If you’ve ever had the desire to snuggle a koala, pet a kangaroo, wallaby or emu, or even hold a lizard or creepy crawler, then this is the place to go. Located in the suburb of Fig Tree Pocket, Lone Pine is a fantastic site for any animal lover to bask in the glory that is Australian wildlife.
Upon entry, you can head straight to the koala pit or enjoy the bat cages, or flying foxes, as the Aussie’s call them, due to their furriness and massive size. After gazing at the numerous different creatures, the path will lead you to the koala-petting site where you can line up (in a usually brief queue) to hold a koala and get your picture taken. The picture costs money to purchase but is always of the highest quality, and the friendly staff will let your friends or family take pictures with their own cameras as well, so you don’t have to buy the one they take. The staff member assisting you with the koala will instruct you on how to hold it and although it is a brief encounter, as the koalas are often tired and cranky, it’s a fantastic 20 seconds.
If after this quick little snuggle you haven’t had enough of the marsupials, you can make your way through the numerous koala huts that have little guys ranging from babies to seniors and although you can’t touch them here, they are still adorable to watch during feeding time, pretty much the only time that they move. But don’t worry, you will definitely see them up and about as they eat quite a hefty amount throughout the day. They wreak of eucalyptus, but they’re just so damn cute you’ll have to let it slide.
There is also periodically a brief information session over by the Koala petting station that will tell you myths and truths about these strange little bear-like critters.
Snakes and Lizards
If you’re not totally creeped out by the reptilian species, you should check out the holding sessions that take place at the koala-petting site as you are permitted, at different points throughout the day, to hold or just touch both of these creatures. Check with information as to what time these showings will take place to make better time of your visit as they often vary per day.
Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Emus
If you want more Aussie animal interactions you can wander through the massive acreage that Lone Pine has set up for petting and feeding kangaroos, wallabies and emus. Although you won’t find as friendly versions in the wild, these guys are so used to having humans around that some will eat food right from your hand, and most, while distracted with eating, will let you pet them. But do be gentle as they aren’t as passive as your household pets.
Although not what you would expect as your typical exotic Aussie animal collection, Lone Pine does have a petting zoo for young children with chicks, sheep, goats and pigs, as well as chickens and roosters. This section isn’t the most exciting if you’re just looking for unusual animals to encounter but it’s still pretty adorable and you get to play with even more furry friends!
There is a café located inside one of the bigger koala huts so you can literally eat with the marsupials. They serve simple snacks and the food is pretty good but a bit pricey. Feel free to bring your own snacks/lunch but the money does go to benefit the animals if you’re willing to make the purchase. There is also a small souvenir shop both next to the café and at the entrance that sells stuffed animals and other such kitchy things, as well as the photographs that were taken of visitors and koalas. They also have an extensive collection of celebrity visitors posing with the koalas inside the souvenir shop, which is always fun to take a look at.
708 Jesmond Road
Fig Tree Pocket
# (07) 3378 1366
Open daily from 8:30am – 5:00pm
Limited hours on Anzac Day (April 25) and Christmas Day.
There are a couple of ways to get to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, some more convenient, and others more scenic. Whichever you choose really depends on your budget, amount of time and method of convenience.
If you’ve got a rental, a car of your own, or a buddy to drive you, the quickest and easiest way to get to Lone Pine is by driving. Lone Pine’s website (http://www.koala.net/lonepine/car.htm) gives you great directions with pictures included from the city center on Ann St, so that’s your best bet for directions to get there but you can pretty much just follow signs on the Western Freeway. It is about 11 km from the city centre.
By Bus:You can catch the 430 bus from George St (near the Casino), or the 445 bus from Ann St. Both run hourly.
By Mirimar Boat Cruise:
For an unconventional and more scenic route to the sanctuary you can spring for the Mirimar Boat Cruise that leaves every morning at 10:00 am, boarding at 9:30 am. The port of departure is just in behind the public library at the Cultural Centre along the river, right next to the Victoria Bridge.
This method will take about an hour and a half to get to the Sanctuary arriving at about 11:20 am, but it’s much more interesting as you get historical and scenic information about the surrounding area, as well as a look at the expensive houses along the river and even a rare bat colony on Indooroopilly Island. Food is served on board and it’s a beautiful look at the Brisbane river.
This trip runs both ways, with the return trip departing at 1:30 pm, but you can take it just one way and take the bus back to the city if you’d like to keep it a bit cheaper.
Round Trip (Cruise and Admission to Lone Pine):
One Way (Cruise Only):