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Cowsnest Community Farm is where is all started. You can say that Cowsnest is the mother of Potoroo Palace. It is an 820-acre property outside Candelo with National Park on two sides. It began in 1975. Today it contains a 57-acre feral animal proof, wildlife sanctuary, where many animals get released each year. A big part of the farm is under Voluntary Conservation Agreement.

There are milking cows, chooks, bee hives and ducks. Cowsnest has always been embraced by the Candelo community and the Bega Valley Community. Cowsnest and Potoroo Palace are very grateful to all the small businesses and individuals in the Bega Valley who help us in so many ways



It began in 1975 as a sort of kibbutz where people could offer their labour in return for board and lodging. Farm work happened during the days and at night artistic things flourished. In 1985 the Candelo Arts Society grew out of Cowsnest. Music and Variety Nights have been going since then.

In 1988 members of the community visited Warrawong and Yookamurra Sanctuaries in South Australia to learn about feral animal proof fencing. By 1992 there was a five-acre halfway house for injured and orphan native animals on their way to release. Soon a 50 acre area was enclosed by fencing which would protect native animals from dogs, cats and foxes.

Almost immediately it began to be used by LAOKO (Looking After Our Kosciosko Orphans), WIRES, NANA and Canberra wildlife groups as a soft release place for native animals

Cowsnest is a place where humans learn how to live together with native and domesticated animals in a sustainable and practical way.

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Wildlife at Cowsnest

Orphaned and injured wallabies, kangaroos, wallaroos, bandicoots, antechinuses, wombats, waterbirds, turtles and others who have been rescued by members of the public from a wide area, and cared for, often for long nights and days and months, are brought to the Cowsnest Sanctuary as a Half Way House.


The waterbirds can stay in the 5 acre Dam Sanctuary until they are old enough to fly out of it, or until their injuries are healed and they can fly again, or for life. They are often visited by wild members of their own species who sometimes move in with them. They can be fed there if needed and they are checked on daily.

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