about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
Browse by Travel
Browse by Food
koala lovin'
on magnetic island

Koala sleeping in tree

Koalas may be the pinnacle of evolution on this planet.  Biologists may disagree but consider the compelling evidence we have gathered below.

Koala sleeping in tree Koala cuddled in tree
First, koalas sleep for 18 to 20 hours per day.  I would love to get that type of rest.  Wouldn't you?

Baby koala in tree Baby koala close up
They have no natural predators because they stay in the upper reaches of the trees and their gray fur blends in with the tree trunks.  In fact, do you see the baby koala in the first picture?  Look a little bit closer and you'll see him.  His mother abandoned him one month ago so he is still a baby.

Koala close up

Humans obviously can spot koalas but no human should hurt something so darn cute.  If you get close enough to touch one, then you will immediately fall in love because their soft, curly fur feels like it was made for a teddy bear.  I give you Exhibit A - Patrick enamored by a koala:

Patrick holding a koala

They know what they like to eat, too; they prefer several types of eucalyptus tree to the many hundreds of species found in Australia.  (Do you see the very cute baby clinging to its mother's back in the pictures below?  We were in raptures.)

Baby koala with mama koala in tree Baby koala with mother in tree on Magnetic Island
And, then, they have two thumbs while we only have one.  At first, we couldn’t figure out why this was an evolutionary advantage but then it dawned upon us: video games.

Koala paws

[I am going to ignore for the moment that the koalas mimic a dysfunctional reality TV show because the males rape the female koalas, come back 30 days later to ensure that they will impregnate the female and rape the females again, and then abandon the females.  In turn, once the baby koala is old enough to start wandering on his own, his mother leaves him to fend for himself.  I am also going pretend that baby koalas don't eat their mothers diarrhea for several days after leaving the womb because I can't see how that would be an evolutionary advantage.  Let’s just focus on how cute they are, shall we?]

We have spent the last few weeks trying to turn ourselves into koalas by strategically sleeping a lot.  No success so far.


Magnetic Island views Magnetic Island views
Banyan trees at Magnetic Island Banyan tree on Magnetic Island
Every zoo, wildlife park, and animal refuge in Australia includes the koala.  If you want to see them in the wild, we highly recommend that you head to Magnetic Island, which has one of the largest populations of koalas living in the wild.  After our disappointing trip to the Whitsundays , we were worried that Magnetic Island would be another typical resort town.  To our pleasant surprise, the majority of the island has been designated a natural park, few (if any) resorts are located on the island, and everything on the island closes by 9:00 p.m.  In this unspoilt habitat, we were lucky enough to find a mother and two baby koalas lounging about in eucalyptus trees by the side of a road and a walking trail.

Bungalow Bay Village Bungalow Bay Village
We stayed at Bungalow Bay Village, an eco-friendly establishment.  Each A-frame bungalow includes a comfortable bed, small refrigerator, and fan.  We opted for a double room with air conditioning; the twin rooms have cots and no air conditioning.

Akila holding a python

The Village is attached to a koala reserve, where Patrick and I had the opportunity to hold a koala, cockatoos, and a python.  In the afternoon, lorikeets landed on our heads and possums and wallabies jumped out of the bushes at night as we walked through the hostel.

Lorikeets in garden at Bungalow Bay Village on Magnetic Island Lorikeets on Patrick's head
Lorikeet Lorikeets feeding at Magnetic Island
We wish we had brought our car from Townsville onto Magnetic Island.  Because we didn’t, we rented a moke --- a car that looks like a tropical-colored 1980s Ford Escort with the doors removed --- and a four wheel drive jeep during our stay.  The moke was useless because the bus service went to all the same places.  But, our four wheel drive jeep helped us get to the tip of the island to watch the sunset.

Sunset on Magnetic Island

If you don’t make it up to Magnetic Island, check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney where visitors can pet koalas and feed kangaroos and wallabies (or watch the wallabies feed themselves).  This is a great zoo for kids so it should be a must-see attraction for families in Sydney.

Wallaby with ice cream cone