While in Brisbane we took a city bus out to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary about 30 minutes away. This was started in 1927 as the world's first koala sanctuary and now protects over 130 koalas! They own their own eucalyptus plantations around the Brisbane area to provide food for the animals, and truck in new branches daily.
We timed our visit to coincide with feeding for quite a few of the animals, and so saw the tasmanian devil (world's largest carnivorous marsupial) ripping apart raw wallaby meat...
the platypus swimming after his food (Alan's favourite childhood animal)...
and the koala eating eucalyptus. We declined paying an extra $18 to hold a koala and take a photo, but after listening to a ranger talk, we got to stroke one and take a picture beside it anyway. Such a strong scent of eucalyptus on them.
We didn't know much about koalas before we went, but we found out a ton during the koala talk! One crazy fact about koalas is that the babies are actually born on the back of the mother and must crawl, using only their sense of smell, around the mother's body to the pouch in the front. When born they are only the size of a nickel and spend the next 6 months in the pouch.
They had a farm area with sheep to visit, and we saw the sheep-herding show as well as a sheep-shearing! It was quite interesting really for us city folk to watch a shearing - they really throw the sheep around whilst shearing it, and it was interesting to see and touch the wool right off the sheep's back still warm and oily.
The kangaroo area is open to the public and you can walk around freely with the kangaroos, even feeding them with food from the gift shop. Kaitlyn was a bit timid to get too close in case they kicked her, but we did manage to find a roo with a joey which was cute.
They also have a range of other Australian animals, so we checked off a lot of boxes for strange animals that day.
The perentie - Australia's largest lizard
A blue-winged kookaburra
The lorrikeets were colourful and loud
I liked the freshwater turtle (or terrapin)
And an emu
Overall we really liked the koala sanctuary and we're really glad we decided to go! We definitely recommend that you go check it out if you're in the Brisbane area.