Today we visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. It’s about a 30 minute drive south from downtown Brisbane. After driving in Australia for about 7 days, I’ve gotten quite comfortable driving on the “wrong” side of the road. For those of you that don’t know, Australia’s roadway (and similar to UK, New Zeland and most of South East Asia) is setup so that you drive on the left hand of the road and the driver’s sit is on the right hand side. But that’s besides the point!
We arrive to the Lone Pine Sanctuary and park. Walking to the box office and even before we go in, we find ourselves experiencing what must be a natural high for a turkey. He was running full speed in circles flapping its wings. It was a local type of turkey native to the sanctuary and they roam around freely. We were in for quite an experience.
We buy our tickets (got student discount!) and go in. Two seconds after we enter, we see the second free roaming habitant of the sanctuary, this time it was a reptile dragon. It’s with no surprise the different types of animals that exists “down under” compared to other parts of the world; the big surprise to me is how much wildlife there is everywhere here in Australia. I mean, this is a sanctuary but it reminded me of the countless of times I’ve been walking in a street of Australia where a beautiful bird, a rare (to me) butterfly, or some possum jumps up in front of us.
In any case, after our two first sightings we start walking towards the center of the sanctuary where the Koalas are. However, we get distracted with fresh water crocodiles and more importantly the kangaroo area the size of around 4 football fields. We decided to buy food to feed them (at $2) and head over to hang out with them. We were told there are probably around 150 or so kangaroos but when we walked in all we saw were emus (still pretty cool).
After a few photos with the bird, we continue walking in a sea of green grass looking for kangaroos but no luck. Finally, at the far corner of the field, we see tons of kangaroos just chilling. Unfortunately, this area was reserved only for kangaroos and we could not get close to them. There were a few kangaroos outside this reserve but they already had a mob of people trying to feed them and take pictures with them. There was a mom laying down and scratching like Al Bundy with something moving inside the pouch.
We waited patiently and decided to walk around the field some more. After about 10 minutes, we stumble upon a kangaroo with a joey (a baby in the pouch) coming out!! We believe it was the first time it came out of the pouch because it could barely hop and it was a bit confused. Every so often the baby kangaroo went back to search for the pouch to eat some milk. At first we kept our distance but were in awe of this cool experience. How often do you get to see a kangaroo coming out of a pouch?!
We had food to feed mama kangaroo but we were afraid mama kangaroo was going to be aggressive thinking someone might be taking her baby. However, we learned kangaroos are really people friendly. They remind me of dogs actually because they like to be pet and get excited when you give them treats.
We hung out with mama and baby kangaroo for about 30 minutes taking videos and pictures, feeding it, and petting it. All thoughts went away and I was able to stare at nature take it’s place.
I always hate going to zoos or places like these because the animals are in captivity but Lone Pine Sanctuary’s staff really try to have the animals feel like they’re in the wild. The kangaroos had “heaps” of space to hop around and lots of grass to eat. The koala’s were fed constantly and had comfortable trees to sleep in hence I did not feel that bad hanging out with these animals.
After the kangaroo experience we arrive to the heart of Lone Pine, the Koala Center. Here you can see over 100 koala’s, each hanging out in some eucalyptus trees. You can also buy a photo picture experience with a Koala. The $16 goes straight to the sanctuary to buy more trees (one Koala eats 600 grams of leaves a day).
We finished the day with hanging out with a Tasmanian devil while he ate his lunch.
Overall, a wonderful animal experience and one I recommend to anyone visiting Brisbane.
Any other site in the world with cool animal experiences? Let us know in the comments!