One of the things Nina was looking forward to the most since we have been planning her trip to Australia was to get to see the Koalas and Kangaroos up close. So today, I took the girls to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where visitors can not only watch the animals but get much closer. Lone Pine, which is in fact the worlds first and largest koala sanctuary, shows a large variety of native Australian animals, but my favourite thing about it is that you can go directly in the five acre open-plan reserve and pet and feed the free-roaming kangaroos.That truly is a unique experience and a lot of fun! Some of the kangaroos are really small and absolutely cute, then there are some that are just so huge, muscular, and impressive that they can even be a bit daunting at first. But that doesn’t last very long, as they quickly make you realise what friendly animals they actually are. One time we approached a group of very big ones basking in the sun and suddenly they all got up on their hind legs and surrounded us. I have to admit, that I was holding my breath for a second there. But needless to say, in the end they were just interested in the food that we were holding in our hands and even patiently put up with our petting and photo-shooting. That was such a good laugh and probably my favourite moment of the whole day.But Lone Pine has much more to offer. The range of animals inhabiting the Sanctuary goes from platypus over wombats, kookaburras, snakes, emus, water monitors to Tasmanian Devils and many more. And the setting, that they are kept in is a delight. Always a bit attentive about the way zoos are holding their animals, Lone Pine has been a pleasant surprise. The site, surrounded by forrest and overlooking the Brisbane River, keeps up a very natural look throughout and many of the generous enclosures aren’t fenced. “The earth is not only for humans” is the stated motto of the sanctuary and I happily believe that.Lone Pine is one of the very few sanctuaries in the world, where visitors are allowed to hold koalas. Strict regulations ensure that each koala is not held for more than thirty minutes a day and they have every fourth day off. So in the end of our visit Nina has taken the chance to cuddle a koala and get her photo taken. For a reasonable price she even got it printed out as a big photo and some postcards. A great way to send her friends a unique, personal message from her Australia holiday and surely a lovely souvenir for herself when she will be back in Germany soon.
On the drive back from the Lone Pine we stopped for lunch at the Mount Coot- Tha Lookout. It’s the best lookout point in Brisbane and from up there you get the most amazing view over the city and its surroundings. In the distance you can even spot the ocean.
Afterwards we decided to take a look at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens that are located just next to Mount Coot- Tha. We have spent quite a long time there, exploring all the little paths.