Our main reason for stopping off in Port Macquarie was their koala hospital (that plus we wanted to break up to Sydney to Byron journey – 16 hours or something awful). So once we had woken up and eaten our breakfast (absolutely free thanks to the communal food at our hostel!) we directed ourselves to the hospital.
We were both really excited to finally see some koalas up close (we saw some in their natural habitat back in Melbourne) and I was interested in hearing about why these koalas were in the hospital and learning about the way they were treated.
As you can see, the majority of the koalas either had conjunctivitis or an injury. We had a look around all of the different enclosures watching the koalas doing their thing (which, by the way, is sleeping).
There was a free guided tour at 3pm where you could learn about each of the koalas in turn and hear about their individual stories: what happened to them and how they were being treated. There were lots of people waiting for the talk so we got divided into two groups. Going round with the guide was very informative and fascinating.
Did you know that many koalas catch chlamydia but that they are actually affected by the infection much differently from humans: their eyesight starts deteriorating instead.
We watched this koala here walking around his enclosure as he was blind and getting used to his new surroundings. He would walk in several circles, each time pausing before continuing and then he finally stopped. We were told that he does this everyday because he wants to get his bearings as he now has to stay at the hospital for longer and can’t go back into the wild because of his eyesight.
After the talk we did another quick round of the koala enclosures and then left for the hostel. We had a long wait ahead of us afterwards: we were to catch the 1:45am coach from Port Macquarie to Byron Bay (getting in for 7:50am!) Luckily, our hostel was pretty laid back and allowed us to chill there until we had to leave. The wifi was also really good so I managed to get up this post as well as watch a couple of Mistresses episodes – bonus!
Anyway, before I leave for our Whitsundays sailing tour tomorrow, I’ll leave you with this picture of a koala – he sure is a poser!
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Peace and love,