Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, located in Brisbane’s South, is the ultimate in animal fun for Brisbane Kids. Boasting the largest koala sanctuary in the world, they were also the first to establish an environment especially catering for the welfare of koalas.
The number of koalas in their care fluctuates, and at the time of writing this review there are 130 koalas in their care. Lone Pine strongly believes in the protection and importance of the natural flora and fauna in Australia, with their tagline being ‘The earth is not only for humans’.
Animals at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The platypus enclosure at Lone Pine is a wonderful opportunity to spy on one of Australia’s most unique creatures. The platypus is in an aquarium within a darkened room where you can sit quietly and simply enjoy the frolicking of the elusive Australian platypus.
We often find ourselves heading back here on very hot days for a short amount of respite from the Australian heat.
The kangaroos at Lone Pine enjoy a massive open-fenced enclosure. There is an array of both joeys, mothers and adolescents, as well as the mightier-looking male kangaroos. There is an area within the enclosure where the roos can go and escape the humans so they can take time out, but you will never find a lack of kangaroos.
You can purchase kangaroo food from the shop at the beginning (and the cafe).
Insider tip: Get there earlier in the day because kangaroos are lazy characters and tend to eat their way through the morning before an afternoon of napping on a full belly.
Within the kangaroo enclosure, you will also find wandering emus.
Emus are one of the most remarkable Australian animals you will see. If you haven’t seen one before, then make sure you try and look one in the face and see what hilarious character-filled faces they have. No wonder they made it to the Australian Coat of Arms.
A visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is never complete without a cuddle from a koala and there are plenty of opportunities for this – literally, there are koalas EVERYWHERE! Insider tip: If you get a photo at Lone Pine, also get a photo on your phone, (if you can), at the same time so you can send copies to relatives.
The wild lorikeets at Lone Pine are incredible, and there is nothing quite like feeding time. Standing there with a feeding tray as the colourful chattering birds make their way to your shoulders and heads is an experience you won’t forget. Kids, in particular, will LOVE (or possibly be terrified) by this experience.
Insider tip: Check the feeding times and ensure you head here early to grab a good spot and an opportunity to feed the birds. The first feed is very early in the program, so if you get there on opening, consider that this is midway into the park and you will need to walk a small distance.
The wombats at the zoo are the cutest animals you can imagine as are the devils which live next door and the dingoes not too far away.
Many other Australian birds and bats line the walkway as you enter. There is a cheeky cockatoo who you will want to have a chat with.
The sheepdog is very much part of the Australian culture and history and Lone Pine honours this by holding a unique sheepdog show.
Barn-yard animals can also be found at Lone Pine, with an opportunity for children to see and touch the farm animals.
The birds of prey are always interesting to see and you can check out the bird show while you are there. It is very intimate and if you sit in the aisle, you can literally feel the rush of the wings as they go past you!
Other animals at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary include crocodiles, Australia’s biggest lizard, snakes, echidnas, possums, cassowaries, wallabies, kookaburras, owls and scrub turkeys (who can be found messing up the gardens all over the place).
Show Schedule at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Seeing the shows at Lone Pine is a must, but you must make sure you manage your strolling time around the times of the shows. We have an article that will give you more information about the wildlife shows at Lone Pine.
The times are subject to change, but the current ones can be found at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary website.
If you aren’t fussed on photos then these would be our suggestions for the Top 3 must-see shows at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary:
- Lorikeet feeding – nothing compares to watching a child’s excitement as they try to feed a lorikeet that has perched on their head.
- Free-flight raptor show – an incredible show, best seen in the early morning when it is cooler (in our opinion).
- Sheepdog show – a hilarious show and a favourite with the kids. You won’t believe how clever these dogs are!
Food And Shop Options
You can bring your lunch to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary; lots of cold water is recommended. There is a cafe onsite that offers all the standard types of food. They do great chips and sausage sizzles on most weekends and plenty of healthy options like sandwiches.
If you order hot food, you will be given a buzzer, allowing you to head off with your kids and sit and wait for your meal. There are bountiful places to sit and eat at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, with many of the allocated lunch areas situated next to koalas.
There is a coffee shop outside the sanctuary that is used by both visitors to the sanctuary and also locals who want good coffee.
There are several accessible bathrooms at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – What you need to know
- It is open 7 days a week and is open on most public holidays, so check their website before you go (the link is down the bottom of the review).
- It is often cheaper to buy an annual pass, so if you think you might go more than once, it is worth investing in a pass that will also give you discounts at their shop and cafe.
- It is one of Brisbane Kid’s favourite animal places in Brisbane because it is not so big that it is overwhelming for families, and yet has more than enough animals and interesting shows to make it a wonderful outing with kids.
Educational Opportunities at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Vacation Care at Lone Pine Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary also offer an exclusive vacation care program that your Brisbane Kid would love! Bookings are essential for this popular event.
Lone Pine for Schools
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a lovely excursion opportunity for Brisbane school kids from prep up to year 12. They also offer a special needs excursion program with all the programs catering for the child’s needs within their age group.
Schools also have the opportunity to self-guide a tour or do a combination of self-guiding and one of the curriculum-based programs run by a Lone Pine Guide. The programs get more complex depending on the children’s age group and curriculum focus.
Getting to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is located 12 km from the city at 708 Jesmond Road, Fig Tree Pocket
- CAR: Located minutes from the Western Freeway, so perfect for interstate travellers coming from the CBD or Airport by car. It is also approximately 20 minutes from Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens and Sir Thomas Planetarium.
- BOAT: You can also catch a boat cruise to Lone Pine. It takes about 75 minutes and leaves the Cultural Centre Pontoon in Southbank at 10am daily. The pontoon is located on the boardwalk outside of the State Library. It’s a great boat ride for visitors to Brisbane (but also locals), travelling past some of Brisbane’s most iconic homes, historical locations and other points of interest. You can book a boat tour through Mirimar Cruises (you can’t book via Lone Pine).
- BUS: If you prefer to stick to the road and want to catch a bus then you will find buses in the CBD with bus number 430 from Queen Street Station and bus number 445 from Wickham Terrace stop 158.
To find current opening hours and ticket prices, head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary website.