s safe to say that you won’t find a wild Koala in Western Australia. The natural habitat for Koalas traditionally lies in Australia’s eastern seaboard states of NSW and Victoria. They have not been recorded in the wild in two states – Tasmania and Western Australia.

That said, not all is lost if you are in WA. The Caversham Wildlife Park is the perfect place to get your Koala fix. Located on the outskirts of Perth, Caversham Wildlife Park gives you a chance to snap a selfie with a Koala twice daily at 10am and 2:30pm.

3. Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney, NSW

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Although Koalas are listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species in NSW, there are plenty of places to interact with the furry-faced marsupial in the Premier State. Indeed, one of the best places to have an encounter with a cuddly Koala is at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney’s west. Entry to the park costs $29AUD and they have all-day Koala petting. You can interact and feed other Australian animals such as kangaroos and emus.

4. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary - Gold Coast, QLD

Rated by AOL as one of the Top 10 Zoos in the World, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary does not disappoint if you are looking for an up-close-and-personal Koala encounter. With over 130 Koalas at the Sanctuary, visitors can enjoy the docile creatures as they interact and pose for photos. The Koala cuddling happens all-day at the Sanctuary and the Park rangers also allow you to pat a kangaroo or feed a lorikeet. The Sanctuary also has a range of audio guides allowing you to stroll around the park at your leisure and enjoy the company of the animals. Tickets cost $33AUD for an adult ticket.

5. Ballarat Wildlife Park - Ballarat, VIC

Awarded a 2014 TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’, the Ballarat Wildlife Park is Victoria’s best destination to pat a Koala. The park has 15 Koala’s on display including one very unique Koala named ‘Matilda,’ who is one of only four sets of twins born in captivity. As well as Koalas, the park has over 80 kangaroos wandering freely and interacting with visitors. Likewise, don’t miss the Wombat show with ‘Patrick’ Australia’s oldest Common Wombat at 28 years of age.

6. Wildlife Sydney Zoo - Sydney, NSW

The busy waters of Sydney Harbour may be the last place you’d expect to see a Koala. Not so, Wildlife Sydney Zoo is a modern harbour-front wildlife pavilion to take a group photo with the soft balls of fur. The Koalas live in an open top enclosure and while you cannot pat them, you are allowed to snap a selfie that will make your friends back home envious. The Zoo offers quality take-home prints of the photos and a certificate for $20AUD.

7. Bimbi Park - Cape Otway, VIC


While still rare, if you are looking to encounter a Koala in the wild, your best bet is to head to southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Victoria has the largest population of Koalas in the wild and camp sites such as Bimbi Park at Cape Otway are a great place to spot them in their natural habitat.

Located along the Great Ocean Road about an hour from the 12 Apostles rock formation, Bimbi Park contains an outdoor cinema allowing you to sit amongst the wildlife and watch a great film for free as well as a number of modern amenities including a laundry and a kiosk.

8. Mikkira Station - Port Lincoln, SA

Mikkira Station, located 30km southwest of Port Lincoln in South Australia is another spot where you are likely to spot Koalas in the wild. Both tents and campervans are welcome on the Station however, there are no powered sites. You will need to pick up a permit at the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre and camping will cost $25AUD a night. The colony of Koalas includes a number of baby Koalas (known as ‘joeys’) and can often be heard moving around the tree tops at night.

9. Jean Shaw Reserve – Hawks Nest, NSW

If you are in Sydney, take a trip up to Jean Shaw Reserve at Hawks Nest. While there is no guarantee you will spot a Koala in the wild here, it is an area that is being closely monitored by the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage and the locals say that Koalas are frequently seen munching on the eucalyptus leaves in the region. If you do spot a Koala, it is recommended that you call the Koala Hotline on (02) 4997 0878 as the Department is fighting to keep their dwindling population from disappearing.