Our visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was the highlight of our Australian adventure. We spent a long time researching different zoo’s and sanctuaries in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and ultimately landed on Lone Pine. It was important to us that we not visit a place that keeps animal in cages as merely a tourist attraction. We wanted to support a sanctuary and a place that supports the conservation of animals. Lone Pine seemed like the perfect place for us to visit.
Lone Pine first opened in 1927 as a safe refuge for injured, sick and orphaned koalas. Their goal has always been to create a safe and happy environment for their animals to thrive in. It was evident straight away that the Lone Pine staff have a deep love for these animals. They were loving, nurturing, highly interactive and even shared some fun facts with us about the koalas!
- All the koalas have names and the koala keepers know them all by name and can even point out their different personalities.
- The koalas are grouped by their family. If they were to try and take a koala out of their home and into a different area it would cause them a lot of stress and they might even fight each other.
- Even though koalas adhere to a mostly eucalyptus diet, they are extremely picky eaters. There are roughly 800 species of eucalyptus but they’ll only eat 50-60 of those and they all have an individual preference. What one finds to be a tasty leaf one day could be completely ignored the next day.
- Koalas have extra fur and a cartridge pad around their bottoms to account for the hours upon hours they spend balancing on trees.
- People often call them “Koala Bears” when in fact they are actually marsupials. The correct terminology is simply “Koala”.
In addition to the koala sanctuary, Lone Pine is also home to a variety of other animals: Kangaroos, Emu, Wombats, Dingos, Tasmanian Devils, Freshwater Crocodiles and Turtles, Platypus, Bats and different species of birds and reptiles.
Another highlight on this visit was hanging out with the kangaroos!
Can you spot the little joey’s ear peeking out of the mama’s ouch above?
There are two different fields where the kangaroos are free to roam. We purchased a small bag of kangaroo food and had the chance to interact with them and feed them. As long as you were calm and gentle towards them, they didn’t spook and were actually quite friendly and soft.