For visitors to Brisbane, an easy way to get an appreciation of Australian wildlife is a trip to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. A relaxing way to visit the sanctuary is with a river cruise on the MV Mirimar, a comfortable cruise boat with licensed bar and tea/coffee facilities. The boat departs from the Cultural Centre pontoon in front of the State Library across the Victoria Bridge from the centre of Brisbane city. There is a tour every day leaving at 10am and returning at 2.45pm. The trip itself is about 19km and takes you through some of the older Brisbane suburbs with good examples of the old timber “Queenslander” style of homes overlooking the river.
On the way to Lone Pine, the Mirimar passes the large fruit bat colony at Indooroopilly. The boat passes close to the island to give you a close up view of these fascinating creatures as they roost and in the trees, sometimes squabbling and flapping their wings. The main bat species on the island are the black flying fox (Pteropus alecto) and grey headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) which are permanent residents on the island.
When you reach Lone Pine, look out for catfish in the Brisbane River – there is catfish feeding at the jetty during summer from October to March each day at 11am. Crowds of catfish come up close to the shore with mouths gaping, and heads bobbing out of the water looking for food.
You will have about two hours at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This is enough to have a look around and experience hand feeding kangaroos and getting your photo taken cuddling a koala. Some of the other animals you will see include Echidnas, Tasmanian Devil, Wombat, Snakes, Lizards and Parrots. If you want a more leisurely look around the sanctuary, there is also a one way Mirimar cruise option, but you will have to find your own way back from the sanctuary by bus or taxi.
The return Mirimar Cruise includes admission into Lone Pine in the price.