A wild koala at Kennett River (Click for better quality images)
At some point during day one of our tour we stopped off at Kennett River to do the infamous Kennett River Koala Walk. The name is slightly deceiving, aside from the obvious, it is actually the name of a small settlement with a cafe, a camping site and a bunch of really cool, vibrant wildlife. And koalas.
After a bit of wandering around, we found this little guy hiding up in the trees. Fact time: they are red river gum trees, or what most people will realise, eucalyptus. Apparently koalas sleep for some insane amount of time during the day.. something like 18 hours or more. Great life to have, sleeping in the sun, wake up, climb some trees, eat some food and repeat. Just so you know, koalas are not actually bears. Bet you didn’t know that! Or maybe you did, ah well.
You have to be careful though. As most Australians will tell you, you need to be sure not to confuse koalas with dropbears. Dropbears are dangerous, carnivorous creatures, larger and more vicious than the Kennett River koalas, although they resemble one another. They live among the tree tops and attack their prey by dropping down onto their heads.
Not to let these cute little guys take all of the credit, there were sooo many birds around. All sorts of crazy colours, and oddly domesticated. You got food? Congratulations, you just became a perch. Though, as with all birds, they are annoying as hell to take pictures of, for some odd reason they’re camera shy, and I’m quite sure they don’t actually know what cameras are.
Now these guys, which may or may not be purple swamphen (this was over a year ago, my memory isn’t that good), are quite funky little things. Essentially, they’re blue chickens. At least as far as I’m concerned.
Finally, we reach lunch time. The cafe at Kennett River serves some really good food, and not just to its patrons. I can’t argue with a good sandwich, and I doubt that I’m alone in that respect.
Kookaburras. Again, if memory serves well, these are both females, told apart by their brown tail feathers where males have blue. Don’t quote me on that, google will likely serve you much better if it really bothers you that much.
If you’ve never seen a kookaburra feeding, they have a tendency to bash the living crap out of their food, and are carnivorous birds. Yes, they eat meat, and yes, they kill it by striking it against a hard surface. Pretty brutal, but a sight to behold. These two are wild but came to be fed. Quite sure they were eating beef, even though it was already dead, they still decided it had to die. Splendid!
And so we get back on the road to the next stop.
By Marc Kneller