Koalas are synonymous with Australia. These cute natives survive by making their way from tree to tree in search of eucalyptus leaves, and sleeping for up to 22 hours a day. Some Australian states, including New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory, don’t allow visitors to cuddle our little koala friends, so if you want to get up close and personal with these famous marsupials, be sure to plan your trip accordingly
Dreamworld, Coomera, Queensland
In 2013, Dreamworld, one of Australia’s most popular theme parks, launched its newest wildlife experiences within Corroboree, an Indigenous tourist experience. Alongside crocodiles, snakes and birds of prey encounters, visitors are able to enjoy their very own koala cuddles. The park also offers professional souvenir photos to help you remember your visit.
Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Queensland
Located on the Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo is world-renowned for its conservation efforts and its ownership by the famous Irwin family. The zoo offers koala cuddles with a professional zookeeper three times daily. Learn about the fascinating lives of koalas and the amazing qualities of eucalyptus.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Fig Tree Pocket, Queensland
Opening in 1927, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary became the world’s first koala park. Now, the park is the world’s largest sanctuary with over 130 koalas calling it home. Visitors can book a tour with a Wildlife Education Officer to cuddle a koala, learn more about their lives and how the animals are cared for.
Cleland Wildlife Park, Crafers, South Australia
Located in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, Cleland Wildlife Park provides many options for the koala lover. Entry to the park includes the opportunity to get up close to a koala, while an extra free will allow you to hold one. Private sessions providing you with the chance to cuddle a koala outside of public waiting times and have a professional photograph taken to mark the occasion are also available.
Billabong Sanctuary, Nome, Queensland
Billabong Sanctuary, near Townsville, is a popular wildlife park home to more than 100 different species. Scattered throughout various enclosures, you’ll find a healthy population of koalas within the park and have the opportunity to hold a koala and take home a souvenir photo for an extra fee.
Gorge Wildlife Park, Cudlee Creek, South Australia
One of the few places in South Australia where you can cuddle a koala, Gorge Wildlife Park is located around 40 minutes from the Adelaide CBD and offers three koala encounters per day. Friendly zookeepers will teach you some fun facts about koalas, before allowing you to get close to the animals. The park is also one of the only parks that does not charge visitors an extra fee to hold a koala.
Cohunu Koala Park, Byford, Western Australia
Situated on 14 hectares of natural bushland, Cohunu Koala Park has been home to native Australian wildlife since 1982. Boasting a colony of over 25 koalas, the park is the only place in Western Australia that you can cuddle a koala. The park offers photo sessions with the cuddly koalas daily from 10am to 4pm.
Rainforestation Nature Park, Kuranda, Queensland
Rainforestation Nature Park has been a popular spot for koala cuddling for over 40 years. Join a guided tour or explore the park’s beautiful wildlife at your own pace. Get your photograph taken with one of the park’s koala residents for an extra fee, with sessions running throughout the day from 8am to 4pm.
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Duncan, South Australia
Kangaroo Island can be found south of Adelaide, just off mainland Australia. The island is filled with nature reserves and amazing native wildlife, including around 15,000 koalas. Head to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park to learn more about the local koala population and to enjoy the opportunity to cuddle one of the iconic marsupials.