Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

It was finally the day that everyone was looking forward to… meeting Australia’s famous furry friend, the koala bear! On Saturday morning everyone packed their bags to catch the ride down to the world’s largest Koala sanctuary here in Brisbane. The 20-minute car ride felt like hours because we were so excited to see all of the different animals that Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has in their 18-hectare backyard.

Once we arrived at the sanctuary, it didn’t take long before we all got our tickets and were on our way to discover the different animals they had to show us. Some of our crew started by going to see the kangaroos, some going to shows to see other animals, and others starting off with the highlight, holding the koalas. Although it took about an hour to finally make it to the front of the line, we beat the line cut off and were able to see the furry fellas. Not only did we get to hold the koala in our arms, but we also got to take many pictures with it, which being honest, was our ultimate goal. The Koala’s welfare was a big consideration, as no koala was held for more than 30 minutes a day, and the staff was always there to handle them. It was truly an incredible experience, as the koala nestled into your shirt and felt like it was giving you a big hug; minus the part where it dug its nails into our shoulders. Koalas actually have very long and hard nails to assist them when climbing tree trunks so they can curl them around and grip tightly. Definitely would not want to bug an angry koala with those nails. Also, despite their cute and cuddly appearance, and although it does feel like they’re hugging you when you hold them, they actually have quite coarse fur to protect them from the environment. Overall, not only getting to hold one but also having that connection with such a tame animal, was the highlight of the day for a lot of people.

From the kangaroos hopping all about, to holding the gentle and cuddly koalas, to feeding the emus, the joy never faded. The crew went to see the creepy crocodile and came upon a dingo while they were at it. The super cute but vicious dingo came up to the group as if he wanted to play. The staff and students all learned some unique facts about the animals throughout the day. They learned about their taxonomy, diet, lifespan and more. Dependent on the type, a kangaroo’s average lifespan is 13-22 years, and they are all herbivores. Along with koala bears, they are mammals. Koalas are a very vulnerable and shy species in the sanctuary. Koalas are also herbivores, however, they are a lot pickier with their food than most herbivores as they rely almost solely on eucalyptus leaves as a nutritional source.

At lunch, some of the students were visited by a variety of lizards and birds for a little snack. From here, we went to go explore over where the sheepdogs are located. There were also goats, chickens, sheep and guinea pigs in the area. As we were about to leave, one of the adorable dogs was being trained to herd the sheep.

At the end of the day, everyone was all koala-ed out and ready to head back to the hotel. This excursion was a big learning opportunity that made us open our eyes and not take these rare species for granted. We were all so amazed and privileged to have this awesome opportunity come alive. It was one of the best adventures we’ve experienced and we know that our classmates agree with us… next adventure now, please!

Abby G., Mackenzie D. & Tara M.

It was finally the day that everyone was looking forward to… meeting Australia’s famous furry friend, the koala bear! On Saturday morning everyone packed their bags to catch the ride down to the world’s largest Koala sanctuary here in Brisbane. The 20-minute car ride felt like hours because we were so excited to see all of the different animals that Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has in their 18-hectare backyard.

Once we arrived at the sanctuary, it didn’t take long before we all got our tickets and were on our way to discover the different animals they had to show us. Some of our crew started by going to see the kangaroos, some going to shows to see other animals, and others starting off with the highlight, holding the koalas. Although it took about an hour to finally make it to the front of the line, we beat the line cut off and were able to see the furry fellas. Not only did we get to hold the koala in our arms, but we also got to take many pictures with it, which being honest, was our ultimate goal. The Koala’s welfare was a big consideration, as no koala was held for more than 30 minutes a day, and the staff was always there to handle them. It was truly an incredible experience, as the koala nestled into your shirt and felt like it was giving you a big hug; minus the part where it dug its nails into our shoulders. Koalas actually have very long and hard nails to assist them when climbing tree trunks so they can curl them around and grip tightly. Definitely would not want to bug an angry koala with those nails. Also, despite their cute and cuddly appearance, and although it does feel like they’re hugging you when you hold them, they actually have quite coarse fur to protect them from the environment. Overall, not only getting to hold one but also having that connection with such a tame animal, was the highlight of the day for a lot of people.

From the kangaroos hopping all about, to holding the gentle and cuddly koalas, to feeding the emus, the joy never faded. The crew went to see the creepy crocodile and came upon a dingo while they were at it. The super cute but vicious dingo came up to the group as if he wanted to play. The staff and students all learned some unique facts about the animals throughout the day. They learned about their taxonomy, diet, lifespan and more. Dependent on the type, a kangaroo’s average lifespan is 13-22 years, and they are all herbivores. Along with koala bears, they are mammals. Koalas are a very vulnerable and shy species in the sanctuary. Koalas are also herbivores, however, they are a lot pickier with their food than most herbivores as they rely almost solely on eucalyptus leaves as a nutritional source.

At lunch, some of the students were visited by a variety of lizards and birds for a little snack. From here, we went to go explore over where the sheepdogs are located. There were also goats, chickens, sheep and guinea pigs in the area. As we were about to leave, one of the adorable dogs was being trained to herd the sheep.

At the end of the day, everyone was all koala-ed out and ready to head back to the hotel. This excursion was a big learning opportunity that made us open our eyes and not take these rare species for granted. We were all so amazed and privileged to have this awesome opportunity come alive. It was one of the best adventures we’ve experienced and we know that our classmates agree with us… next adventure now, please!

Abby G., Mackenzie D. & Tara M.

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