The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital was established in 1973 and is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. The Hospital is a popular tourist attraction which welcomes thousands of national and international visitors every year. Admission is free. The Hospital is also a scientific research, training and education centre.
The work of the Koala Hospital is supervised and carried out by a small number of employed staff including a Clinic Vet, Conservation Manager, Administration Manager and several casual leaf collectors. A large body of approximately 175 committed volunteers is vital to the Koala Hospital.
Koala Conservation Australia (KCA) manages the Koala Hospital. This not-for-profit organisation has the wider mission to lead the world in the care and conservation of wild koalas, to increase knowledge and understanding of the species and to work collaboratively to ensure their survival into the future.
The members of KCA Management Committee are volunteers who meet monthly to oversee the organisation and plan the future direction for the business. Most committee members hold a coordinating role at the Koala Hospital. Other important ancillary work such as koala care, rescues, the 24 hour rescue telephone line, home care, tree planting, plantation care, Hospital maintenance and fundraising is done by dedicated volunteers without whom the Hospital could not survive.
The Koala Hospital consists of exhibit enclosures, a treatment clinic, intensive care units and rehabilitation yards, many of which have trees for koalas to learn to climb as part of the rehabilitation process. There is also a Koalaseum – a museum for Koalas which provides information on koala evolution and biology and interactive displays so visitors can touch koala fur or look down a microscope at koala poos (scat).