Yesterday I got the amazing opportunity to actually hold and cuddle a koala, as well as feed and pet numerous kangaroos. A cliché Aussie experience that was definitely on my Travel Bucket List.
My boyfriend and I took the bus from Brisbane’s CBD (a fairly short 30-minute ride), all the way to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Lone Pine is a small zoo that specializes in local, Australian wildlife and has over 130 koalas, as well as a large paddock with numerous kangaroos, emus and wallabies.
There are many types of Aussie wildlife at Lone Pine; including snakes, birds, turtles, wombats, crocodiles, and tasmanian devils, but there is no doubt that the main attractions are the numerous koala habitats and the large paddock of kangaroos.
For $16 you can hold/cuddle a koala and get your photo taken with it (the large photo you receive afterwards is included in the price). Once you purchase a photo, you are then able to take your own photos as well. You can still hold a koala for free at Lone Pine, but you’re not allowed to take photos unless you purchase a photo from Lone Pine first. Therefore, if you don’t want to pay the $16 photo fee, you will still be able to have the experience of holding a koala, just without any photographic evidence. All proceeds from the photos however go towards building new enclosures for the animals, research projects and eucalyptus plantations.
There is also a large paddock of kangaroos, emus and wallabies (as well as a few wild turkeys), that you are able to hand-feed the animals in. You can buy kangaroo feed from the shop for $2/per bag. Nick and I spent almost an hour in the paddock feeding, petting, taking photos with, and observing the animals before the park closed and we had to leave. The kangaroos at Lone Pine were incredibly friendly and were obviously used to human interaction, so we were able to get hundreds of photos of us with the animals, as well as just hang out with them for a little while.
Overall, Nick and I spent 2.5 hours in the park, and we felt like this was sufficient enough time. Lone Park is probably only a half day experience, which makes it easy to fit into your schedule if you’re pressed for time.
A daily pass to Lone Pine is $33 for an adult, although you can get discount passes from various tourist information centres and backpackers around Brisbane.
Directions to Lone Pine can be found on their website. But the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get to Lone Pine is by bus. There are two buses that stop inside of Lone Pine. Bus 430 leaves from platform B4 in the Myer Centre bus station on Queen Street, while bus 445 leaves from stop 40 on Adelaide Street. Both buses leave once every hour.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is open from 9-5 every day, except Anzac Day and Christmas Day, which have reduced hours.