Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Whenever anybody mentions the word Australia I’m pretty sure kangaroos and koalas pop straight into your creative mind! I know they did for me and hearing that there’s a place you can meet both of these Aussie animals, well I just had to visit! Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the biggest of it’s kind here in Australia. Take the day to enjoy a real-life Aussie wildlife experience. Koalas aren’t yet endangered in Australia but at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary they help injured Koalas. Koalas are also really really hard to spot in the wild! After 9 months in Australia now we’ve only seen one in the wild before and, if there hadn’t been a couple of kids pointing to it I doubt we would have noticed, thanks kiddos! Other than that single time in Byron Bay we haven’t seen anymore lurking around so I was so pleased we got to experience some Koalas up close in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
I would highly recommend this day out to anyone, there’s a bunch of great animals to see, feed and educate yourselves about! I definitely learn a thing or two about the Australian wildlife on this day out! In this post, I’m sharing everything that you need to know when visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. But first, I go into how to spend your day at Lone Pine let me give you a little history to the place. The sanctuary first opened way back in 1927! (I know, I couldn’t quite believe it either!) Even though like I said above Koalas aren’t classed as an endangered species, the population of the Koala is decreasing rapidly. When the sanctuary first opened its doors it was home to injured, ill and orphaned Koalas.
Fun Koala Fact: Koalas aren’t actually a species of bear and are just Koalas rather than ‘Koala Bears!’
As well as Koalas the sanctuary is home many other furry and scaly friends! At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, you can see Kangaroos, A Platypus, Tasmanian Devil, Snakes, Crocodiles, Dingoes and Sheep Dogs. So don’t be fooled by the name of the park there so much more to see other than koalas! So let’s get into how you can spend the best day at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary!
Getting to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located in Fig Tree Pocket, a suburb in the sunshine city, Brisbane. So if you’re heading down the East Coast then make sure you add it to your itinerary! It doesn’t matter what time of year you are visiting because it’s open all year round! You can head to the website here for the opening times as they do alter between the summer and winter months! Remember, Australia is backwards so summer is November-February and winter May-August!
There are a few diverse options when it comes to getting to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. If you’ve got a vehicle then you can drive which will take you about twenty minutes from Brisbane CBD. To get there via public transport you need to take the train from Central Station to Toowong station. Then the bus from Toowong high street station number 445 for towards Biambi Yumba Park. You can ask the driver to let you off/let you know when you approach Fig Tree Pocket. Or simply just let the driver know you’re heading to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. You do need a GoCard to travel on public transport in Brisbane which is the same as the Opal Card in Sydney or Oyster in London.
If you don’t have a way to drive there and don’t fancy the public transport route then they do offer a cruise package from the city. for $76 you can get your entry into the park and the cruise which departs from the Culture Centre on South Bank in Brisbane so really central and easy to get too. We were lucky enough for our friends in the UK to buy us the river cruise to the sanctuary as a gift. I wasn’t too sure about it at first because it takes an hour to get there and then departs three hours after arriving at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I was certainly apprehensive about running out of time, but we didn’t at all!
The cruise takes you along the Brisbane river educating it’s passengers about all the different sights and historical landmarks as you pass them! It’s an interesting talk especially if you don’t know much about the history of Brisbane (Which we didn’t!)
Arriving at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
If you choose the cruise option you’ll be able to skip the queue on arrival and head straight inside. The same if you buy tickets online too. So how much does it cost? There is a range of different tickets available but the main ones are:
One Day Ticket:
Child: $22 (FREE up to 2 years)
There are family tickets, annual passes and more available too! You find some of those details here.
The sanctuary itself is quite small so you only need about three hours to see everything but you could easily spend much longer here if you’ve time to spare! The sanctuary is really accessible with ramps for wheelchair access just bear in mind that there are open grassed areas where the Kangaroos live. So what animals are you going to see here?!
