New south wales: koalas?

Dear all,
I will be in Sydney in mid-November: is there any chance to see koalas in a 2-3 days trip from Sydney? does anyone have any thoughts on the best area to see this species in New south wales?


  • vmassard

    You’ll probably get better advice in no time but for a start…
    On a road trip north from Sydney in 2011, we made a small detour to Salamander Bay, in the Port Stephens area and managed to see one early morning before we even started looking for them. Exact location was Joe Redman Reserve (in fact just a public garden and probably not the best spot). The koala we saw was on the move.

    Good luck,

  • Soeren Hedal

    Hi Nicolas

    Try Port Stephens NE of Newcastle. It’s just 200 km north of Sydney. You can stay at Port Stephens YHA. Thats a nice place and when I was there two years ago we saw them nearly every day. The owner knows where they are and he is very good to spot them in the trees.


  • Mike Richardson

    I saw wild Koalas in Port Stephens, NSW (two and a half hours north of Sydney) but it was just over 10 years ago. I seem to remember that a local man lead a short walking tour around the neighbourhood to find them. Hopefully someone will come along with some more up-to-date information.

  • araminty

    Coffs Harbour is a beautiful town in coastal NSW with a relatively high density koala population. I’ve seen them there in peoples’ backyards, on city streets, and in the following parks: Bongil Bongil National Park, Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens, and along the Coffs Creek bike path.

  • phil telfer

    Had the same issue 4 years back. The best info. i could get was also near Port Stephens at the coastal resorts of Hawks nest and Tea gardens. There’s a visitor centre in Tea gardens and a small reserve nearby where a few Koalas live. I didn’t see any but only had a couple of hours and a local i spoke to had 2 koalas in his garden the week before. So they’re around but not numerous, hopefully you’ll get some better info. phil.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    I would try asking at Australia birding listserve,
    You can also ask about some birds so that moderators don’t delete your RFI.

  • nicogaidet

    Many thanks for all these postive answers. I will try the area near Port Stephens. Best regards.

  • Andrew Taylor

    An email to the Hunter Birding list (covers area several hours drive north of Sydney) would probably get suggestions about where to look at Port Stephens.

  • nicogaidet

    Just back from Syndey. I had few days to visit the North and the South of Syndey.
    I saw one wild koala at the Tilligerry Habitat State Reserve in Tanilba Bay on the Tilligerry Peninsula (Port Stephens). The reserve is small (15 hectares) and apparently only holds 2 resident individuals. I looked for koalas around Lemon tree passage (East of Tilligerry Peninsula) as well as at the Jean Shaw Reserve at Hawks Nest (opposite Port Stephens) with no success. During spotlighting in Wallingat National Park (Wallingat Forest Drive) I only saw two common brushtail possums and an unidentified wallaby. I saw two pods of bottlenose dolphin very close to the shore at Myall Lakes NP, and one eastern grey kangaroo.
    In the South, in Booderee NP (Jervis Bay) eastern grey kangaroos were common, as well as echidnas (4 sightings in a day) and swamp wallabies, but spotlighting was unsuccessful. During spotlighting in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, near Jamberoo, greater gliders were common (8 individuals seen along 1 km of the road just outside the entrance gate that borders the reserve, plus one echidna and a brushtail possum).
    During a pelagic trip from Sydney, we only saw bottlenose dolphins but the sea was rough.

  • Jon Hall

    Nice work Nicolas on all those Echidnas! Do they have a fox control program now at Booderee?


  • nicogaidet

    Yes, it seems like they have an ongoing fox control program (road signs about the fox control were everywhere). Nicolas

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