Tuesday, August 30, 2011
You may think that I am suffering from a rare tropical disease and that the other three are worried about me, but it isn't like that at all. In fact, I am tucked up nice and snug in the Oldies bed at Pacific Views and am sound asleep. I was the only one allowed to sleep there, the others had to sleep on a bedside table. Naturally, they were not happy about that. I suspect that they were plotting some sort of fiendish retaliation when the picture was taken. Scruffy and Blu certainly look like they are planning devilry. Anyhow, I stayed in bed and they stayed on the table. Jealousy really is a curse and profits nobody.
This is where we stayed during our week at the Gold Coast. It is called "Pacific Views", and that is just what it gives you. The beach is just across the road and from the balconies you can see almost all of the northern Gold Coast beaches. We stayed on the 16th floor and if you have sharp eyes you can see Mum and I waving to Dad who was down on the street, taking the photos. It might look like Mum is ready to drop me over the rail, but she was holding me really tight and telling me to stop wriggling. Scruffy, Milkshake, Blu and I spent lots of time sitting out on the balcony watching boats and surfers. That high up we didn't have to worry about kookaburras, crows or crabs. One morning, just after we woke up, we heard on the news that a baby Humpback whale had beached itself just a kilometre or so down the beach from us. We watched from the balcony as lifesavers, marine rangers and lots of people tried to keep the poor little critter cool, and dig a trench back into the sea so he would float off at the next high tide. He did get back into the ocean that night, but went the wrong way and couldn't find his mum, so he died and was washed ashore miles up the coast. We all felt really sorry for him. That was the only sad part of our stay. The rest of the time it was warm and sunny, but not warm enough to tempt Dad into the surf.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
A Special Hospital Visit
Our main reason for stopping in Port Macquarie was to visit the Koala Hospital. This is a very special place which helps sick and injured wild koalas recover and return to the forest. Port Macquarie has just the right sort of forest for koalas to live in, but it also has lots of cats, dogs and cars. The forest comes right into the town in places, so in some places people and koalas live in the same areas. Koalas are safe while they are up in the trees, but they have to come down to the ground occasionally to move to another tree. Each year hundreds of them are hurt by being banged into by cars or mauled by cats and dogs. This is when the volunteers at the Koala hospital come in. The hospital has a surgery, intensive care unit, 6 outdoor intensive care yards and 33 rehabilitation yards. Blu and I have definite koala ancestry, so we were very keen to visit the hospital The top photo shows us checking out one of the outdoor IC yards. There is a recovering koala in there; you can see him if you look hard. The bottom photos show me reading one of the signs that tell the story of the koala in the big rehabilitation yard, and the koala herself, snuggled down high up in the gum tree. As well as treating sick koalas, the hospital is part of a research team trying to find cures for koala diseases. Do visit the hospital if you are ever in Port Macquarie, and donate a bit to help keep them in operation. One of the fun ways you can help is to adopt a wild koala; we have adopted 6 so far. If you want to help, you can read about the koala hospital and the "Adopt a Wild Koala" program on the web at http://www.koalahospital.org.au
Watching the Water
Well, we are back in Canberra after a fortnight on the road. We drove over 2,500 kilometres - up to the Gold Coast in Queensland and back. Along the way we stopped at a few nice places for 2 or 3 days. The first stop was at Port Macquarie on the New South Wales north coast. Port Macquarie was founded in1821 as a convict settlement and its early history was very brutal. Today it is a top holiday spot and a place lots of people retire to. We stayed in a park cabin right next to the Hastings river. I love cabins like this because you can always see something interesting happening. During the day there are boats and joggers and at sunset you can see keen fishermen trying to catch the fish that come in to feed as it gets dark. The fisherman who used the breakwall in front of our cabin says that dusk is the best time to catch fish and he caught lots of them so he must be either right or very lucky. Scruffy, Milkshake, Blu and I spent lots of time sitting on the veranda rail watching the passing traffic. The only problem for us small critters were the Kookaburras that thought we might be edible, so we weren't allowed to sit on the rail without an Oldie in attendance. When the Oldies went out for dinner and left us in the cabin, they left the curtains open so that we could watch from the safety of inside the cabin. Besides being a pretty place for people, Port Macquarie also has a large population of wild koalas living there, more about them in the next post.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
On The Road Again
Just a quick note to let you know that we are off on the road again. The car is packed. Scruffy, Blu and Milkshake are ready to climb into their special seats in the back (the littlies ride in the cup holders) and the Oldies and I have the maps all sorted. See you all again in a couple of weeks.