Hello Koalas Festival features drawcard treasure hunt event

Koala festival: Josh and Jemma practice their social pics for the Festival Treasure Hunt with Frankie Firefighter. Photo: Lindsay Moller Productions
Koala festival: Josh and Jemma practice their social pics for the Festival Treasure Hunt with Frankie Firefighter. Photo: Lindsay Moller Productions

This year's Hello Koalas Festival will feature a search and rescue treasure hunt, artist market and window displays.

The festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates Australia's much-loved koala and has become a drawcard for visitors to Port Macquarie.

It will be held on September 26 and 27.

Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail project director, Margret Meagher says the festival was designed to draw attention to the plight of the koala.

"At the recent launch of Frankie Firefighter, the NSW minister for tourism Stuart Ayres spoke highly of the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail and talked of taking the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail and its conservation, tourism and arts message internationally," Ms Meagher said.

"He said the government was incredibly proud of the work being done in showcasing the importance of Koalas right across our community.

"I want everyone to know that I love this idea of Hello Koalas and I think we can take it on the international stage."

Ms Meagher said this was a great message for our international Hello Koalas Festival.

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She said the festival was only possible through the support of local business operators and community organisations.

"The Hastings Co-op Department Store in Wauchope will feature a window display from mid-September through to the end of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council-sponsored ArtWalk on October 8," she said.

"The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service's koala Chief will be on display in-store in the week leading up to the festival so you can see exactly what the sculpture looks like when you go out and about in search of the elusive Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot.

"Traditionally, the Hello Koalas Festival includes a great local market experience and this is year is no different."

Traditionally, the Hello Koalas Festival includes a great local market experience and this is year is no different.

Margret Meagher

The Artist Market is at the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum on Sunday September 27, from 9am until 1pm.

At this location, you can see two Hello Koalas sculptures permanently residing by the Hastings Valley Fine Art Gallery and the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum - one of these sculptures is on the Treasure Hunt.

Ms Meagher said Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail sponsors are an important part of the annual Festival and great places to visit and explore over the September school holidays.

Along with helicopter pilot Chief, two new koalas will this year join the sculpture trail including Frankie Firefighter, created by local artists Kim and Wayne Staples, at Hello Koalas Tree House and Shop and Asha, the Tree of Life Koala, by local artist Yvonne Kiely, at Belle Property.

The project director urged participants in the search and rescue treasure hunt to register online to join the fun.

"The treasure hunt is a part of the festival this year and will see participants trying to locate all 30 Hello Koala sculptures selected for this year's search and rescue.

"This photographic expedition commences at 9am on Saturday September 26 and concludes at 5pm on Sunday September 27.

"There are two whole days to find all the Hello Koalas on the Treasure Hunt but some are hiding with their Hello Koalas mates so there will be plenty of time to stop for ice-creams, sample the local produce for lunch or sip a refreshing cup of tea or cool drink in the afternoon."

To register for the treasure hunt go to the website.

For more information or assistance with registrations, email info@hellokoalas.com or phone 0416 641 482.

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This story Treasure hunt part of this year's Hello Koalas Festival first appeared on Camden Haven Courier.