Visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary near Brisbane, Australia, was a dream come true for more than one of us. Before we embarked on our trip to Australia, we sat down as a family and came up with three lists: Things we’d like to do, Things We’d Love to Do, and Things We HAVE to Do. Visiting a wildlife sanctuary was on the HAVE to Do list.
When we started looking around Brisbane for a wildlife sanctuary, we found many options. Some looked very popular and some were closer to where we were staring, some were cheaper, and some were more expensive. What made us choose Lone Pine was the feeling we got from their website and reviews we read online. We got an instant sense of their compassion and love for the animals, as well as their attitude toward sustainability.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary began in 1927, by Claude Reid. Claude saw the effects of the fur trading business, that would have devastating consequences to one of Australia’s most beloved and iconic animals.
Nearly 100 years later, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary offers shelter to over 70 species of marsupials, mammals, reptiles, birds, and many other native Australian animals. Carrying on Claude’s mission, Lone Pine is dedicated to preserving the lives of Australia’s wildlife, educating visitors about how they can help, providing gainful employment to local residents, and conducting research into sustainability and environmental practices that could help not only Australia, but the world.
You can’t come to a koala sanctuary without visiting the koalas. This was our family’s first time seeing koalas in person and it was love at first sight!
These furry marsupials spend most of their time in eucalyptus trees, eating the tasty, but nutritiously deficient leaves, which leads to their slow movements. Due to their sedentary lifestyles and camouflaged appearance, they’re difficult to spot in the wild (believe me, we tried! And never saw a single one outside of the sanctuary).
At Lone Pine, you can pay to hold a koala and have your picture taken with it or you can simply pet one, still getting your picture taken, for free. We opted for the free route and were surprised by how coarse the fur was. They look so soft and cuddly, but I’m not sure how closely I would want to snuggle considering they also have strong claws and many within the species carry syphilis, necessitating a thorough hand-washing after touching them.
Still, we were so grateful for the chance and loved getting to immortalize it with pictures.
The koalas were cute and interesting to see in real life, but for us the roos were the stars of the show! Within the sanctuary, there are large grassy areas where kangaroos hop around at will, where visitors can walk among them, petting them and feeding them.
Our whole family had a BLAST hanging out with the kangaroos! We could have gone back day after day, just to hang with them.
I’ve heard that kangaroos can be aggressive and dangerous, but these animals were peaceful and completely non-threatening. The kids started naming them and making up storylines about kangaroo families and such. HAHA
We took about a million pictures with them and only left because the sanctuary was closing soon.
What Else Does Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Have?
Like I said before, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has way more than koalas and kangaroos.
Australia’s Native Animals
I’ve always imagined Tasmanian Devils as wild, out-of-control monsters (haha, yes, I watched too much Looney Tunes growing up), yet these little guys were just hanging out, nothing more exciting than a blink of their eyes and a yawn.
The freshwater crocs were smaller than I expected. Although, I wouldn’t want to happen upon one of them in the wild, their jaws still looked powerful enough to detach any number of important body parts.
The kids were especially excited to see the platypus! They love Perry the Platypus from the kid’s show, Phineas and Ferb, and couldn’t believe they were seeing one in person. After seeing these little guys, they couldn’t stop telling stories about what they does when no one is looking, like jumping down a hidden tunnel to take down villains like any good secret agents.
At one point, I was walking by the birds by myself, or at least I thought I was alone. Then, I heard someone call out “Hello”. I looked around and didn’t see anyone, so I kept walking. I heard it again. This time, I answered back, “Hello”. No answer. I kept walking. Again, I heard someone greet me. I answered, looking around. That’s when I realized it was one of the cockatoos! I’ve never been more grateful to be alone, so no one could see me make such a fool of myself. LOL
A Look into the Past
We happened to be there just in time to see a demonstration of a border collie and kelpie herding sheep. The way the two dogs worked with each other, under the directing whistles and commands of their owner was magical, guiding this herd of sheep through gates, around fences, and into a corral. The dogs were incredibly obedient, just the way I had imagined they would be. I almost wanted to ask the shepherd if he trained children as well. Haha
After the demonstration, the kids were able to meet the dogs- “shaking hands” and petting them, as they sat so still and well-behaved (the dogs, not the kids 😂).
They also got to pet the sheep, feeling how soft, yet oily the sheep’s wool felt. Finally, we bribed the kids with promises of more kangaroo time, to entice the kids away from the friendly dogs and interesting sheep.
There was also a display telling all about the history of sheepherding and wool manufacturing in Australia. Even the kids were interested, as it had hands on elements to keep the kids’ attention.
What to Know When Visiting Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located at 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket, Queensland, 4069. They’re open seven days per week, from 9 am-5 pm and most holidays.
They have a cafeteria and gift shop within their gates, with refreshments and merchandise for sale at relatively reasonable prices. On the walls of the cafeteria were rows of pictures of famous people who have visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This wall just happened to have a few of my own personal favorites ❤️
Tickets can be bought online or at the gate, although there’s a 10% discount on tickets purchased online. At-the-Gate prices are:
Child – $25.00
Student / Senior / Pensioner – $25.00
Family (2AD + 3CH) – $88.00
Mini Family (1AD + 3CH) – $65.00
The family pack worked perfectly for our family of five.
They also offer special pricing for school outings, as well as special adult wildlife encounters for an additional charge. These can be arranged ahead of time by contacting Lone Pine at firstname.lastname@example.org or #07 3378 1366 (local Australian phone number).
If you’re planning a trip to Brisbane or are simply interested in what else Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has to offer, I’d highly recommend checking out their About Us page, as it has so much more information on their mission and the different animals within the sanctuary.
We had such an amazing time at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary that I would go back in a heartbeat and I’d recommend it to anyone. If you enjoy seeing animals up close or if you like to support companies that practice sustainability and promote environmental friendliness, make sure to visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary next time you’re in the neighborhood.