If you think koalas are super cute and cuddly, then you probably shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Koala Hospital and help some koalas in need. This hospital in Port Macquarie is purely focused on helping injured koalas, mostly those that have been hit by cars or attacked by dogs, so it can definitely be a stop to tug on the old heartstrings. However, the hospital doesn’t receive government funding, so the more people that stop, the better chances there are for it in the future.
Macquarie Nature Reserve
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
The Koala Hospital was the first of its kind – a hospital solely for the sick and injured koalas. It is located in Port Macquarie, which is in the northern coastal area of New South Whales. It would take about 4 hours to get here from Sydney. The hospital is open year-round, and visitors are welcome to browse the grounds whenever they please during the day. However, the hospital likes to stress coming near 3pm when a volunteer gives a tour to provide you with more background.
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I didn’t make it for the tour as I was there in the late morning, but I was able to walk around the grounds to see all of the patients. It was interesting to see some of the koalas peacefully sleeping in their pen, while others took it upon themselves to hang out in the high tree tops. There’s also a trauma room with a large window outside so you can catch a glimpse of patients with more serious illnesses (only look if you think you can handle it).
Adopt a Wild Koala
Part of the way the hospital raises funds to support its operations is through the adoption of wild koalas. As a result of adopting a koala, you get a certificate with your adopted koala’s name, along with its story. The money goes to funding medications and operations to help future patients. It only costs $40 to adopt a koala for a year in Australia, and $50 for overseas adoptions (the extra money to cover shipping costs for the certificate and information).
Adopting a wild koala makes a great gift for loved ones, and I actually took it upon myself to adopt one in my boyfriend’s name. He received the certificate in the mail the following week stating he was the adopted parent of Settlement Point Bea and was actually quite impressed with the gesture. Perhaps that’s not the typical boyfriend reaction, but he understood the meaning behind it.
You can even adopt a koala online! Check out the official website for details.