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Animal sanctuary marks milestone

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For the last year koalas have been able to turn to a sanctuary in Port Stephens for a place to call home, medical treatment and safety.

However, the site isn’t just for animals, for humans it offers the chance to see the iconic Australian animal in their natural habitat and learn about the species.

Located at One Mile Beach, the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary is focused on protecting and sustaining the threatened animals.

Manager Zahee Girjes says they are saving the future of one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast of Australia.

“Port Stephens is home to koalas. We’re incredibly proud of that and we all have the responsibility to protect koalas and ensure their future for generations to come,” he said.

To share this message, the sanctuary offers tailored and educational tours on how they care for sick, injured and orphaned koalas to give them the best opportunity to return to the wild.

The site also includes the Port Stephens Koala Hospital, the Newcastle Airport Skywalk, the Sanctuary Story Walk, Fat Possum Café and deluxe 4 star glamping accommodation.

Over the past 12 months, despite COVID-19 lockdowns and weather events, the service has welcomed more than 25,000 day visitors and 2,848 overnight tourists.

“Each one of these visitors becomes an advocate for the koala – every trip to the Sanctuary contributes directly to the preservation of koalas in Port Stephens with a percentage of all income generated going back into daily operations of the Port Stephens Koala Hospital,” Mr Girjes said.

With COVID-19 restrictions finally easing across the state, the Koala Sanctuary has reopened daily.

It welcomes visitors between 9am and 5pm and overnight accommodation in the Deluxe 4 Star Glamping Tents is also back up and running.

The site was built with support from the NSW Government, Port Stephens Council, Newcastle Airport, Greater Bank and the Port Stephens Koala Hospital. 

Go to the sanctuary’s website for more information.

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