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Koalas find sanctuary at Spicers Hidden Vale Retreat

If you are fortunate enough to find yourself out at Spicers Hidden Vale why not consider enhancing your time in this beautiful part of the world with a 90 minute authentic ‘Koala Safari’. Not only will you get to savour the tranquil bush setting on the safari but there is a good chance, you might see some of the furry local koalas in their favourite habitat, the fork of a gum tree.

Before heading out on the safari, you are treated to a tour of the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre where you can get a bit closer to some of the animals in the centre, like scaly skinks, gorgeous squirrel gliders and shy potoroos. Beyond the research and conservation, the Wildlife Centre does rehabilitation some koalas that need it.

A Rufous Bettong captured by Dr meg edwards at hidden vale wildlife centre

Ultimately, Spicers’ goal is to manage all land with sustainability and conservation, with these concepts always being front of mind. Within that goal, the Wildlife Centre helps to make sure the endangered, threatened and vulnerable species in the region have the greatest chance of survival.

After the Centre tour, you are then taken ‘out bush’, where trackers use radio tracking equipment to quickly locate koalas in their natural environment. Spicers has tracked over 38 koalas, so you may be lucky enough to see a number of koalas, perhaps even a joey or two. Along the way the trackers share interesting facts about koalas, the habitat and how Spicers are working to build the population with hopes of reintroducing koalas to specific areas across the region.

On your safari, the researchers and trackers accompanying you will explain that within the population, despite being solitary animals there is usually a number of females with a dominant male. The researchers and trackers can quickly identify each of the koalas with their specialised tracking equipment. Once the koalas have been identified, the trackers also claim that all of the koalas have distinct personalities and have been suitably named after people, like Turner Family Foundation supporters and staff – “Skroo”, “Jude” and “Flanner”. There is also “Miriam”, named after celebrity, Miriam Margolyes, as in Professor Sprout of Harry Potter fame. Miriam visited the centre a couple of years ago and regularly touches base with Dr Andrew Tribe, Wildlife Centre Manager, as to how her namesake koala is going.

Koala safari at Spicers Hidden Vale

A koala and joey on the koala safari

The work of the Centre is crucial as koalas are under serious threat in southeast Queensland. This threat was a motivation for property owners and project founders (whom also founded the Turner Family Foundation) Graham “Skroo” Turner and Jude Turner, to collaborate with the University of Queensland to establish the multi-million dollar conservation Centre adjacent to Spicers Hidden Vale. The Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre opened in 2017, for research, teaching and breeding purposes. Skroo and Jude’s contribution included initial building costs plus ongoing funding to support research grants and UQ operation of the facility for breeding for the next 30 years.

The Centre is just one example of how Spicers Retreats and the Turner Family Foundation put sustainability and protecting our environment into real action. Since greeting our first guest in 2002, we have made operating in harmony with nature central to our brand of luxury. Alongside this goal is protecting our ecosystem now so we will ensure future generations are able to learn, explore and enjoy our great land as we do today.

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