New one-on-one koala feeding experience to attract more international tourists

Date posted: 22 May 2017

Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation

Visitors can hand-feed koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park in a new behind-the-scenes tour aimed at encouraging international tourists to add the iconic Adelaide attraction to their Australian itineraries.

Launched today, the tour also celebrates Cleland’s 50th anniversary and will let visitors hand-feed eucalyptus leaves to koalas while a keeper shares their expertise on koala behaviour, health and conservation. There will also be an opportunity to help with daily health checks.

The exclusive tour lasts 30 minutes and will be offered once a day for two people at a time at a cost of $180 per person. Visitors are encouraged to book in advance by calling the park on 8339 2444.

The park has updated its koala enclosure in preparation for more visitor interaction with the koalas. The new Round Loft is like a koala pergola – it has an insulated roof with an opening at the top to allow airflow, so the koalas will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

The Koala Hut where the regular koala holds take place is also getting a makeover.

Background

Cleland Wildlife Park opened in 1967 and attracts 110,000 visitors from around the world each year.

Nature-based tourism is expected to inject $350 million a year into the State’s economy and create 1000 new jobs by 2020 – and continuing to grow Cleland Wildlife Park’s popularity and range of experiences is a key part of this.

It has built its reputation on providing up-close encounters with many of Australia’s most-loved animals including kangaroos, koalas and wombats in a bushland setting.

Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter

The new behind-the-scenes koala feeding tour is an exciting addition to the koala-hold and koala-patting experiences we already offer at Cleland.

It will provide a more immersive, intimate and in-depth look at koala behaviour, health and feeding habits and will help Cleland become an International Koala Centre of Excellence.

It’s a great gift for locals and tourists alike, allowing them to experience first-hand how Cleland Wildlife Park keepers care for the resident koalas.

South Australia is home to some amazing natural assets and we’re really keen to build on the tourism opportunities and ambitious ideas our parks offer.