Port Macquarie is located in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It has the world’s first koala hospital dedicated solely to the care and preservation of koalas. I visited in September 2018 and the Koala Hospital was just a short walk from our motel.
The hospital is opened daily for visit. Entrance to the hospital and the guided tours run by volunteers are free of charge.
I’ve been to zoos with koalas but what does a koala hospital look like?
The Koala Hospital consists of a treatment room, indoor and outdoor intensive care units and rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. I have to remind myself that unlike koalas in the zoos where visitors might get to hold and pet them, each of the koalas we saw at the hospital was admitted because they were sick or injured (after all, it’s a hospital). Apart from diseases, motor vehicle accidents and dog attacks are the most common cause of injuries sustained. The koalas are usually named after the location where they were found and the person who rescued them.
We know that koalas sleep a lot. They sleep for 18-22 hours a day to conserve energy. Because of this, I like to joke that I want to be a koala so I can sleep all day. My visit to the Koala Hospital reminded me of the harsh reality they face with the threat of losing their homes due to excessive tree-clearing and bushfires.
The hospital has been taking in koalas injured in the bushfires and been through burnt koala habitat in different regions to search for koalas in need of help. If you have the money to spare, you can make a small donation to their Go Fund Me link at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires. You can also find out more about the work they do from their website at https://www.koalahospital.org.au/. There are of course other worthy causes and organisations to donate to, I chose the Koala Hospital simply because I have been there myself.
If you ever visit the Koala Hospital, don’t forget to drop by the adjacent Historic Roto House, which is one of the very few remaining late Victorian buildings in Port Macquarie. Built in 1890, Roto House was home to John Flynn, a land surveyor, his wife Jessie and six children. This 11 room weatherboard house constructed from local red mahogany was occupied by his family right up until 1979. It is now maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Many of the family’s belongings, papers and photographs are preserved and displayed throughout the house (source: https://portmacquarieinfo.com.au/see-do/roto-house). Fortunately, these places remained intact and are not under direct fire danger.
Finally, the answers to yesterday’s question. Thanks for reading 💗🐨🌳