Koala Park Sanctuary Near Sydney, Australia

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    Koala in a Tree in Sydney Koala Park

    Koala in Tree at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala in Tree at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Linda Garrison

    Seeing koalas and other unique wildlife of Australia is high on every visitor's list of things to do on this fascinating continent. However, oftentimes cruise passengers only have a day or two to see as many sights as possible. Going into the outback or elsewhere in Australia, with the hope of seeing several animal species is just not realistic.

    Those wishing to get an up close look at several species of Australian wildlife should seek out the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney. This park was opened in October 1930 by the founder Noel Burnet and is still run by his family. The park has several varieties of Australian wildlife, and visitors are allowed to pet koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats.

    We spent a pleasant afternoon at the Koala Park Sanctuary from the Seven Seas Voyager cruise ship, and then rode a ferry back to the Circular Quay, passing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and by the Sydney Opera House. It was a great shore excursion!

    More Things to Do and See in Sydney,...MORE Australia

    Anyone who really wants to see exotic Australian wildlife should plan a cruise to Macquarie Island, one of the sub-Antarctic islands and home of wild penguins and elephant seals. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site and the number of visitors is limited, but everyone who loves wildlife and has the opportunity to visit Macquarie should seize the chance.

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    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Koalas look like miniature bears, but are not in the bear family of animals. 

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    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Weird place for a nap, but this koala looks very comfortable. 

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  • 04 of 16

    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Koalas look very cuddly, but they have big claws. 

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  • 05 of 16

    Koala in Tree at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Koala in Tree at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala in Tree at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Koala at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Emu at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Emu at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Emu at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Emus are not ostriches, but they certainly look similar!

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    Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Every visitor to Australia wants to see a kangaroo. 

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  • 09 of 16

    Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Kangaroo at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Peacock at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Peacock at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Peacock at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Penguin at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Penguin at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Penguin at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Some people do not realize that Australia has penguins! They can be found in south Australia near Melbourne and on Macquarie Island.

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    Penguins at Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Penguins at Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Penguins at Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Red-Necked Wallaby at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Red-Necked Wallaby at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Red-Necked Wallaby at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Wallaby Enjoying His Lunch at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Wallaby Enjoying His Lunch at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Wallaby Enjoying His Lunch at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Wallaby Sitting on Tail at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia

    Wallaby Sitting on Tail at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia
    ••• Wallaby Sitting on Tail at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Making Billy Tea and Damper Bread at the Stockman's Camp

    Making Billy Tea and Damper Bread at the Stockman's Camp in the Koala Park Sanctuary
    ••• An Afternoon at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney, Australia Making Billy Tea and Damper Bread at the Stockman's Camp in the Koala Park Sanctuary. Koala Park Sanctuary Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The Australian homesteaders and cowboys of old often boiled tea over an open fire and cooked bread in the coals. A long-time Australian native at the Koala Park Sanctuary near Sydney told us much about life on a sheep ranch in the early days of settlement of the country. We even got to try some Billy tea and damper bread after her presentation!

    In this photo, our guide is showing us how to make the tea leaves in Billy tea settle to the bottom of the can--by swinging the can around your head.