Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

  • Client Port Stephens Council
  • Location Port Stephens | Worimi Country
  • Sector Community

Of strong interest to the local community, BKA was engaged by the Council to realise a ‘soft impact’ koala sanctuary, that brought focus to the existing natural bushland.

Home to one of the country’s most significant koala populations, the upgraded sanctuary is Australia’s first multi-purpose koala facility.

The subsequent design demonstrates considered restraint, featuring a collection of tourism facilities and an elevated skywalk and viewing platform. Other components of the program include the Reflections Holiday Park Administration, accommodation in the form of 2-4 person ‘glamping’ tents and a Grade A Wildlife Hospital, specialising in Koalas.

The buildings have simple steel structural frames accentuated by refined detailing due to the unique complexities of the building’s geometry. Significant bushfire controls were maintained, with openings on external facades carefully positioned and detailed.

Limited connections between infrastructure ensure minimal intervention with flora and fauna. A discreet material palette of dark coloured vertically fixed ribbed sheeting has been used – drawing visitor attention to the surrounding environment, with buildings acting as simple enablers of the facilities experience.