Whether you’re visiting Brisbane from overseas or looking for somewhere to take the family on a weekend, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is an absolute must-do experience. Lone Pine is the world’s largest koala sanctuary, and it’s the perfect way to get up close and personal with a range of Australian wildlife including kangaroos, snakes & reptiles, dingoes, birds, Tasmanian devils, a platypus and even farmyard animals (not just koalas)!
The best thing about Lone Pine is just how close you can get to most of the animals. If you want to hold a koala yourself it costs about $16 (including a souvenir photo), but you can pat them as part of your entry. Similarly, you can have a close encounter holding a snake, baby crocodile or bird of prey for $16 each (including a photo) with the proceeds going to support koala conservation, research and other aspects of running the sanctuary.
There are plenty of educational shows on during the day including a birds of prey show (don’t stand up or you might cop a bird to the head!), sheepdog show and of course the koala show. As with any zoo, the best time to see many of the animals (especially the Tasmanian devils) is at feeding time. Be sure to check the times on your guide when you get there so you don’t miss out!
Lone Pine is easy to get to by public transport; the Brisbane City Council 430 and 445 buses head to Lone Pine from the city (the 430 leaves from the Myer Centre bus station) and while the CityCats (Brisbane ferries) don’t travel that far up the river, you can hitch a ride with Miramar Cruises ($27.50). I’d suggest to travel in one way and out the other so you get to see a different view both ways. There’s also a picnic spot set under some shady trees just outside the entrance with views of the river, so packing a picnic lunch is a great option!
And now for some gratuitous koala photos… (can you tell they sleep a lot?)