Australian Wildlife Sanctuary

Discover your wild side at a heritage-listed wildlife sanctuary. 

Meet some iconic Aussie animals, including emus, wombats, snakes and lizards, as you explore this 90-hectare wildlife refuge located at Bargo, New South Wales.

The Australian Wildlife Sanctuary offers a range of educational opportunities and is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Visit the Australian Wildlife Sanctuary website for full details and to plan your visit.


The sanctuary was started in 1962 by conservationist and educator, Dr Thistle Stead AM. Thistle was a prolific author and published twelve books – the first of which was ‘Wildflowers of Australia’ (1938). This publication helped popularise the recognition and appreciation of Australian native plants. It set in motion a chain of events which established an international appreciation of Australia’s flora.

Thistle started the sanctuary in memory of her husband, David George Stead. David and Thistle shared the same vision of conservation of Australia’s flora and fauna. David was a noted marine biologist, pioneer conservationist, and a key player in stopping the export of koala and wombat skins to overseas countries.

In 1965 the Stead Foundation gifted the sanctuary and its buildings to the National Trust (NSW) and since 2019, it has been managed by the Australian Wildlife Sanctuary.

Plan your visit

Australian Wildlife Sanctuary


3105 Remembrance Driveway, Bargo NSW 2574


For the latest opening times, visit the Australian Wildlife Sanctuary website

02 4210 4116