New York City has much to offer but this does not (yet) include the Big Three – koalas, kangaroos and emus. In Port Lincoln however, these special creatures are locals, and they really turned on the charm at Mikkira Station when I visited with my family last weekend. All week I had been holding out to see a white calf frolicking in the Bight, but having a whale of a time was even better and gave the land mammals the edge.
Koalas have seen people come and go at Mikkira. For thousands of years it was the aboriginal tribes of Barngalla, Nauo and Battara who tapped into this permanent waterhole. Then it was the sheep farmers and shepherds, but more recently the station has been in the care of Bette de La Parelle who made this unique place a protected environment. Tourist buses haven’t arrived yet whereas bush fires come a little too frequently, but the old homestead survives to tell tales and the campground inspires the telling of a few more. Our barbecue was a legend in itself – what a treat!
So long as the koalas have something to eat they are happy. In fact they munched on regardless of cameras and kids kicking the footy around. Best of all though was the koala moment. After pushing my zoom to the limit to capture a good shot of this magnificent marsupial perched high in the trees, there was suddenly an opportunity within arms distance. I had never been that near to this gorgeous creature, and who would have believed they could be that cute. The little bear posed and paused, looking straight down the lens, then with measured manners let out a bountiful burp. There are many unexpected delights that always bring joy to a trip home, but sharing eucalyptus breath up close and personal with a koala bear has to there with the best!