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Sorrel at Warrawang.
Sorrel at Warrawang.
Your luxury camping accommodation.
A night tour checking out the wildlife.

Warrawong Earth Sanctuary

Thursday, October 4, 2001
Of the mammal species wiped off the earth over the past 500 years, one-third of them were native to Australia. Want to know more?

It's a sad thing to acknowledge that, of the mammal species wiped off earth over the past 500 years, one-third of them were native to Australia.

As a young boy, John Wamsley lived in country NSW and developed a love for his environment. Each year, he observed wildlife vanishing from the area and believed that introduced feral animals were a major reason for the diminishing numbers of native wildlife. Some blamed farming, mining and forestry for the demise, but John Wamsley was convinced that feral cats, as well as foxes and dogs, were the cause.

In 1969, Dr Wamsley purchased 14 hectares of farmland in the Adelaide Hills, named it Warrawong Earth Sanctuary, fenced it off, and eradicated any feral animals that remained inside. This meant that animals which once lived there could be reintroduced. Nineteen years later, Earth Sanctuaries has bred and released some of our most endangered species. Dr Wamsley's results and success have been described as brilliant.

Thirty-two years later, Warrawong is conserving fauna and flora, saving entire species from extinction. The land Dr Wamsley bought had been a vegetable farm, an orchard, a piggery, pine forest and at time of purchase, a dairy farm with not a blade of grass. He planted trees, but stopped counting at 50,000.

Warrawong is open for people to visit, and not only attracts those keen on native wildlife and our environment, but is a venue for weddings, special functions and school programs.

There are 15 cabins at Warrawong, and while they are air-conditioned, with electric blankets, carpeted floors and showers, they are as close to nature as you can be while staying indoors.

The cabins vary in size and capacity — some have two single beds, some have king or double beds and six have two rooms that are perfect for families. Package breaks are the popular way to go and involve a night's accommodation, breakfast, dinner and guided morning and evening walk. However, if you are in the area and just want a tour, that can be arranged too. You move through a variety of habitats including lakes, ponds and waterways as well as rainforest areas. The platypus lakes have boardwalks built around them, but it is well known that these creatures are rarely seen.

You are likely to see possums, platypus, brushtail bettong, bandicoots, bilbies, potoroos, large kangaroos, redneck wallabies, pademelons and koalas. Bird life is also plentiful, including beautiful rainbow lorikeets.

The Shed Cafe has large viewing windows so even when you're eating, you will spot wildlife. At night, spotlights pick up nocturnal animals.


In the Adelaide Hills, 30 minutes from the city.


Warrawong Earth Sanctuary overnight packages, including accommodation, dinner, breakfast and a guided evening and morning walk, cost $150 per person. A guided walk costs $22 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Warrawong Earth Sanctuary
PO Box 1135, Stirling 5152
Ph: (08) 8370 9197 Fax: (08) 8370 8332

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