Wirrimbirra Sanctuary, Bargo, New South Wales

The main focus of the Sanctuary is preserving what remains of the Bargo Brush, propagating and propagating Australian plants, and public education on Australian environmental issues. The Sanctuary has over 200 acres of preserved native bushland and is run by volunteers.

The Sanctuary is made up of two main areas of land divided by the Southern Railway line. Most of the Sanctuary is on the eastern side and is mainly natural Bargo Brush with some walking trails. The western area is smaller and more developed and contains the visitors centre, sheds and the accommodation cabins as well as several enclosed fauna protection areas and the native nursery.

Wirrimbirra is a fauna reserve, where you may see Australian animals such as wallabies, kangaroos, echidnas, possums, and other native wildlife in their natural habitat. Wirrimbirra is not a zoo and the animals are not in cages for east viewing. You may see some native animals on a casual stroll through the sanctuary, but you will see a lot more if you are patient and prepared to spend some time in the reserve. A night visit can be rewarding when you can spotlight for nocturnal animals. There are many bushwalking trails through the park to enjoy the flora and wildlife.

One area of Wirrimbirra where you will see animals close up is in the walk-through Fauna Protection Area where the animals are fairly tame, but remember, Wirrimbirra is not a Zoo – it is a wild life refuge. The animals are not trained and hand feeding is not encouraged. Animals in the Fauna Protection Area include wombats, emus, eastern grey kangaroos, red neck wallabies, tammar wallabies and swamp wallabies. The Fauna Protection Area is fenced to keep predators out. There is also a large bird aviary that with Tawny Frogmouth, parrots and pigeons and other birds. Entry is by gold coin donation.

A new Dingo sanctuary is under construction at time of writing (early 2009). The new sanctuary will have large runs with landscaped paths, and be the home for up to thirty-four dingoes, which will be looked after by volunteers from Wirrimbirra and the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society (the current managers of the existing Bargo Dingo Sanctuary).

Facilities include a visitors’ centre which provides information and sells gifts, souvenirs and light refreshments. There is an Australian native nursery where you can purchase many native plant species. Bunk-style budget cabin accommodation is also available at the sanctuary for families and groups. Wirrimbirra has picnic facilities for a pleasant family outing in peaceful bushland surroundings.

The Sanctuary is open from Tuesday to Sunday most weeks, from 9am to 4.30pm (closed on Mondays, Easter Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day). Entrance to Wirrimbirra is free, although there is a gold coin donation for entry to the Fauna Protection Area.



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  2. Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle, New South Wales
  3. Platypus Eco Tours, Cumbungi Sanctuary, Mylor, South Australia
  4. Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, Adelaide, South Australia
  5. Jirrahlinga Koala Wildlife Sanctuary, Barwon Heads

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