The Big Koala – Spirit of All Koalas

Artist : Pauline Roods

Sponsor: Regional Australia Bank

Location: Guulabaa, Place of Koala, Cowarra State Forest, Corner of Burrawan Forest Drive & Oxley Highway

Description / Inspiration

'The Big Koala, Spirit of All Koalas' stands 2.5 metres high at the entrance to Guulabaa, Place of Koala, from the car park, in the Cowarra State Forest.

Regional Australia Bank is the sponsor of The Big Koala and is also the sponsor of Hello Koalas sculpture 'Kirralee', painted by local artist Beverley Coleman, and sitting proudly in the front window of Regional Australia Bank's 41 Horton Street Branch in Port Macquarie.

Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail was established in 2014 and the hope for creating The Big Koala remained a dream of founder Margret Meagher until Forestry Corporation of NSW set out to build a tourism and education precinct in the Cowarra State Forest, 15 minutes from Port Macquarie in the east and 10 minutes from Wauchope in the west.

Pauline Roods was commissioned to paint The Big Koala and local industrial artist John Belfield, from John's River, was commissioned to make the fibreglass sculpture, utilising a large mould John fashioned out of fibreglass too.

The design features 31 koalas, ranging in height from 30 to 55 cm, living happily in their forest home.

The Big Koala has inspired the development of a second Hello Koalas children's book with the publication date is September 2024 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of The Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail which launched in 2014.

Watch 'The Making of The Big Koala' You Tube link

Artist Biography

Pauline Rood’s original artworks are created to awaken the viewer’s imagination and stimulate their senses, placing the viewer within that scene.

Pauline’s paintings are highly sought after and hang in private, commercial and public collections in Australia and around the world.

Pauline has had 5 exhibitions in Italy, has received numerous awards, and is a regular guest artist in various art publications. Pauline has been commissioned to paint 10 Hello Koalas Sculptures including her Winnie The Unicorn. The Big Koala was launched in September 2022

Location Info

Guulabaa, Place of Koala - New Tourism and Educational Precinct being developed by Forestry Corporation of NSW in the Cowarra State Forest, Corner of Burrawan Forest Drive and Oxley Highway - 5 minutes from the Pacific Highway turnoff to Wauchope. Guulabaa project partners include Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail and WildNets Adventure Park. Guulabaa will be officially opened later this year with the operation of Koala Conservation Australia's wild koala breeding centre and Bunyah Aboriginal Land Council cafe and gallery.