History of Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary

Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary was once the home to one of Australia’s most loved and well-known television series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Produced in NSW, Australia from 1966 to 1968, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo told the story of a young boy, Sonny Hammond, and his pet kangaroo in the (fictional) Waratah National Park. Skippy the Bush Kangaroo enjoyed enormous success both in Australia and internationally including the United States and Canada. In total, 91 episodes of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo were produced.

In the early 1970s, following the conclusion of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, the 13 hectares of land that comprised the fictional Waratah National Park was developed into a wildlife tourist park. The sanctuary retained much of the original film set including the ‘Ranger Headquarters’.

Despite the popularity of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, tourist activities at the park gradually became less viable. The tourist park was forced to cease operations on many occasions, finally closing its doors in April 2007 due to lack of visitation.

In September 2009, park management have been completing a relocation plan to re house the approximately 140 semi tame kangaroos and wallabies on the site. The relocation, which had been in planning stages for some time, has been undertaken in partnership with the relevant government departments and wildlife experts, the RSPCA.

New homes have been found for all of the animals at a range of wildlife sanctuaries across NSW.

Discussions with the Lands Authority have commenced to preserve the Rangers House and create a Skippy Interpretive Centre to be retained as an attraction for locals and tourists alike. Further information will be available over the next three to six months. Whilst Waratah Park may have finally closed its gates, the magic of Skippy’s legacy will live on through the program’s fans around the world.

For More information on Skippy and the history of the Television program please go here.

This website is proudly maintained by a group of Sydney and Brisbane based businesses who are happy to support this wonderful slice of Australian history.

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