Adelaide is a great city, good food and wine, beaches and wineries. But I had not seen the bush or kangaroos, and it felt like something was missing. Friends told me that what I needed was a visit to Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary close by in the Adelaide Hills. We discovered we could stay overnight, which seemed like a great option, and though it was winter we were assured the luxury tents structures were warm and cosy. That was there was a chance we could see the elusive platypus in the twilight encounter.
Our stay was $125A each and included accommodation (for up to 4) in their eco cabins – comfortable half tent and bathroom included, a 2 Course Dinner off the menu at the Bilby Café (fabulous food), breakfast, Guided Nocturnal Sunset Walk, Self Guided Day Walk and the Animal Show. It was great value, and fantastic to stay on site at the Sanctuary, bandicoots in the yard and kangaroos through the fence.
As soon as we walked into the Sanctuary, a kangaroo came up to be touched. It was great just to wander around and see animals in their own environment, even though most of them are rescued and pretty pampered. We spotted Koala asleep high up the gums. For the twilight encounter we had a guide to ourselves, and we were much more aware of what was around us. We saw Rufous Bettong, Long-nosed Potoroo, wallabies, bandicoot and
looked hard for the elusive and shy platypus which live in the lakes, but they kept to themselves this night – they are Australias only mainland platypus population. The sight of the evening was a great big daddy koala on the ground walking around, and grunting and roaring.
It was cold, so we were glad to snuggle up by the fire in the Bilby Café to enjoy one of the best meals we had while we were in Adelaide. The electric blankets were on in our eco-cabins, so we were snug and warm, and were able to do another walk around the sanctuary before we left next day.
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary was first established in 1969 when dairy land was revegetated with native trees and shrubs to attract native animals and birds. In 1982 the 35 acres was enclosed with feral-proof fencing. Once the fence was completed, the bird population flourished and the release of many native animals began, including the elusive platypus. Today, Warrawong is home to 100 species of birds and many native mammals, most of which are nocturnal and highly endangered.
Warrawong was fantastic – from the welcome we got in the moment we walked in, the tents were great, encounters with the creatures were magical, the dinner superb. This is well worth a visit – and during the day entry is free! If you are in Adelaide, make it a priority to visit.