The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the world’s unique zoo experiences. This relatively small facility is home to only a small sampling of Australia’s fauna, most famously the country’s cuddly mascot, the Koala Bear. What makes this sanctuary so beloved and popular is that, under very careful supervision, visitors may pick up and handle some of the resident animals. It is named for a pine tree planted when the facility was opened.
This small wildlife sanctuary was founded in 1927 by the local Clarkson family, who opened it as a safe place for local wildlife which was displaced from natural environments. It became internationally known during World War II due to visiting American GIs. It has since expanded beyond just koalas and almost all of Australia’s most popular animals can now be found here.
This wildlife facility, only eleven acres, is home to kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian devils and a platypus. There are a number of species of reptiles and birds, the latter including parrots, kookaburras and cockatoos. The sanctuary’s two most popular activities, both requiring an extra fee and both carefully supervised, are handling the koala bears and feeding the lorikeets.
The Lone Pine Sanctuary is located approximately five miles southwest of Brisbane. It is open year round every day from 9:00am-5:00pm. The cost of admission is A$33.00. Web: www.koala.net (official website).