Koala hospital in Port Macquarie and …the weather!

We recently visited the pretty coastal town of Port Macquarie, in New South Wales.

Many years ago, my parents retired to Port Macquarie, and they lived in a small but comfortable coastal cottage surrounded by Eucalyptus trees.

The real bonus for every day living was that they lived across the road from a National Park and Wild Life sanctuary.

I have many memories of my parents, Paul and I taking our daughters to visit the park and the koalas. Tiny hands linked in ours as we crossed the road and walked slowly into the park. Time always seemed to slow down as we walked across the park, taking in the colours, the smells and the birds..

My mother would peel away a bit of bark from one of the trees and talk to the girls about the tiny insect world just below the surface of the tree. She always drew attention to the details..

The historic homestead Roto House is nestled into the park, hard to believe there are roads nearby…

My parents spent many years taking all their grandchildren for walks over to the park, and especially to the Koala Hospital, which was in the early stages of development.

The hospital became much better known during the dreadful bushfires all over Australia in December and January 2000.

These fires had a devastating affect on the local koalas, and the hospital also became the emergency ”go to” place for people far and wide trying to rescue koalas.

These photos show the koalas who survived and thrived, there were so many who did not.

I took this photo of the Koala Hospital theatre through the window, my apologies for the shadows..

Thankfully the hospital is now a much calmer place, and as a result of the generous donations from around the world, the Koala Hospital is actively working to keep local koalas healthy, increasing education programs and research into koala health and diseases.

The koala hospital is a series of outdoor large fenced ”wards”. Each ward has tree trunks, branches and Eucalyptus leaves, so koalas are in their natural habitat.

As the koala’s health improves, he/she is moved to a ”ward” closer to the bushland. These koalas have trees to climb, getting them ready for a return to the wild.

However, some koalas can never be returned to the wild, and these koalas remain permanent residents at the Koala Hospital.

The koala above is called Ocean Summer. Her mother was hit by a car and killed, but Ocean Summer survived, despite being only one kilogram when she was brought to the hospital. She was raised by home carers. Her eyes are normal, but due due to the accident she has some brain injury and cannot see. Summer has adapted well to her environment and will stay in the hospital permanently.

Tourists are taken in small groups around the hospital. Each koala has a chart with the koala’s name and biographical details giving the reasons the koala is here.

Some quiz questions for visitors are embedded in one of the local trees… here is just one..

Amazing!

There were many stories about koalas living in Port Macquarie, and Garage Girl was one of the most endearing.

While we were at the Koala Hospital, they had a sale on eucalyptus trees.

My parents died many years ago now, and it is always a trip down memory lane when we go to Port Macquarie. We try to come in May or June and enjoy the bright sunny days, and coastal walks..

but this time the weather turned from mild to wild in Port Macquarie, and it has been like that ever since!

The beach was battered by the storms during the night

With weather in mind, my last photo is not of Port Macquarie, but taken in Mareeba in Far North Queensland. This sign was at the Mareeba Museum, a wonderful place to go if you are visiting this region. North Queensland often gets cyclones in summer, and this endearing sign shows the resilience and humour of people…all over the world… who live with difficult weather conditions!

Thank you for visiting my blog today. Here’s hoping your weather is mild, where ever you are in the world today.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

20 Replies to “Koala hospital in Port Macquarie and …the weather!”

  1. I love that final photograph! I enjoyed the post with all the information, thank you for sharing all those photographs.

  2. What a delightful read, Geraldine. It’s so heart warming to hear about the wonderful care given to these iconic animals.

    Re the weather board. It’s still there. I walk past it every week on my way to craft class. At the moment the board is wet!

    1. I was wondering if it was still there….such a classic! I’m glad you see it every week…so you are having lots of rain?

  3. Oh, you know I loved this post with your amazing animals. I saw a couple of Koala Bears as up close as one gets here on a CA trip years ago. I could have grabbed a chair and stayed there for hours. I applaud the efforts this hospital makes, and I can only imagine the memories that flood your mind and heart as you visit. People leave but those memories keep us warm. Thank you for this adventure.

    1. I’m glad you liked the koalas, and enjoyed the post. Yes, memories of my parents are always there when we visit, but as you have described so well, ”People leave but memories keep us warm.”
      Thanks Judy.

  4. What a beautiful place and such happy memories, Gerrie. Koalas are such adorable creatures. The weather board really made me smile. Great post.

    1. Yes koalas are very cute, and it is always nice to check in on them when we arrive in Port Macquarie. I’m pleased you liked the weather board, it is a winner!

  5. Read this post with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful, healing place! Bittersweet for you, I imagine, as you associate it with your parents. Finally, that last photo is a hoot. As an old Maine farmer might say, “Yessah, by God.”

    1. It is good to know that there is a place for these somewhat helpless (and very cute) koalas. Yes you are right…. my parents lived close by for so long, so it is bittersweet for me, but I’m lucky to have good memories. I love that weather board, and the old Maine farmer would be right to say ” Yessah by God”
      Thanks Laurie.

  6. At one of our coastal towns I saw a weather stone … with a similar list.
    If you can’t see the stone, it was dense fog as we had on Thursday. Grey all day, not at all like Cape Town.

    1. I hope the weather improves, it has been grey and cold here too. Glad to read you finally got your vaccine.

  7. Loved reading this post, Gerrie. I’m always struck by how placid koalas seem when they’re in hospital, as though they understand that people are trying to help them.
    We haven’t been to PM for a long time. It looks splendid in your photos.

    1. Thanks Jane, yes Port Macquarie is looking green and lovely. I agree about the koalas, they seem to know when they are getting help.

  8. Thanks for showing us the koala hospital, what a special place. Sorry the weather turned on you during your vacation. Here it is actually pleasant after a hot and humid stretch.

  9. What a wonderful post, I did enjoy it and seeing those poor koalas being nursed back to health. What a wonderful job they are doing, I’m thrilled to hear they have had donations from across the world. I can see why your parents loved living there. That board is amusing!xxx

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