Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is the largest koala sanctuary in the world, with over 130 koalas. For overseas visiting Brisbane, Lone Pine Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with memorable opportunities to cuddle a koala and hand feed kangaroos. Locals too, enjoy visiting Lone Pine for a relaxing family outing. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is also a popular destination for primary school and high school excursions.
Lone Pine has separate koala enclosures for different social and family groups in the colony of 130 koalas, including an area for young males, area for old adults, and separate Kindergarten area for the youngsters. Nearly all the koalas at the sanctuary are Northern Koalas, although you will also see Southern Koala found in southern-eastern Australia. Southern koalas are much bigger and have denser fur than Northern Koalas. One of the most popular animal encounters is the koala cuddle hug. You can cuddle a koala at any time of the day and have your photo taken (There is an additional charge for koala cuddle and photo).
There is a lot more to see at Lone Pine than Koalas though. Wandering amongst the free roaming kangaroos and hand feeding them is fun for kids and adults alike, with lots of good photo opportunities. There are two wombats that spend most of their time asleep in hollow logs. The best time to see them awake and active is to attend the keeper wombat presentation. The Tasmanian Devil is popular, but again he is often asleep during the day and hard to see. Check out the daily Devil feeding session and you will see him in action, and see how aggressively he devours a mouse. Other mammals at the park include Dingoes, Flying Foxes and Northern Quolls.
The Bird of Prey Free Flight Show which features some Australian raptors a Wedge-tailed Eagle, a White-bellied Sea-eagle, Barn Owls and Barking Owls. These birds take part in an aerial display that showcases the agility and beauty of these magnificent birds. For an additional charge, you can have your photo taken holding one of the birds after the show.
At Lone Pine, you also get the chance to feed wild Rainbow Lorikeets The wild lorikeets are fed a special nectar lorikeet mix at feeding times of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm every day. The Rainbow Lorikeet is a brightly coloured bird with green back and wings, blue head and red and yellow chest, and has a distinctive loud screech. It has a brush-like tip to its tongue to help it extract nectar from flowers. They usually live in large social groups.
Visitors don’t have to go far to see reptiles at the park. The grounds are home to a large group of wild Eastern Water Dragons that can be seen basking around the paths and gardens. In the “Tails and Scales” reptile house, you can see various snakes, including harmless Carpet Python, the deadly Inland Taipan and the odd-looking scaly Shingle-back lizard that looks like it has a head at each end. There is also the opportunity to have your photo taken holding a snake.
An enjoyable way to visit Lone Pine is by taking a boat cruise on the “Mirmar” which departs from the Cultural Centre in central Brisbane (near Southbank) at 10am. The boat cruises up the Brisbane River arriving at Lone Pine at 11.30am.and departs for the city again at 1.30pm.
Down at the Lone Pine jetty, just outside the park, you can see lots of big catfish in the Brisbane River, where they are fed daily during summer at 11am (from October to March).
Lone Pine Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located at Jesmond Rd. From the Centenary Freeway, turn off at Fig Tree Pocket Road, and keep going until you get to a roundabout where you take the second exit onto Gunnin Street. Follow the signs to Lone Pine. The Sanctuary is open daily from 8:30am to 5:00pm (except Anzac Day 1:30pm to 5:00pm, and Christmas Day when it is open from 8:30am to 4:00pm).