Incredible moment thirsty koala takes drink of water from cyclists as heatwave ravages Australia

Kind cyclists stopped to help a thirsty koala that was struggling with the warm weather as heatwaves and wildfires continued to ravage Australia.

An amazing moment showing cyclist Anna Heusler giving the animal a sip of water from her bottle was caught on camera, with the images later posted on Instagram.

She had been riding with her friends from the hills towards Adelaide on Friday when she spotted the desperate animal.

Ms Heusler, from South Australia, told "We’ve seen literally hundreds of koalas over the years, we have never seen a koala do this.”

Ms Heusler added: "I stopped on my bike and he walked right up to me, quite quickly for a koala, and as I was giving him a drink from all our water bottles, he actually climbed up onto my bike.

"None of us have ever seen anything like it."

When the koala finished its drink, one of the group escorted it back to some trees that were located nearby. The animal was unharmed.

Lewis the koala, who was rescued from bushfires in November, died from burns so it could have so easily been a different story for the thirsty koala.

A code red has been issued in South Australia as temperatures hit 42C in the state’s capital, while firefighters battling wildfires in New South Wales established containment lines ahead of an expected heatwave.


Australia wildfires set to get worse as another 'extreme heatwave' looms

Australia braces for second heatwave as wildfires continue to rage

Climate change drove series of billion-dollar disasters in 2019 – report

South Australia last week had 86 homes destroyed after wildfires flared, as its capital Adelaide endured a heatwave peaking at a sizzling 46C.

There was respite during the Christmas period, but oppressive conditions returned on Friday and are set to continue until Monday.

Fire burning in Birdwood, South Australia state, Wednesday, December 25, 2019 (Picture: AP)

The heatwave has prompted the South Australian government to declare a code red, which aims to ensure the homeless are kept cool and hydrated. Services include shelter options and additional food services.

“Keeping vulnerable South Australians safe and well in the extreme heat forecast over the next few days is our priority,” South Australian human services minister Michelle Lensink said.

The fire danger rating was severe in Adelaide, while the rest of the state was mostly between high and very high.

About 1,300 firefighters in New South Wales on Friday established containment lines in cooler conditions, but about 70 fires continued to burn across the state with almost half of them not contained.