About Us

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was established in 1973 and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. The Hospital is a popular tourist attraction that welcomes thousands of national and international visitors every year. Admission is free although visitors do have the option to donate to our organisation or purchase from our shop which helps us continue our work. The Hospital is also a scientific research, training and education centre.

We are made up of a large body of approximately 200 committed volunteers who are vital to the Koala Hospital along with a small team of staff.

In June 2021 the hospital became Koala Conservation Australia. This not-for-profit organisation has the wider mission to lead the world in the care and conservation of wild koalas, to increase knowledge and understanding of the species and to work collaboratively to ensure their survival into the future.

The Koala Hospital consists of exhibit enclosures, a treatment clinic, intensive care units and rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. We also have a Koalaseum - a museum for Koalas which provides information on koala evolution and biology and interactive displays so visitors can touch koala fur or look down a microscope at koala poos (scat).

Our History

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was opened in 1973 by local residents, Jean and Max Starr. Jean and Max were local shopkeepers who observed local koalas, witnessed the development of the town and were determined to help injured and sick koalas. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital remains dedicated to the Starrs’ original mission: to rescue, rehabilitate and release wild koalas, and to provide a facility where all visitors can learn about this unique Australian species.

Koala Conservation Australia is a company limited by guarantee since 2021 (CAN 634 823 368). We are a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) and a Registered Environmental Organisation (REO). Our tax deductible gift fund is PORT MACQUARIE KOALA HOSPITAL GIFT FUND with Deductible Gift Recipient (Item 1) for tax deductibility purposes with the Australian Taxation Office (ABN 74 060 854 479).

Our Elected Volunteer Board members are

  • Sue Ashton


  • Elizabeth Casey

    Secretary & Public Officer

  • Vicki Moule


  • Professor Heather Cavanagh


  • Vacant Position


  • Paul White


  • Rita Saunders


Our Funding

Koala Conservation Australia Limited and the Koala Hospital is a not-for-profit charity funded by the public through donations and bequests, the Adopt A Wild Koala Program and souvenir shop sales.

In 2019, for the first time in its history, the Koala Hospital heard that its application for government funding was successful. The state government’s Restart NSW Program is providing funds specifically for the rebuilding of the Koala Hospital, enabling us to continue best practice in the treatment of koalas. 80% of the cost of rebuilding the Hospital will be provided by the NSW Government and Koala Conservation Australia Inc will fund the remaining 20%. The new Hospital, in conjunction with the recently-established Wild Koala Breeding Program will enhance visitor experience, and increase education, training and research facilities.

We are dependent on the public's generosity for the ongoing running costs of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and the Wild Koala Breeding Program..

Partners and Sponsors

We cannot do our great work with koalas on our own. Sponsors and partners make an incredible contribution to our organisation for which we are grateful.

We are also incredibly grateful for the long term support of John Williamson. In 1986, after a visit to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, John wrote the song "Goodbye Blinky Bill" and donated the royalties to the Koala Hospital. He also 'took the hat around' at his concerts and together with the royalties, raised over $300,000 for the hospital, which was used to build the John Williamson Wing that houses our ICU area for our sick and injured koalas.