Koala Sanctuary

Queensland, Australia



The Experience

Experience the life of Koala keepers at one of the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuaries in beautiful Queensland, Australia. Looking for a project that allows  you to work alongside the handlers of Koalas, kangaroos and many more local Wildlife? Then this volunteer experience is perfect for you.

Come in close contact with over 130 Koalas of different ages! If you are looking to cuddle and play with the local wildlife all day, or be trained in animal handling then this is not for you. The duties of an animal keeper are not easy and can be physically demanding. If you enjoy working with animals and are not afraid to get your hands dirty in the outdoors, then be part of an exciting experience. Enjoy the satisfaction that comes with helping to care for wildlife in a beautiful, natural environment!


Please be aware that volunteers cannot be trained in any animal handling so if this is something you are hoping to achieve, this is not the programme for you.

This Is Why

  • Live and volunteer at one of the world’s first and largest Koala Sanctuary!
  • Assist with the duties of an animal keeper assistant.
  • Have close encounters and care for different wildlife species of Australia including Koalas.
  • Great opportunity to explore Queensland and its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, Brisbane and have the authentic Australian outback experience.

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    Year round
  • Package Price
    4 weeks 1,995 US$
    6 weeks 2,395 US$
    8 weeks 2,795 US$
  • 10 weeks 3,295 US$
  • 12 weeks 3,795 US$
  • Volunteer duration
    4 - 12 weeks 
  • Average Work hours
    You will be required to volunteer at least 5 days a week. You can choose the days that suit you including weekends. You are expected to arrive at the sanctuary by 8:20am to start your shift at 8:30am. Your shift ends at 4:30pm. A snack and lunch break will be in between.
  • Number of Volunteers
  • Housing
    Shared accommodation at a Local Homestay
  • Fly to 
    You should fly or travel to  Brisbane where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation.
  • Internet Access
    Yes, but limited and should be kept to a minimum
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Love of the outdoors and a passion for animals is a priority. You should not be fussy, picky or hypersensitive about cleaning as this is one of the main chores. We will not tolerate smoking, alcohol or the use of drugs. Please remember that you are a guest, therefore, respecting the rules is essential.

Fast Facts: Australia

Where? Australasia, Queensland

Country Size: 1,852,642 million km2 
715,300 sq mi

Population density? 2.7/km2

Country Famous for? Koalas, Kangaroos, Wildlife watching, pristine beaches, vibrant cities, friendly people, Sunshine State of Australia

When to visit: All year round

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Koala Sanctuary
    • Accommodation
      Local Homestay in or near the city – preferably 4 weeks and over.
    • Meals
      Two options available at homestay. From no meals at homestay to two meals a day during week days and three meals on weekends.
    • Airport Pick up & drop off

      Depending on the accommodation option you choose, you will either be picked up at the airport or take the train or bus to your accommodation.
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in Australia after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Vancouver you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights and Insurance

    Package Price: 
    04 Weeks: $1,995.00 US
    08 Weeks: $2,795.00 US
    12 Weeks: $3,795.00 US


    As a volunteer, you will assist with numerous tasks around the sanctuary. Each morning, you will be allocated to a specific animal section – this is done via a roster and you are not able to choose which animals you would be working with. Your tasks may include:

    • Assisting farm animal staff with cleaning, monitoring visitors, feeding animals.
    • Maintaining a tidy surrounding at the sanctuary.
    • Interacting with visitors and assisting them with any enquiries they might have.
    • Assisting with animal enclosure cleaning and food preparation.
  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit to a minimum of 4 weeks
    • We do not tolerate drugs. Our smoking policy is that is not permitted indoors. Alcohol is permitted (after all it is Australia) but alcohol abuse and antisocial behaviour are strictly not tolerated. No smoking allowed on property.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humour, dependable, physically and mentally fit.
    • Age: 18+
    • No animal allergies
    • Extreme Weather (heat & cold), dirt and living in a remote area must be something you can handle
    • Required to attend an induction session before you start to work either on Sundays at 3:30pm or Fridays at 2:30pm. This session is not optional! If you miss your session, you wouldn’t be able to volunteer!
    • Must read and agree to abide by guidelines and ethics. High knowledge of the English and good communication skills.
    • GFriendly and don’t mind getting dirty. Must be able to work independently and with others
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • Get trained in the care of different wildlife species
    • Learn about Koalas and other Australian wildlife
    • Live in beautiful Australia.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Queensland, Australia
    • Area Famous For
      Koalas, Kangaroos, Wildlife watching, pristine beaches, vibrant cities, friendly people, Sunshine State of Australia
    • When to visit
      All year round
    • Wildlife viewing
      Great opportunity to view wildlife including Koalas, kangaroos, Echidnas, Platypus, Emu, Common and Southern Hairy-nose Wombat and many, many more.
        • Itinerary & Details

          Day 1 - Arrive in Brisbane, Australia;
          You will arrive in beautiful Brisbane where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation.

          For 4 - 12 weeks -Volunteer at a Koala sanctuary! For the coming weeks, you will have a great time working directly with many different kind of animals while being surrounded by nature!

