Healesville Sanctuary


Come face-to-face with one of our most iconic and beautiful Australian marsupials, the Koala, at Healesville Sanctuary.

Our Koala exhibits are set in stunning Australian bushland and the Sanctuary is renowned for its care of these unique native animals.

Koalas are found across the east of Australia, in coastal and inland areas from north-east Queensland to Eyre Peninsula in South Australia In Victoria, they inhabit  low altitude forests and woodlands across central and southern mainland Victoria, and on Raymond, Snake, French and Phillip islands.

With their lean, muscular body and strong limbs, Koalas are well suited to life in the trees. Their front and hind legs are almost equal in length, with five-digit paws specially adapted for grip. Rough pads on the palms and soles and long claws on each digit help the Koala grip tree branches and trunks. On each front paw, two fingers act like thumbs to enable a tighter grip.

Sadly, Australia may be at risk of losing large populations of our Koalas. The greatest threat to Koalas is loss of habitat, due to either agriculture or housing development. Since European settlement, about 80% of their habitat has disappeared, and little of the remaining 20% is protected. A disease called Chlamydia is also contributing to the Koala’s declining numbers. Koalas are categorised as "vulnerable" in relation to their population in Queensland, NSW and the ACT. In Victoria, their status is listed as "near threatened".

More Information

Arthur feed time

Arthur the injured koala

Two weeks ago, a koala named Arthur was brought to Healesville Sanctuary’s Australian Wildlife Health Centre after being hit by a car. Arthur had a broken leg and arm, and was unable to move around by himself.

17 August 2015

A Furry Friend

Little Gumnut weighed just 1.2kg when she was found in Hamilton in early December clinging to the back of her dead mother who had been hit by a car.

9 January 2015
Indigenous Wildlife Journey Guide web620

Indigenous Wildlife Journey

Come face to face with indigenous culture and wildlife.

Let us connect you with Healesville Sanctuary’s Indigenous spirit as you come face-to-face with Australia’s most iconic wildlife in the heart of Victoria’s breathtaking Yarra Valley.


Koala MM

Magic Moments

Book a Magic Moment for an unforgettable close-up experience with one of our amazing Australian animals. Only $12 per person. Find out more ...

Did you know?
  • Koalas’ fur is different according to their habitat. It is longer and thicker in the south, where winters are colder
  • Koala vocalisation sounds like a combination of a loud snore and a burp, and is called a ‘bellow’
  • The brain of a Koala of average size weighs only 17 grams
  • Koalas are not bears! They are marsupials, and give birth to tiny, barely formed young who finish development outside the mother’s body, in a pouch
  • Koalas are mainly nocturnal. They spend about 18–20 hours sleeping because their metabolism is slow, an adaptation for handling a diet that is low in nutrition and hard to digest