Located just outside of Brisbane is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Visiting the sanctuary as a kid and getting to see the koalas and other animals up close was one of my favorite memories, so when I moved back to Brisbane years later I had to return.
The Koala Sanctuary is home to over 130 koalas, platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, raptors, lorikeets, cockatoos, emus, kookaburras, Tasmanian Devils, dingos, and since it is Australia- obviously loads of snakes. There are numerous exhibits around the sanctuary where animals are kept in their natural habitats and the koalas are separated by age and gender. The ‘kindergarten’ koalas, which range from one and two years old, was my favorite section because the little baby koalas were far more active and playful than the more senior sections, as they tried to climb around. There are also several shows and exhibits put on by the sanctuary including sheep dog demonstrations and raptor flights that are informative and typically involve members of the audience.
Holding a koala is obviously one of the main attractions though where you are given the chance to get some cuddle time in with the adorable furry little guys. The koala fur is much less fluffy than it looks though and feels more like a woolly (and slightly smelly) carpet. As they were handing me the koala is when I noticed how his claws were which he immediately started using to cling on to me until one of the workers gently helped me to pull them off. That is probably why he is giving the dramatically sassy look away in the picture, or at least that is my story and I am sticking to it.
The sanctuary also has several large open pens for the kangaroos and wallabies which guests are welcome to go hangout in. There is also some pellets for sale to feed them or you can just join them in lounging around and enjoying the sunny hot weather. Lone Pine is definitely a fun place to explore with the opportunity to see so many of Australia's most iconic species up close!
More about Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary from their website:
Lone Pine opened in 1927 as a safe refuge for sick, injured, and oprhaned koalas, at a time when the species was being culled for the fur trade. Lone Pine remains as a destination for local and international guests to not only see native Australian animals, but to also connect and learn, and to leave feeling inspired to make small, positive changes in their daily lives to help protect their own native wildlife and habitats.
We are committed to maximising the positive environmental and social impacts of our operations. We achieve this through water and energy efficiency, biodiversity, communication and planning. Through cooperation with our employees, suppliers and customers, we aim to set a new standard in environmental wildlife management.