Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Activities, Natural sights
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a 18-hectare (44-acre) Koala Sanctuary located in the Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket in Queensland, Australia.
Founded in 1927, it is the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary.
The name originates from a lone hoop pine that was planted by the Clarkson family, the first owners of the 4.6-hectare (11-acre) site.
The sanctuary began with two koalas called Jack and Jill. Lone Pine became known internationally during the Second World War when Americans, including Douglas MacArthur's wife, visited the park to view the native Australian animals.
Wildlife in the sanctuary includes: koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, echidnas, and various species of reptiles, as well as a platypus which arrived at the sanctuary during 2010 from Healesville Sanctuary (near Melbourne).
The sanctuary is one of the very few sanctuaries in the world where visitors are allowed to hold koalas for free. Strict regulations ensure that each koala is not held for more than thirty minutes every day. However, no photos (using your own camera) of a person holding a koala are allowed, unless a sourvenir photo is first taken (with a fee being paid for this - following which photos with your own camera, of the person holding the koala, is then allowed). The fees paid for the souvenir photos helps fund new enclosures, research projects and eucalyptus plantations.
Visitors can also feed and pet the free-roaming kangaroos in the 5-acre (2.0 ha) kangaroo reserve, where more than 130 of the animals freely reside. Kangaroos are sometimes seen with a joey in their pouch.
There are also many colourful Australian parrots and cockatoos, as well as other Australian birds such as kookaburras, emus, cassowarys among others. Free flying Rainbow Lorikeets fly to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for the specially prepared nectar meals at the sanctuary. Visitors can feed the lorikeets directly twice a day. Once a day there is a bird of prey show with several kinds of raptors showing off their speed agility and keen eyesight.
The Tasmanian Devils are fed in the afternoon. 'Koala Forest' is a large koala enclosure with over 30 koalas surrounding the customers. Koalas there are fed mid-morning and mid-afternoon. If you get there around then, you can see them jumping from branch to branch in their hurry to eat the best, fresh gum leaves.
As well as being a wildlife sanctuary, there is a small 'farm', with "Sheep Dog Shows".
There is an entrance to the sanctuary from a car park, and also an entrance to the sanctuary from the Brisbane River. One can arrive by private car or taxi, a journey of approximately 20 minutes from the City. One can also catch a Brisbane Transport bus, or arrive by ferry from the Queensland Cultural Centre pontoon, a journey of approximately 1½ hours.