Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary

After 5 years in the wilderness, one of SA’s best known wildlife sanctuaries is beginning a new chapter, thanks to inspired new owners and a team of dedicated volunteers.

Narelle MacPherson and David Cobbold are the couple hoping to put some new bounce into Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary at Mylor, which re-opened in September. They’ve still got some serious work to do; but luckily, they have some help. For more than a year, a bunch of volunteers have been taking up the tools to help repair or replace… well, pretty much everything.

The sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr. John Walmsley… who rehabilitated dairy pasture to native habitat, gaining accolades for his ambitious conservation efforts and feral-proof fencing, and notoriety for his cat-skin hat.

Gradually, feral species were evicted and the sanctuary expanded. Quolls and Bettongs flourished, with the elusive platypus one of the biggest draw cards. But financial success eluded the enterprise, and after several ownership changes, the sanctuary closed in 2013, with much of the land sold off.

Dave and Narelle previously ran Peel Zoo in Western Australia, which offers all sorts of hands-on experiences, but rather than replicating the Walmsley experience, they want their focus to be on ‘Edu –tainment’ – creating a fun, learning environment.

If you feel like a wander amongst the red-neck wallabies, or a spot of birdwatching, you’ll find Warrawong on Stock Road near Mylor, a bit over half an hour from the city. Check for opening times and tailored experiences on their website.

And who knows – you might even find yourself volunteering to help Warrawong write a brand new story on conservation.