The Jirrahlinga Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary sits on two hectares of land a few minutes drive north of the sea-side village of Barwon Heads in Victoria. Jirrahlinga (the word is Aboriginal meaning “Seek a home for a kangaroo”) was established in the 1970s by Tehree Gordon to look after injured wildlife. The Sanctuary received local and international publicity following the Ash Wednesday Bushfires in 1983 when it was prominent in rescuing and treating animals with burn injuries.
The organisation is essentially a koala sanctuary and animal hospital that accommodates a variety of Australian native animals and birds. The hospital has a nursery with enclosures and humidicribs to accommodate baby kangaroos (joeys), wallabies, possums, reptiles and birds. The hospital has three main areas – one for treatment of Koalas, one for birds and one for other animals. Being so near the sea, Jirrahlinga is equipped to look after sick or injured penguins and seals.. Jirrahlinga receives over 5,000 calls a year to attend to sick, injured and orphaned animals.
There are larger outdoor enclosures to accommodate wombats, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas and dingoes. Numerous small aviaries house small native bird life with flight aviaries for the larger birds. Water birds live on the dam on the property. There is also a reptile house on the Sanctuary with Snakes, Blue tongued Lizards, Lace Monitors and other reptiles.
Jirrahlinga is active in providing educational experiences for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary student to learn about our wildlife, and inviting social groups such as the elderly and those with disability to experience the animals. Jirrahlinga can also organize animal displays for corporate functions. The Sanctuary also offers pet boarding facilities for all kinds of pets from dogs to reptiles.
Jirrahlinga is located at Taits Road, Barwon Heads about half an hour drive south east of Geelong. The park is open from 9am to 5pm each day