Having a non-Australian visitor is the perfect excuse to go and visit the Australian icon — the koala — at a nearby sanctuary. As our girls grow up, it’s great to return to the same places again and again, cementing the memories of these special locations in their minds — like the Daisy Hill Conservation Park.
Along the road to the koala sanctuary, the electricity poles are decorated with incredibly detailed paintings of Australian fauna.
The Conservation Park provides a great location for picnics, walks in the bush, horse-riding and koala-spotting.
A wooden walkway leads from the carpark to the koala conservation centre.
Inside a double set of cage doors, we see our first koala. Most of the koalas on display came from other wildlife sanctuaries.
Probably only between 40,000 to 80,000 koalas remain in Australia. The koalas' natural habitat — eucalypt forests — are destroyed by encroaching urban development.
Inside the building, another koala is on display.
Brioni plays an interactive game which teaches her about the hazards an urban environment poses to koalas.
Koalas have a plate of cartilage in their bottoms that makes it easy for them to sit (and sleep) like this.
Koalas have two thumbs on their front paws. These help them climb, to hold onto the tree and to grip their food.
The koala information centre contains a small movie theatre which runs two short features on koalas.
A look-out tower takes you up to the tops of the trees where you scan the branches of the surrounding forest, hoping to spot a koala in the wild.
It's wonderful to see koalas up close.
Although we scanned the trees in the conservation park, we didn’t spot a koala — unlike on a previous visit with Benjy from Israel. However, just being in the Australian bush was pleasure enough for our Kiwi visitor, and we left feeling appreciative of the Australian flora and fauna.