I was fortunate enough to visit Brisbane because of a conference, and one of the first things I did was to meet Australia’s famous mammals: the koala and the kangaroo! Of course they had nothing to do with the geological convention, but I wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity, would I? I’m really happy my friend brought me to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where I got to meet the famous marsupials and a lot more animal species (some of them I haven’t even heard of before I came to Australia).
When I arrived early morning in Brisbane, my friend picked me up at the airport and wasted no time touring me around. Never mind that I flew from Fukuoka to Singapore to Brisbane from the day before and throughout the night. Sleep and shower can wait, the kangaroos were waiting for me! After a nice breakfast-with-a-view at the Mt. Coot-tha Lookout, we proceeded to the sanctuary with my luggage still in the trunk of the car.
The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s largest koala sanctuary, according to their advertisement (to be honest though, I don’t know how many koala sanctuaries there are in the world). Anyway, after paying the 33 AUD entrance fee, we started our tour by going around the fenced enclosures of different Australian animals. It was my first time to learn that Tazmanian devils don’t just exist in cartoons, and that dingoes are actually very handsome wild dogs.
I also enjoyed watching the adorable wombat eat from its pail of food.
It was my first time to see a platypus, although it was very hard to take photos of them since they were always moving about in their aquarium.
There were also interesting reptiles in the sanctuary, but I kept my distance as I get creeped out with some of their skin/scales.
The birds were also featured everywhere in the sanctuary, from the small colorful parrots and cockatoos in their cages to the big flightless emu and cassowary roaming about their large enclosures.
And of course there are the koalas. I saw mommy koalas with joeys in their pouches, ‘kindergarten’ koalas, ‘retired koalas’… well, you get the picture. They are the cutest! I spent a good amount of time just observing and taking photos of them.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t forget the kangaroos. There was a huge space for them to run around and interact with the visitors. The sanctuary’s area is really big, and a lot of the animals can move around freely.
I learned that there were different types of kangaroos, and there’s also the similar-looking and usually smaller wallabies.
I took my time observing the fascinating marsupials. I also enjoyed watching the kids feed and play with the kangaroos.
Aside from endemic species, they also have domesticated animals like the miniature horse (not a pony, apparently).
I also got to see, along with some gradeschoolers on a fieldtrip, how a sheep’s fleece was sheared.
Our last stop was the Bird of Prey show, but it was definitely not the least of the attractions in the sanctuary. They showed how raptor birds catch their food.
There was a large area for the birds to freely fly around before they swoop down on their food set in front of the crowd. It was fascinating and exciting seeing the owls and the kites fly past our heads and grab their food.
After the bird show we had to go home because I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore! The long flight finally caugh up with me, but I was really glad that I got to visit Lone Pine. The place was a nice start to my Australia visit. I got to meet the famous marsupials, and I was introduced to other interesting animal species.