          Your last day - You will fly back home or take the opportunity to travel through Australia. Our staff will gladly help you to book any tours to see more of this great country.

  • Accommodation
    Since you are staying for 4 weeks and longer, homestay accommodation will be arranged near the volunteer project for you. You will live with a local family and learn about the Australian way of life. This includes your own bedroom, laundry facility in the house, wireless internet and you can also have access to the living room, kitchen and washroom. It’s a great way to get to experience the Queensland Area!Things to bring to the project; You should wear your uniform shirt with either jeans or shorts (must be comfortable) that you don’t mind getting dirty. Always maintain a neat appearance and make sure that shorts and jeans are not too revealing. Shorts legs should not be higher than mid-thigh and NO low rise jeans, long pants or shorts! No skirts are allowed. Enclosed shoes are compulsory – sturdy sneakers (runners/joggers), hiking boots or work boots are fine. Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen for sunny days and a raincoat for rainy weather.


    At your homestay you can choose the no meals plan where you are responsible for your own meals. An option of having two delicious meals on weeks days and three on weekends is also available. If you are staying at the hostel, there are no meals. If will need to arrange meals yourself or you can choose to have a continental breakfast every day and/or packed lunch which you will need to pay for.


    This project is in Queensland, Australia where  you have great opportunities to experience the authentic Australian outback experience!

Hi Miranda,

My experience at the Koala Samctuary was very good. The tasks are varied and you learn many new things. For me, a teacher who works inside a building all day, it was wonderful to be able to do physical work outside, not having any of my usual responsibilities and worries. I'd recommend this kind of experience to anyone who isn't afraid to get a bit dirty and willing to do physical work outside.

Staying in Merediths and Russells house was also good. They're friendly people who do their best to make your stay pleasant. Russell took me and the other volunteer who lived in their house to the sanctuary every morning, and after work we took the bus. They also included us on a Sunday family picknick at the beach, and took us one evening to a mountain to see the skyline of Brisbane. I'm very happy with my work experience in the Koala Sanctuary.

Best wishes

Susanne from Switzerland


Hi Miranda,

First of all, a big thank you to you and fronteering for helping organize my stay here. The last four weeks have been amazing and one of the greatest journeys of my life so far. 

The work at the Koala Sanctuary was an incredible experience. Working so close to so many amazing animals is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The work itself is very diverse. The volunteers get divided into new sections every day. You can work in mammals, koalas, birds, macropods and barn. Sometimes there is also a floater volunteer who helps in all sections. The different sections give you a lot of different tasks each week. You also get to work together with different keepers and volunteers. Besides getting to know your colleagues better that way, it also ensures that it never becomes boring.

All the keepers were really nice and helpful. Preparing food for the animals and cleaning enclosure are a big part of your working day. But every section also has daily tasks in which you work directly and close up to the animals which is very gratifying. I am going to miss the people and animals at the Koala Sanctuary and I can´t wait to visit them again in the future.

My homestay was Glenn Bentley. His apartment is located very convenient. The bus stop is five minutes on foot away, it takes roughly twenty minutes to get to the Sanctuary. A big shopping centre is ten minutes away, a ferry stop five minutes away. The ferry only takes around ten minutes to bring you to the city centre. 

Glenn´s apartment offers you three rooms for your sole disposal. A fully equipped bathroom, a bed room and a small room with desk and wardrobe. Moreover, the apartment complex has a nice pool and a small gym, both of which you can use freely. 

Glenn was very welcoming and nice from day one on. He showed me the bus stop and the shopping centre and the most important spots around the city. He also drove me to the induction at the Koala Sanctuary on my first Sunday. He was always supportive, asked what kind of food he can buy, answered all my questions about the city or Australia in general and always offered his help no matter what. It was always great to come home from work and sit down for dinner with him to talk about news, our respective countries and just all kinds of stuff. But I also always had the opportunity to go to my room if I needed some time just quietly relaxing or if I wanted to talk to my family and friends. It was a nice, relaxed atmosphere all the way through and staying with Glenn made the last four weeks really awesome. I do hope that I can see him again sometime in the future and that he gets a lot of volunteers in the next years, so that they can enjoy Brisbane and Koala Sanctuary in the same way I did. 

I also want to mention Glenn´s ex-wife, Lisa. The two are in regular contact and she has Koala Sanctuary volunteers herself. Through their connection I was able to get in touch with the other volunteers at my work from day one on, which helped to create new friendships that I hope will outlive my stay here. I was at Lisa´s every weekend atleast once to do trips or to just hang around by the pool. Lisa was welcoming and treated me as if I was staying with her. She is truly one of the kindest persons I´ve ever met and I´m thankful for her hospitality and kindness throughout my stay. She cares a lot about each volunteer she has and tries everything to make their stay the best possible.

In short: Both Glenn and Lisa are absolutely amazing and I hope to see them both again in the future. I highly recommend them for future volunteers who I am sure will have a great time with the two :-) 

Niklas from Germany

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