how much can a koala bear?

koala sunning in a she-oak
koala sunning in a she-oak

The event that might have rivalled my sister’s wedding in appeal fortunately happened the morning after. Walking in the direction of breakfast we crossed paths with my uncle and aunt, who advised us that Dad and co. were sitting at the garden tables watching the koala.

We picked up the pace pausing only to be disappointed as we passed the non-functioning coffee machine, resorting to instant coffee to carry out with us.

The koala, which at first I couldn’t see obliged by moving and draping itself over the limb of the Casuarina (she-oak tree) where it was soaking up the sun over the beach, and becoming visible. After breakfast we walked down and snapped a few pics of the only koala I’d ever seen in the wild.

Life's good, mate. Too right. No worries.
Life’s good, mate. Too right. No worries.

After which the G.O. and I did a circuit of the beach. Upon returning, at the tap washing the sand off my feet I saw a lump move in the tree above me. The koala was on its descent, it was lunch-time so perhaps looking for a snack in one of the neighbouring eucalypts.

I sat where I was, the G.O. a little further back. The koala paused, settled, regarded me, and resumed its downward path. On the ground it gave me a glance then moved toward a slender gum about 2 metres away, and ascended almost to the top where it paused, ate a few leaf tips, ascended further and settled.

On Sunday morning the koala had moved from where we’d last seen it, and nor was it the she-oak. Eagle-eye G.O. spotted it nearby in a different eucalypt, luckily as we’d been about to walk adjacent to it to return to the hotel, just as the koala made its presence known to me by taking an elevated pee.

If I was a koala living on the shores of Salamander Bay at Port Stephens, I wouldn’t move far either. As they say in real estate… location, location.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*How much can a koala bear? Australiana, Austen Tayshus

22 thoughts on “how much can a koala bear?

    1. I have spent a lifetime prompted by ‘koala’ road signs fruitlessly peering at gum trees… And, no I wouldn’t have liked to have been directly below.


    1. As usual I only had my phone which is good for convenience and leaves a lot to be desired in picture quality but it is an encounter that will be indelibly imprinted in my memory 🙂


  1. Great slide show — It shows how vulnerable they are on the ground. Have you heard the noise they make? They might look cute and cuddly, but not their call. It sounds rather unearthly and must have scared the bejesus out of the early white settlers.


    1. I wasn’t sure the koala would come down while I was so close and was just about to retreat. But there is a house right there, so I imagine it’s quite accustomed to humans. The G.O. had koala’s on the farm and said the joeys sound like a human baby, and are quite persistent…


  2. Ella, Thank goodness your story was a happy one. When I saw the title, I nearly didn’t read your post as I thought it was going to be about the horrid destruction of koalas habit. I have seen so many shows on tv about it, it makes me sick. Especially when they cut down Blue Gum plantations and just let the koalas die.


    1. Good news week here… actually it’s not very often I do a rant. This koala looked very at home but I know that’s not the case in areas where money talks… and I’m sure to the proliferation of residential development has impacted the local habitat significantly.


  3. Love your photo series and you did not need a ‘fancy’ camera to pass on nature at its best! I also thought it would be about the hardships ‘civilization’ has brought on the dwindling koala population so it was great to meet one of the contented locals! Hope you will get a chance to meet again 🙂 ! Way back my marital family owned an apple farm in Bilpin, Blue Mts – much of it rather steep had to be left as natural bush . . . it was lovely for my daughters to grow up seeing the animals part of nature . . .


    1. One of the great benefits of smartphones is the camera, used in moderation – not every moment needs to be recorded – although my current model is sadly lacking in quality, but it did well enough.
      The G.O. said that koala isn’t a youngster, so I hope it’s part of some type of koala community.
      Despite seeing native animals like wallabies, and birds regularly I never tire of it, and everyone there were excited to see a koala. Next time we go to Soldier’s Point we’ll stop in and see if it’s there.


  4. Oh how cool, so cute, draped on a limb like leopards do! Loved the slide show with commentary. And when the little darling took an elevated pee, I was waiting to hear that it had hit you! It would sure beat the usual seagull-shat-upon-my-head beach tale! Well thankfully you have this great tale to tell and not that 😀


      1. Oh mercy, fictitious or not, only in Australia or not, right now as I write this I’m considering adopting a morning routine that includes the weaving of forks into my hair…because it’s the least offensive method of deterring drop bears, and in my mind they’re akin to Monty Python’s killer rabbit! Gargantuan blasts of Pelican excrement suddenly seem small in comparison (oh but your poor aunt!) 😉


  5. Aww, Aren’t Koala’s gorgeous?
    On my visit to Oz in 2002, the couple I stayed with took me to the local wildlife park, where I had my photo taken a koala called Sidney.
    The couple had quite a few Eucalyptus trees on their land, which they allowed to park to cut for the koalas, so while they were chatting about the trees, I was left holding a very heavy Sidney, (not complaining). He just clung to me the whole time 🙂


    1. Sounds like you had a lovely encounter 🙂 I thought the koala we saw looked small but when I was closer it was pretty big, and heavy I imagine. To hold one would be unforgettable.


  6. I have been meaning to get back to this post forever! Got a bit distracted along the way and see that I am dominating your Recent Comments side-bar..sorry. Just so behind with my blogging and have a few short holiday days left to catch up a bit. Home schooling and blogging are just not a happily married couple at the moment. Anyway, back to the cute koala: I was astounded to read that it was the first that you had seen in the wild! I really thought that they hang around in most bushy areas of Oz, like our monkeys do here. Imagine how stupid I feel now 🙂


    1. It’s lovely to hear from you 🙂 Blogging is like knitting you can put it down, pick it up again whenever, and it’s fine.
      I’m sure there are areas where koalas are more populous than the locations I frequent, urbanisation of which is a threat. Kangaroos and wallabies are far more common, and indeed at Taylors Arm we do see wallabies hopping down the main street 🙂


      1. Have dear friends in Sydney so hopefully I will get across the pond sometime to your side of the world and am looking forward to seeing Oz beasties – and sharing that experience with my kids!


Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.