The koala is a wonderful animal. And relatively rare, even in the only country where these marsupials occur: Australia. You cannot find them all over the country. Actually only in the southern part. These are the best tips for spotting the koala in the wild.

The koala: nearly extinct?

These animals are the figurehead of Australia. They are officially protected, but their numbers are still declining. The recent forest fires have killed thousands of koalas. It is unclear exactly how the species is doing.

Several researchers are concerned that the koala will become extinct in the future. They have been pleading with the Australian government for better measures for years. Both to prevent forest fires and, for example, to protect the habitat of the animal. And to, among other things, prevent the felling of their favorite eucalyptus trees.

According to them, the koala does not get enough attention as no proper research has ever been done. There is no official count of living koalas on the immense island. Tourist funding could be one solution to protect animals. Almost every tourist who travels to Australia wants to see these animals, so there are plenty of opportunities there.

Where can I see a koala?

In the wild:

In the wild, the experience is much more beautiful of course. But you have to be lucky. Koalas mainly live in eucalyptus trees and do not move too often. Experts say these are the best places to see a koala in the wild:

  • Kennett River – Victoria: This nature reserve is located along the Great Ocean Road. In Kennett River Coastal Reserve you have a good chance, especially along the Gray River Road.
  • Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve – New South Wales: A small area where you have a good chance of seeing koalas in the wild.
  • Bimbi Park – Victoria: This too is located on the Great Ocean Road. Bimbi Park is a wonderful place to camp among koalas, giving you a good chance of seeing them.
  • Raymond Island – Victoria: This small island is famous for the many koalas that actively search for food here.
  • Kangaroo Island – South Australia: Especially in Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Flinders Chase National Park.
  • Healesville Sanctuary – Victoria: This nature reserve has a hiking trail that even takes you to the canopy. So that you can see them well.
  • Koala Conservation Center – Phillip Island; This island is famous for its penguins, but also has a striking number of koalas. Especially at the Koala Conservation Center.
  • Port Stephens – New South Wales: From Tilligerry Habitat Environment Center you can search for yourself, but you can also spot these animals with a guide.
A sleeping koala.
A sleeping koala.

In a sanctuary:

Australia has several shelters where you can see koalas at your leisure. Provided they are awake, of course, because these animals sleep about 20 hours a day. And so you have a fair chance of seeing a sleeping koala. Which in itself is also very touching.

  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – Brisbane
  • Port MacQuarie – New South Wales
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – Gold Coast
  • Australia Zoo – Gold Coast
  • Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve – Canberra
  • Featherdale Wildlife Park – Doonside Sydney
  • Healesville Sanctuary – Melbourne
  • Wild Life – Hamilton Island

Koalas are according to many among the sweetest animals in the world. Especially because of their fluffy fur and sweet appearance. But these animals also sometimes argue among themselves. And it looks like this.

Watch this video of arguing koalas

A man filmed the scene in the Great Otway National Park. And to be honest, I had to laugh too. Turn on your sound, for the best experience.

Video koala arguing

Best time to see the koala

Koalas are usually active early in the morning and at the end of the day. Then they are looking for food or, in the mating season, for a partner. These animals sleep almost 20 hours a day, so you have the best chance when they sleep. They sleep especially in the heat of the day. So sunrise and sunset is the best time.