Before we get started on telling more about this incredible place, let’s send you on a journey back in time.
Established in 1927 by Claude Reid, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary’s beginnings were humble, being home to only two koalas, “Jack” and “Jill”. Over the years, Lone Pine continued to slowly grow, gradually introducing new Australian species to the small wildlife sanctuary. Now, we are home to 130 koalas, and over 100 species of Australian native animals. The sanctuary first found its’ international fame during the Second World War when the Americans, including Douglas MacArthur’s wife, visited the park to view the native Australian animals. Lone Pine now operates under the strict regulations of the Queensland National Park and Nature Reserve Office, and is dedicated to the conservation of Koalas and all native animals of Australia.
To read more about the history of Lone Pine, including the 2011 Queensland floods then click HERE.
Right, so let’s get stuck into this.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary you would be thinking is all about Koalas (note I didn’t say Koala Bears, I will elaborate on this later). How wrong you could be, you have Dingos, Crocs, Tasmanian Devils, Sheep, Kangaroos just to name a few of the many different animals here. One thing we would say is that throughout the say you are welcomed to listen in on some of the talks and feedings. Below is the daily schedule as it was back in March 2016;
- 9.45am – Wild Lorikeet Feeding
- 10.00am – Barn Animal Encounter
- 10.30am – Sheep Dog Show
- 11.30am – Wildlife Encounter
- 12.00pm – Koala Presentation
- 12.30pm – Free Flight Raptor Show
- 12.45pm – Raptor Photographs
- 1.00pm – Sheep Dog Show
- 1.30pm – Snake Presentation
- 1.45pm – Snake Photographs
- 2.00pm – Koala Presentation
- 2.30pm – Platypus Feed & Keeper Presentation
- 2.45pm – Tasmanian Devil Feed & Keeper Presentation
- 3.00pm – Barn Animal Encounter
- 3.30pm – Sheep Dog & Shearing Show
- 4.00pm – Wild Lorikeet Feeding
So you can see from the FULL day’s schedule you can arrive when the sanctuary opens and not leave until it closes and has had a day full of interactions and education. All the while tweeting, face-booking and Instagramming your day with the free wifi you receive.
We arrived around 10.00am so missed the first couple of the early activities. However, we earmarked the wildlife encounter, Koala presentation, free flight raptor show, snake presentation, platypus feed and keeper presentation and then finally the Tasmanian Devil feed and keeper presentation. This seems like a pretty packed out schedule and may leave you wondering “but when will I have time to see all the other animals”. Alas my worrying friend, you will find looking at the map that all the activities flow from one to the other based on location to where they are on the map. Not once do you need to run from one end of the park to the other, so you don’t miss out on the show?
All the shows themselves although scheduled for either 15 or 30 minutes each end with enough time to make your way to the next one.
We found the best time to have lunch was before the snake presentation show; you can sit under cover while looking at the various Koalas while munching your sandwiches. You might even be lucky enough to hear these incredible creatures from the top of there branches. Failing that, the food in the sleepy Koala Cafe is reasonably priced against many of the other places you can go.
While you’re in the sleepy Koala Cafe, you can purchase yourself 1 of 4 packages to have your photo taken with either the Koala or Snake. These packages start from $18 up to just $22 for the top package. We would certainly recommend the top package as you get three postcards of your photo, a calendar and picture to remember the experience. All proceeds go towards the conservation of the animals in the park so it is something we would highly recommend doing, and early on in the day to help avoid the queues as the day continues.
Another thing you need to do is part with $2 and get yourself some Kangaroo food. Head into the enclosure with these incredible marsupials and gain an experience you will not get anywhere in Australia. Getting up close and personal with these animals will give you not only an unforgettable experience but also something you can brag about when you get home. However, I must add at this point these are still animals and as cute and cuddly as they look they can even cause you a lot of harm so we would suggest that if you have more than one come over to your and want food. Stand up, put the food away and walk in the opposite direction. You don’t want what happened to me a few years ago and not realising and then having two kangaroos fighting while you are in the middle, almost getting your arm ripped open with the claws.
All this will add up to a very wondering day or the whole family. Oh, I almost forgot, the myth that Koalas are bears. Koalas aren’t bears as many people are led to believe. They aren’t even related to bears. The koala is related to the kangaroo and the wombat. The koala is a marsupial mammal. The reason the koala is called a koala bear is that the koala looks like a teddy bear.
So finally, for a low cost of $36 for an adult, $22 for a child (3-13yrs), $24 for students and children aged 14 to 17. There are even two family prices, the mini which is 1 adult and 3 children for just $60 and then the family ticket which is 2 adults and 3 children for the equally low price of £85.