The hair stands up on Zizi's back and a low growl emanates from her throat. I'm snapped out of my daydream and my heart pounds loudly. What has she seen? A koala! Yes, a real wild koala, looking every bit the cute cuddly icon.
Standing at the base of a gum tree, thick claws gripping the trunk, he watches us as closely as we watch him. My mind goes into overdrive. I struggle to make sense of the animal in front of me as cars and city life rush by. This was not what I had expected from my day, very nearly bumping into a koala.
Fascinated, Zizi eyes the creature, which is now making its up slowly into the branches of the tree. She pulls on the lead, keen for a closer look and a sniff around. I make sure she keeps her distance, but the koala doesn't seem fazed by us at all. Amazing.
Having had such an exciting encounter I am keen to replicate it, I decide to go "koala watching". Both my destinations have had koala sightings. The first is Hazelwood Park in Burnside. Close to the Adelaide Hills, this park has a real variety of play equipment for kids and free electric BBQs. It is also dog friendly (dogs allowed on lead). Unfortunately I had no luck with my koala watching.
Next on my list is Brown Hill Creek 8km south of the city centre in Mitcham. This reserve has various walking trails and big shady gums that look like they might make good koala homes. There are sounds of trickling water as Brown Hill Creek meanders through the trees, making the walk all the more enjoyable. Unfortunately, my quest for a koala sighting was again unsuccessful. However locals say koalas are very often seen in the area. Perhaps I will have better luck next time. Brown Hill Creek has a parking area, picnic tables and water is available. It is also dog friendly (dogs allowed on lead).
I live in Athelstone and we always have koala's out the front and crossing the road. We even have a Koala sign on the side of our property to warn people to watch out for koala's when driving. I've also had an Echidna at my front door before.
i don't really understand how "dog friendly" and koala friendly, are in the same article. Everytime i read about koalas in animal rescue centres, attacks by dogs, are frequently mentioned, as the reason for the koalas being hurt. Places i go, that have signs saying "dogs allowed on leads" - well, many people don't read those signs, and say things like "he's really friendly" as their dog leaps around and scares the kids. (happens often at the beach and playgrounds too).
A stroll along linear park, East from Paradise interchange may lead you to another koala encounter. Look for the pile of droppings under the tree. We've seen at least ten in the last two years, including one in our backyard.
Belair National Park! On one short walk I once counter almost 30 koalas! The best place to spot them is up the back of the park. A short drive from Adelaide city centre, a short beautiful drive into the park and a nice stroll.
My hubby was walking our dogs in Ohalleran hill when he saw a koala sitting in a tree at a park. We went back together and he was still there! He was just above head hight. He growled and did a wee! We took photos and he was gorgeous. We went back a few times that day and he was still there.