The inaugural Hello Koalas Festival will help focus attention on the importance of koala conservation.
The festival is on from June 1 until June 11.
Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail project director Margret Meagher said there were a number of features for the planned festival, highlighted by the second koala conference.
“The festival will open at the Port Macquarie Museum on June 1 followed by the second national koala conference hosted at Rydges by the koala hospital from June 2 to 4,” Ms Meagher said.
“There are artist markets at the historic courthouse on the weekend of June 3 and 4 where visitors can create their own koala painting workshops led by artists.
“Visitors will be able to see the latest Hello Koalas sculpture design unfold before them as artist Yvonne Kiely paints her brand new sculpture called Mandy at the markets.”
The museum will also host a koalas in kolour exhibition during the festival.
The festival will also see the launch of a new environmental experience on the boardwalk at Sea Acres, encompassing six Hello Koalas sculptures.
Ms Meagher said the festival will continue through to the June long weekend with high teas at Rydges and a Hello Koalas family festival picnic and parade in the grounds of Roto House.
“Members of the community will be invited to bring their favourite koala toy and dress up for the occasion,” she said.
“It will be a free family event.
“A number of Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail sponsors will also be contributing including the koala hospital and Port Macquarie Museum.”
Ms Meagher said key speakers at the conference included principal project officer – threatened species at the office of environment and heritage, Mike Roache.
“He has an in-depth understanding of threatened species recovery and terrestrial conservation programs, including indigenous partnerships,” she said.
“Mike is leading the developing NSW government koala strategy and was in Port Macquarie a couple of months ago for the community consultations.
“He is also leading the Saving our Species program OEH which is principal sponsor of the Hello Koalas Festival. The new koala Ranger Riley is ambassador for Saving our Species program and also for National Parks.”