The last time I was in Brisbane I went to Australia zoo, but I never got round to seeing the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is located in the Fig Tree Pocket suburb of Brisbane. Seeing as I had a few days spare during my trip is Brisbane for Christmas and New Year, I decided to spend the morning of New Years Eve there followed by lunch at the Mount Coot-Tha Lookout with my cousin.
Compared to Australia Zoo, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a lot cheaper but also a lot smaller, they have a handful of other animals including crocodiles, Wombats and Kangaroos, but no where near as many as Australia Zoo as they put most of their time and effort into saving and prolonging the life of the Koalas in the wild.
Cuddle with the Koalas and feed the Kangaroos.
For me, some of the coolest things you can do at the Sanctuary is hold a Koala and feed the kangaroos, you can do both of these at the Zoo as well, but the price is more than double!- At the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, you can hold a koala, have a professional photo done which you get a printed picture plus access online to share it socially, as well as the option to take your own photos with the Koala for $20 each; I thought this was very reasonable compared to Australia Zoo’s $49!! (thats before you have even brought the photo!)
Before we went, we had looked up a couple other reviews and noticed that a lot of people had turned up disappointed because there were no more available tickets to hold the koala; I would advise you to get to the Sanctuary for the opening time if you are desperate to do this as the tickets sell extremely quickly. They have 2 sessions where you are able to hold one starting at 10am. We were second in the queue, and by the time we had finished and collected our photo, the queue was very long, so I would also recommend you try and hang around the Koala holding area about 10-15 minutes before this.
A highlight from the day was definitely feeding the Kangaroos, I love how up close and personal you can get to them. For $2 you can buy a bag of Kangaroo food, and you are welcomed into their enclosure at any time of the day. I think there are 150 free ranging Kangaroos so theres plenty of opportunities to have one to ones with several different Kangaroos!
With a lot of Zoos or tourist attractions, I always find they can be ‘money making’ schemes, however with the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, they offer free options for people who don’t wish to spend money on Cuddling the Koala or feeding the Kangaroos; throughout the day they allow you to meet and pet the koalas for free and you are still able to walk around the Kangaroo enclosure to have a pet or a cheeky selfie!
You can access the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary via boat or tour bus, however these don’t arrive until after 11am, when it was very busy and there were no available tickets to cuddle the Koala, so I would recommend if possible, that you make your own way to the Sanctuary.
The Mount Coot-Tha Lookout is only a short drive from the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and is defiantly worth the visit if you have time. You get panoramic views of the city and the surrounding areas, as well as very good food at an excellent price; again this surprised me because normally back in the UK or Europe anywhere remotely touristy would be very expensive to eat and park..(which is free for both by the way!)
We sat and ate in the Summit Restaurant and Bar and like I mentioned earlier, the food was very good value for money and you can have breakfast/lunch looking over the panoramic views of the city. However, as you can Imagine, this can get very busy so parking can be a nightmare and service isn’t always quick.
Have you visited either of these before? If so, what are your thoughts?