Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our koala & kangaroo encounters at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I'm a big fan of Steve Irwin and it's definitely a dream of mine to go to the Australia Zoo. However, upon checking the location, Australia Zoo is quite far from Brisbane City where our hotel was. Actually, it's like the same distance that Gold Coast was, which was about an hour away.

Another alternative was to go to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which was nearer and cheaper. Only 12km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with more than over a hundred koalas. Here you can hold a koala anytime, hand feed kangaroos, and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural settings.

Tickets were $85 for a family package, but we were able to get a discounted rate online for just $72. Much cheaper than the $172 family price for the Australia Zoo.

Lone Pine is also much smaller and you could easily go around the whole place in less than an hour (not including all the talks and shows). There was wi-fi everywhere too which was great so you could easily upload all your cute koala and kangaroo pics instantly!

When we got in, the first thing we did was line up for the koala encounter. It was $20 per person who wanted to carry the koala. So let's say my husband wanted to carry the koala as well, he had to pay another $20. So I just ended up carrying the koala and we just did a family pic. Funds from these photos support their wildlife research.

Here's some behind the scenes when the staff was handing me the koala. They actually had to give me another koala because the first one was getting fussy already! You have to be really still when they hand it to you. And they had me turn slowly the other way so we could see the koala's face. And it honestly felt like I was just carrying a furry baby!

As long as you paid the $20, you can also take photos on your own camera or phone. Hubby snapped some solo pics of me first. You have to be quick though, since sometimes the koala will turn the other way or look down.

And here's our official photo which we got a printed copy of. I was also able to download a hi-res copy online.

Inside the general store, there were all these framed photos of celebrities with koalas, like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey, and so much more! Aside from a koala, you can also get photos with a raptor and a snake.

If you're on a budget, there's a free encounter where you can have a pic beside a koala (their staff will be the one carrying it) using your own phone or camera. Of course, we lined up for this too. I mean how many more times can you get this close to a koala right? ;p

Lone Pine is really a koala sanctuary since there were koalas everywhere! I've never seen so many koalas up close, literally inches from you! It was so mesmerizing watching them eat and sleep hanging from branches. So cute!

The Koala Forest was a seating area surrounded by trees filled with koalas. It was so cool since you can have lunch here with the koalas as your view. I loved how everything was so open. It was like you can just reach out and grab a koala!

There were so many types of koalas too. There was even a kindergarten area for the babies and a retirement home for the old ones.

There were a number of shows and talks throughout the day too. We watched the Flight Raptor Show which demonstrates free-flying raptor hunting techniques while providing an insight into the secretive lives of magnificent birds such as owls, eagles and kites. The birds were really beautiful but dangerous. They even fed one of the birds a mouse (it was already dead don't worry) and we saw how it ripped right through it ewwww!

I was also super excited to get up close and personal with the kangaroos. The Kangaroo Reserve is home to around 150 free-ranging kangaroos and wallabies as well as emus and a wombat exhibit. To feed kangaroos and wallabies, specially ordered pellets are available from the General Store for $2.

the reserve was so huge and spacious
resting and sleeping kangaroos
me trying to blend in lol!

I wasn't sure how my kids were going to react at first since they seemed scared. But after they saw their dad feed a kangaroo, they started touching and petting them too. They loved it so much they didn't want to leave!

We just had to be careful stepping on their poop which was everywhere! Sometimes, you're feeding a kangaroo and it'll just poop right then and there lol! Surprisingly, it wasn't smelly though.

And look, I even saw a baby kangaroo nursing from its mommy!

This was probably one of the best experiences we've ever had. Just being in such close proximity to all those kangaroos was surreal! My daughter kept saying she wanted a kangaroo for a pet after.

Since it's a koala sanctuary though, there wasn't that much animals compared to a regular zoo. We did see other interesting animals like a tasmanian devil, barking owls, and grey-headed flying foxes (bats).

Plus there were these giant lizards just walking around. No biggie.

Visiting Lone Pine was probably the highlight of our trip since I got to fulfill my dreams of holding a koala and petting some kangaroos. And my kids got to experience it too which they loved and would never forget! Definitely a must visit when in Brisbane.

708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket, Queensland, 4069, Australia
Open 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.
Anzac Day (25th April) 1:30-5:00pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...