Phillip Island Koala Conservation Reserve – Rhyll, Australia - Atlas Obscura

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Phillip Island Koala Conservation Reserve

Rhyll, Australia

A conservation sanctuary for rescued koalas, some of which were saved from devastating Australian bushfires.  


The Phillip Island Koala Conservation Reserve is a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of Phillip Island, which allows visitors to come face to face with koalas in their natural habitats. This park is unique and special in that it helps koalas who have suffered at the hands of natural disasters or from the effects of human encroachment into the natural areas of Australia. It is thought that there are around 80,000 of these unique animals left in Australia and they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot in the wild. 

The 2019-2020 bushfire season caused the world to look at Australia in disbelief due to the intensity and rapid spread of the seasonal fires across the country. Koalas were just one of many animals who suffered great loss due to these fires, and this area dedicated to preserving the lives of these great animals is just one of many examples of conservation in the picturesque Phillip Island.

In 2020, the park became home for several male and female koalas rescued from the bushfires, some of who remain there to this day. In the process of moving to a new home, they required bandages, medication, and monitoring for infection due to severe burns. But the special care to assist their recovery has allowed them to thrive. The success of this project is best summed up by the birth of new koalas, there for visitors to see high (and sometimes at eye level!) in the trees.

The park is part of the Phillip Island Nature Park, a conservation park created in 1996 and owned by the Victorian State Government. This is a self-funding attraction and their main purpose is for animal conservation and research, attraction visitors to the area to spot wildlife in natural environments. Visitors to the island can also see little penguins, wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, and many species of birds. 

Know Before You Go

The Conservation Reserve has a large car park with plenty spaces. There is a visitor center with a number of information signs and interactive exhibits. Inside the park there are 2 treetop boardwalks and a selection of longer forest walks. 

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December 10, 2021

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