Koalas

I’ve only ever seen a koala in the wild twice.

Once in a beautiful piece of eucalyptus forest in northern NSW where tucked high up in the fork of a tree between trunk and branch the koala was perched, or was it wedged? 😉

And the second time was on an horrendously busy road in an outer Brisbane suburb where this koala was attempting to cross in between the cars 🙁

Koala by Gould 1863

“Mammals of Australia”, Vol. I Plate 14

Koalas are not mammals (nor are they koala bears!) but rather they are a marsupial meaning their young crawl into a front facing pouch when only a centimeter in length, where they attach themselves to a teat to spend the next 6 months suckling milk and growing ~ When they emerge from their mother’s pouch they spend a further 6 months with her either riding on her back or clinging to her abdomen returning to the pouch for milk (in between the odd eucalyptus leaf) until it is too big to fit. The joey will finally leave its mother at between 1 and 3 years old, depending on when the mother has her next young.

Koala with baby koala in its pouch

Koala with young in pouch

Koalas are not found in either WA or Tasmania ~ Their habitat covers an area roughly from Adelaide, South Australia to the southern part of Cape York in Queensland, around the coastal regions and inland as far as there is sufficient moisture to support their preferred woodlands. While there are over 600 differing types of eucalypts in Australia, koalas are quite selective only browsing on a select few species within their area.

They are essentially nocturnal, although there is a fair degree of overlap here as they sleep up to 18 -20 hours! Conserving energy is a necessity whilst digesting their gum-leaf diet, which is fibrous, low in nutrition as well as being toxic.

koala holiday highlight

A koala’s docile appearance dozing in a tree by day belies the noise they are able to make when fully awake at night!

The first time I heard the sound of a koala I thought I’d heard a yowie 😉

It was like the start of a donkey’s ‘eeyore’ but having gathered breath on the ‘ee’ expelled it not with a mere ‘yore’ but a roar like a lion! I have since heard their ‘call’ referred to as a bellow.

Have you seen a koala in the wild?

Or heard one? If so where? 😀

Journey Jottings... highlights your holiday adventures

Editor’s Note: I’ve since found this interesting post by Michela who volunteered at Australia Zoo caring for some koalas

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9 thoughts on “Koalas

  1. Really nice “jotting page”, Linda!

    I think the only time I saw koalas in the wild was on the Greater Ocean Road in Victoria, there’s this small town there with dozens of koalas in 2-3 trees, it was magical!! My parents were travelling with us that time, and they brought back really nice memories to France…

    • How fantastic ~ So pleased your parents were lucky enough to spot them and take back such magical memories with them to France 🙂
      Pleased you like my little ‘Jotting’… a few short, sweet words means highlights such as a koala sighting can always be recalled 😉

  2. I also saw my first koala in the wild in a national park on a trip along the Great Ocean Road.

    But then I moved to Coffs Harbour, Northern NSW, and I’ve been lucky enough to see koalas more often.

    They hang out around the Botanic Gardens and the trees around Coffs Creek, right in the heart of Coffs Harbour.

    I’ve even seen them walking on the ground, going between trees. It remains a fantastic sight, each and every time. We’re so lucky to have them right here in Coffs! Best time to see them is very early morning, just before/around sunrise.

    • That’s great to hear that there’s quite a population of koalas in Coffs Harbour.
      It’s such a fantastic sight to see native species in the wild isn’t it?
      Certainly one that always makes my heart sing 🙂

  3. Jo from NZ just added (via Twitter @jo9ty) this great spot for seeing Koalas:

    ” I recommend Great Otway National Park in Victoria to see koalas in the wild. And camping under koalas at Bimbi Park camp!
    Here’s a small video I took of a koala lunching by the road to the Cape Otway lighthouse http://youtu.be/kn2ckOQnRiI

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