Okay, hence the same Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary you will definitely see some koalas. In July 2018 the Sanctuary was home to over 100 koalas. As you walk through the gate they are literally everywhere! Having never seen a koala before I was amazed to see the little fur balls chilling in the trees clinging onto one another. The koalas are separated into different enclosures inside the park. For example, mothers and babies! Yes, you will see some babies!
Koalas feed off eucalyptus leaves which does leave a strange smell in the air. For Koalas to survive in the wild they need seven different types of eucalyptus leaves to meet their dietary requirements. You’ll know when you’re in koala territory in Australia because you’ll be able to smell it a mile off!
If you’re dreams involved hugging one of these little creatures then you’re in luck! You can hold a koala and get a photograph taken with them at Lone Pine. If you do want to do this then get to the sanctuary early for when it opens. They only let so many koalas be held each day for a limited amount of time and tickets run out fast! I wouldn’t recommend doing the cruise to the sanctuary if you want to get there in time to book a slot! We really wanted to do this but couldn’t as the tickets were all sold out!
But all was not lost! You can get a photograph with a koala and stroke one for free every day but the keeper just hold the koala instead of you! Take your phones and cameras and the keepers will snap a couple of shots with you stood next to the koala!
As well as seeing the Koalas you’ll be able to hang out some with Kangaroos which if you ask me were actually the main attraction! Don’t get me wrong seeing the Koalas was amazing, they are so much softer than you image but they don’t do much! Koalas are nocturnal animals and will just sleep in the trees in the daytimes. They are also quite lazy in general! No for us we enjoyed the Kangaroos the most!
The kangaroos are roaming free in acres of grassed and sand areas which you can enter getting up close and personal with these Aussie natives! If you want to feed the kangaroos you can buy food at the general store for $2. These kangaroos are pretty tame and really friendly but watch out if they look like they’re about to pounce, I wouldn’t want one jumping on top of me that’s for sure.
Of course, Kangaroos also come out to play at night time but they know that food is around and you’ll find plenty of them hopping around looking for interaction!
Other Aussie Animals
Like I said don’t be fooled by the name of the sanctuary there are plenty more animals for you to see! On our visit, we were lucky enough to see most of them! The dingoes are brilliant! Some of them walk around the park with the trainers on leads so you can greet them easily and safely! I prefer the dingoes on the leads rather than the wild free roamers on Fraser Island, as amazing as it was to see them! The platypus is also a funny little guy who is usually whizzing around his pool in the far corner of the park!
Of course, this Aussie sanctuary wouldn’t be complete without those creatures most of us fear jumping out of a lake in Australia. Yes, you can see some crocodiles at Lone Pine. If you ask me there’s no better way to see a crocodile then from a distance! On this occasion, the freshwater crocodile was too busy in his pool to come and say hello but we saw a couple of miniature alligators!
As well as Australia’s bigger and well-known animals like the kangaroo and the koala there’s also some less popular native’s hanging around the park. There are plenty of kookaburras to spot, barn owls, rainbow lorikeets, emu’s, bats and hairy-nosed wombats! You will probably see most of these latter animals in the wild here in Australia, kookaburras are everywhere and beautiful birds! I haven’t seen any hairy-nosed wombats in the wild but there are plenty of possums here in Australia, especially in Brisbane! If you’re spending a little bit of time in Brisbane then at night, look up at the electrical poles and you’ll see possums scurrying across.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has all the facilities you need. Toilets, Water, Baby change, Wheelchair access. There’s a cafe where you can drinks and lunch but it is quite expensive. Take a picnic with you and pick a stretch of grass and enjoy! If you do take the cruise down the Brisbane River they have a cafe on board too!
Overall we had a brilliant day at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary! The once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with kangaroos, joeys, and koalas was certainly the highlight of the day! We’ve been fortunate to see most of these creatures in the wild too which is the best place for any animal. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common for Koalas to be hunted for their fur in the wild. The Kangaroos in the sanctuary are mainly injured or orphaned joeys.
Let’s Continue this conversation in the comments, have you been to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary? I would love to hear what you thought of it! Or maybe you’ve been to a different sanctuary in Australia? Either way, let me know!