Cuddling a koala

Australian animals are some of the most famous and iconic animals in the world. Seriously, they have the best animals down under!!

First of all, can we just establish that koala’s are NOT bears. Do not call them koala bears, that is wrong. They are marsupials and are actually more closely related to kangaroos than bears. Phew. Rant over!

Everyone wants to cuddle a koala when they visit Oz and I was no exception. Some states don’t allow you to cuddle koala’s only pet them. Luckily, Queensland allows you to hold them. I visited two zoos in Queensland. One was Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s zoo), the second was Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, on the Gold Coast. I opted to hold one at the second place.


The tiny, must only be days old joey




Just chillin’


My favourite

I loved the wildlife sanctuary, mainly because it had THE BEST kangaroos! There were soooo many baby ones!! We even saw one that must have only been days old, it hopped out its mums pouch but could barely hop properly because it was so young. There was also loads of the massive boxer kangaroos that look like they’re going to punch you in the face. Kangaroos are my favourite!

Before I cuddled the koala, here are some things I wish I’d known:

  1. Koalas shit. A lot. Wearing a white Tshirt was not the best idea. Yes I got koala shit on my top.
  2. Male koalas have a patch on their chest that gives off a scent. It’s not a pleasant smell. You will smell like a koala for a while. On the plus side, female koalas may be attracted to you. The smellier the scent, the more attractive the gent 😉
  3. This is a photo you may very well treasure, put on your wall, show anyone you meet… BRUSH YOUR HAIR! We were leaving Surfers Paradise and had had 2 quite heavy nights at the time when I had my photo taken. I literally rolled out of bed and pulled on the first clothes I saw. I didn’t think ‘you’re going to have a photo with a koala today, you might want to look semi presentable!’
  4. Their claws are quite sharp so you probably need your arms covering. Luckily, I was wearing a zip up jacket so I was prepared for this situation

The koala was a pro. He’d obviously done this before. He knew exactly when to turn his head and where to look. Put me to shame!


When I first visited Oz in 1993, me and my brother also had a picture with a koala. How times have changed!!


1993 and then 2013

Have you cuddled a koala? What’s your favourite australian animal?


One thought on “Cuddling a koala

  1. Pingback: My travel bucketlist | Emily's adventures

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