TODAY |

Photos: NZDF helps to feed homeless koalas amid 'quite overwhelming' Australia bushfire destruction

New Zealand Defence Force personnel assisting with the Australian bushfires on Kangaroo Island said today the "sheer scale of the devastation is quite overwhelming".

Kangaroo Island’s Hanson Bay Wildlife Reserve during the Australian Bushfires. Source: NZDF

New Zealand deployed 116 people to Australia, which included army engineers, environmental health and primary health teams, in addition to the NH90 helicopters and a C-130 Hercules and its crew. 

LCPL Schroder and LT Pinheiro help rescue a koala in Findlers Chase National Park. Source: NZDF

They have been helping with clearing routes and moving trees so emergency services can get through, and completeing fire breaks. 

They also helped with the wildlife recovery effort, creating feeding stations for koalas and giving surviving koalas gum leaves and water, alongside removing the bodies of wildlife that died on Kangaroo Island. 

Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island during the Australian Bushfires. Source: NZDF

Senior national officer major Ron Christmas said there was a "very long road ahead for the recovery effort but we’ve been pleased to play our part".

Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island during the Australian Bushfires. Source: NZDF

"The sheer scale of the devastation is quite overwhelming when you see it first-hand, so we’re very pleased to be able to help our neighbours with people power and resources."

A team of Kiwi firefighters is set to be sent to New South Wales later this week. New Zealand's Defence Force contingent is expected to stay in Australia until the end of this month.