South Australian team to lead major upgrade at Cleland Wildlife Park

The South Australian Government has selected an award-winning South Australian-based architecture, landscape and interpretation team to lead a substantial upgrade to Cleland Wildlife Park – the single largest investment for the tourist destination popular for more than two decades.

Just 20 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD, Cleland Wildlife Park is one of the state’s most popular experiences for native wildlife visitors with over 140,000 visitors each year.

The $2.5 million Cleland Wildlife Park Koala Hold and Park Facilities Upgrade project will be led by Troppo Architects – the firm behind the award-winning Sparkke-at-the-Whitmore renovation. The team have national experience in projects at Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Taronga Mosman Zoo and work in the tourism, hospitality, education and environmental sectors.

The koala holding facility will combine a koala viewing area in lofts alongside a photo studio for koala holds – the park‘s most sought-after experience. It will also create a better environment for koalas, including temperature controls to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature all year round.

South Australian Environment and Water Minister David Speirs, who made the announcement on World Environment Day, said the project is a key outcome of the government’s Parks 2025 strategy of the state and would both improve the visitor experience and improve the ability of park staff to care for the animals.

Also announced – for the first time since being suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, Cleland Wildlife Park‘s popular koala feeding experience is set to return this June long weekend.

The Koala Feeding Experience is one of three exclusive encounters scheduled to resume on Saturday, June 12 in a COVIDSafe manner. The popular 30-minute experience gives participants the unique opportunity to hand-feed eucalyptus leaves to koalas.

Minister Speirs noted that “we are always looking to improve the visitor experience at our parks and to be able to host the hugely popular Koala Feeding Experience again in time for the long weekend is fantastic for South Australians and the tourists.

“We are also upgrading the Valente Education Center to create an interactive nature center for students to learn about Australia’s natural environment and become the next generation of wildlife warriors. Other exciting additions include wayfinding, scenery and a nature play area adjacent to the Barking Gecko Cafe for family fun. There will also be improvements to the park’s restrooms and new signs will be installed to keep park visitors informed.

Troppo Director Cary Duffield said the new koala faculties will be inspired by the natural environment and added that “working with nature and responding to the unique local setting will create an educational experience that will allow visitors to connect with nature in a meaningful way, while putting welfare first for koalas.

“As South Australian companies, the design team are delighted to be working on this rejuvenation project in the iconic Cleland Wildlife Park.”

Reservations for the Koala Feeding Experience are essential and can be made online at

Related Articles

August 18, 2020 – Cleland Wildlife Park Announces Environmental Achievement

December 6, 2018 – Opening of the butterfly aviary at Cleland Wildlife Park in South Australia

November 27, 2017 – South Australian government reveals $150 million upgrade to Cleland Wildlife Park

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