Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Saturday, January 14, 2023 – This is Riley and I got to hold him during my time at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary!

Last weekend being my first weekend in Australia, my two SNC friends and one of their moms went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. It was an experience I will never forget!!

First, we needed to Uber an hour to Brisbane, which kind of sucked but it was very much worth it! It was interesting to see what was outside of campus, because other than going to the beach and a little bit around my area, I had not seen much. As we were driving, one of the most interesting digital road signs I saw gave warning about koala bears. I would have never thought that would be a risk, but I guess koala bears and kangaroos have been in road accidents.

Our Uber dropped us off at a boat dock, where we boarded a river boat to take us to the island where the sanctuary was at. It was about an hour to get there, so we were entertained with history about the area, along with a lot of cool architecture to look at. The only downside other than the time it took to get there was that the Brisbane river smelled, but once we hit about halfway, the smell went away.

The boat tour was actually quite enjoyable, because I got to see a lot of new things. One of the things that first struck me was a team of rowers we went past that tried keeping up with us. We also saw Brisbane’s version of a water taxi and a lot of big, beautiful, and unique houses! This big boat I saw reminded me of my dad, because I knew that if he was in my spot, he would be in awe of all of the boats too.

Once we finally arrived to the sanctuary, it was time to explore! Of course, koala holding was on our agenda, but we first started off by exploring the koala habitats and kangaroo field! Getting up close and personal with both of these animals is something I will never forget. My friend Grace had to laugh at me because she said I really have an animal voice, meaning I basically talk like a baby to not only dogs, but koalas and kangaroos too! I also had to laugh because it is so true!

There were some koala habitats that were active and some that were not. What I mean by that is either the koalas were fast asleep in their trees, or they were moving around like crazy! It was truly so amazing to watch them and I could honestly do it for hours, because they are just such curious, gentle animals. I also didn’t realize how different they could look. Some had interesting markings on them or their fur was different shades, and even their shape could differ. Overall, I loved watching the koalas the most!

We also spent some time with the kangaroos, which was so cool! Before coming to Australia, everyone would warn me about getting too close with kangaroos because they will kick and punch you. But this one enjoyed my presence (given that it’s behavior was most likely trained to be nice – they are not like this in the wild!). I loved spending time with the kangaroos and their hops are so much more exciting to watch in person.

During our time at the sanctuary, we also came across these little guys! Originally, I thought they were lizards, but then learned they are actually iguanas! They ranged in multiple different sizes and weren’t really bothered by humans! They were super chill and would just stand on the side of the trails and relax. I also thought this was only a sanctuary thing, that there were so many of them, but a few days later I found some on my walk outside!

In the middle of our day, we finally got to hold koalas! We held this cutie and his name is Riley! I am upset I didn’t get to learn more about him, but isn’t he so cute! All he wanted to do was cuddle and fall asleep, and I wish he did! I would do anything to have a koala as a pet because they are the sweetest animals. I cannot wait to see one in the wild!

The sanctuary was full of other interesting animals like snakes, dingos (wild Australian dog), giant lizards, platypuses, parrots, and more! We also watched a sheep dog herding show! The atmosphere of the sanctuary was also beautiful and it made me feel like I was actually out in the forest! If you ever get the chance to visit Australia, I would definitely recommend this place for a great experience!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary YouTube Vlog!

Keep doing what makes YOU happy!


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