Possum stowaway takes trip from Newcastle to Blue Mountains in car engine

A possum stowaway took an unexpected trip from Newcastle in NSW's Hunter Valley to the NSW Blue Mountains by car this week.

The female brushtail possum snuck into a 4WD car engine of a Mountains couple camping at Redhead Beach in Swansea, Newcastle, and travelled home with them to the Mt Riverview on Sunday afternoon (April 25). The couple had taken the two-and-a half hour journey back to their home.

Kylie Camilleri and her husband James, answered the call on the WIRES rescue app and managed to rescue the possum from the engine bay - but it was screaming and biting all the way, she said.

Nepean Animal Hospital checked the 1.28 kilograms animal over and gave it a clean bill of health.

Mrs Camilleri drove it back to Newcastle on Monday to hand it over to a Hunter wildlife rescue group.

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WIRES Blue Mountains Branch coordinator Tracy Burgess said the possum "was in there a few times while they [the Mountains couple] were camping. They checked before they left, but when they got home the woman had a bad feeling, so they checked again and there it was".

Mrs Camilleri said the couple could not believe the possum survived the journey.

"She was in between a gap towards the front of the engine, where the water reservoir is for the windscreen wipers. She found a nook to settle in for the ride. I don't think she will do that again," Mrs Camilleri said.

"She was behind tubing, we were trying to put a pillow case down to cover her to pull her up and she was screaming and biting. My hubby got tools and unscrewed the container for the windscreen wipers and took that out."

The WIRES volunteers were a little concerned because "she has a small mark on her nose [but] I let the wildlife people up there know."

The Camilleris are both Lower Mountains WIRES volunteers.

"We've currently got four Brushtails possums in care [already] and six Ringtails."

It's not the first time possums have tried to have a holiday in the Blue Mountains. A pair of possums snuck in from the railway holding yards in Hornsby in Sydney's north and took a joy ride on a Blue Mountains train in July 2019.

Ms Burgess said everyone wanted to holiday in the Mountains.

"The domestic tourism has certainly picked up since international travel stopped," she added laughing.