Nexion Escape Spring 2020 - Page 44

T R AV E L I N G W I T H P U R P O S E New South Wales Moruya, New South Wales New South Wales saw the brunt of devastation; as the worst-hit state in the nation, 5.4 million hectares were scorched and well over 3,000 homes destroyed. Harder to quantify is the effect this will have on wildlife ecosystems — it’s believed roughly half a billion animals might have perished in New South Wales alone. While the fires themselves were quickly declared “contained,” the aftermath will continue to unfold for years to come. This is an impacted locale in desperate need of life: Your presence, and your spending, is critical to the community getting back on its feet and reestablishing business as usual. In New South Wales’ case, set out from Sydney, spend at local shops and eateries, stay overnight in affected towns instead of heading back to a major city. If you’re feeling particularly 42 · escape · SPRING 2020 charitable, there are plenty of outlets: The Australian Red Cross Society, NSW Rural Fire Services and The Salvation Army are all excellent organizations accepting donations. While you can’t just hand a koala a heap of 20-dollar bills, there are opportunities to make a difference for the region’s wildlife. Animal sanctuaries are going to be increasingly critical to conservation moving forward — the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is an apt choice to support in your travels. Guided tours start at 3 p.m. each day, allowing you to witness the happenings of the hospital’s treatment rooms and rehabilitation yards before potentially “adopting” a koala. For especially hands-on helpers, the newly launched tree-planting initiative is certain to excite.