South Australia: How a Baby Koala Became a Symbol of Hope

The South Australia region

South Australia or South Australia is one of six states on the smallest continent in the world and almost three times the size of Germany. The majority of its 1.7 million inhabitants live in the capital Adelaide. It is named after Adelheid von Sachsen-Meiningen, who later became Queen Adelaide, and from 1830 to 1837 Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.

Human settlement in the area by Aborigines can be traced back around 20,000 years, for example in the Koonalda Cave in Nullarbor in the extreme southwest. A good two percent of today’s citizens of the state are descendants of these indigenous inhabitants of Australia.

Declared a colony by Great Britain in 1836, the first European settlement was founded on Kangaroo Island. Today, the region with its Mediterranean climate, no less than 3700 kilometers of coastline and endless sandy beaches is a surfing and swimming destination – and with volcanoes, salt lakes and red deserts a huge outdoor playground.

Source: WORLD infographic

Christian settlers occupied Aboriginal land

While the other areas of the continent were established as convict colonies for English prisoners, South Australia was specifically settled by free European settlers. The residents of the state refer to this with some pride to this day.

In the founding charter of the colony, the “Letters Patent”, drawn up in 1836, it was also laid down that nothing should affect the rights of the indigenous inhabitants and that they would enjoy the same protection as the other subjects of the British Crown – which, however, did not prevent Christian settlers from doing so To want to “civilize” Aborigines and to occupy the land they have inhabited for millennia.

It was not until 1992 that the then Australian Prime Minister apologized to the Aborigines for the injustice done to them by the whites.

A koala as a symbol for the recreation of nature

When the serious bush fires raged in early 2020, in which it is estimated that more than a billion animals and at least 30,000 koalas died across Australia, soldiers on Kangaroo Island also helped to nurse injured animals:

Soldiers lovingly nurse baby kangaroos and small koalas

Army members lend a hand on Kangaroo Island. They help to foster the injured animals.

The koala Holly was also saved from the fire. When Holly was recovering from the horrors at Cleland Wildlife Park in Adelaide, carers discovered she was carrying a baby in her pouch.

The offspring, named Phoenix, saw the light of day at the end of September and became a symbol of nature, which is slowly recovering. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, fewer than 100,000 of the marsupials currently live in the country and are considered critically endangered.

Koala Holly was lucky: Their baby Phoenix was born safe and sound in September

Koala Holly was lucky: Their baby Phoenix was born safe and sound in September

Quelle: Jim Geddes

Why some lakes are bright pink

As if they had been invented especially for Instagram, the water of some lakes in South Australia (like Lake MacDonnell in the photo) shimmers bright pink. The reason is the high proportion of salt, which promotes the growth of pink bacteria. The less water the lakes have, the more intense the color.

A salt lake is less known for its color than for its name: Lake Cadibarrawirracanna is Australia’s longest place name, in the language of the Aborigines it means “dancing stars on the water”.

South Australia: A high proportion of salt favors the growth of pink bacteria in Lake MacDonnell

A high proportion of salt favors the growth of pink bacteria in Lake MacDonnell

Quelle: Getty Images

The wine stronghold in Australia

South Australia is home to 18 wine regions, by far the most in the country. More than 75 percent of Australia’s wine products come from the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and the Adelaide Hills, mostly Shiraz wines.

The first vines were shipped from South Africa to Australia; After a few teething problems, the first domestic wine came onto the market in the 1820s. It was then emigrants from the Prussian province of Silesia who, from the middle of the 19th century, made the Barossa Valley 55 kilometers northeast of Adelaide into one of the world-famous wine regions.

Ghostly mushrooms glow in the dark

The Australian ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis) bears its name rightly: In the dark, the plant found in South Australia and Tasmania shines like a small neon green ghost.

This is due to the substances called illudins, which also make the ghost mushroom poisonous. If you want to see it shine: In May and June it can be viewed in a pine forest near Mount Gambier.

The Australian ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis) glows neon green in the dark

The Australian ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis) glows neon green in the dark

Quelle: Getty Images

The quote

“Adelaide has so little to offer that it should be closed”

Robert Doyle passed this harsh judgment in 2009, when he was mayor of Melbourne. And because he was doing so well, he referred to Sydney in the same breath as “a city with a wallet instead of a heart”.

At least as far as Adelaide is concerned, the man has to be resolutely contradicted. There are not only numerous cultural events (art festival, film festival, music event “Womadelaide”), but also some of the best museums in Australia with important works of art by the Aborigines. And thanks to the many city beaches and the lower cost of living, Adelaide is the most popular big city on the continent, especially with the younger ones.

Quirky, record-breaking, typical: You can find more parts of our regional geography series here.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Source: Welt am Sonntag


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