Today was another one of the highlights of my entire trip! I actually beat my alarm this morning, had toast and bacon for breakfast at Jak + Hill and headed to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to begin the day. Lone Pine was established in 1927 with just two rescued koalas and now they have over one hundred within their sanctuary.
As soon as I cleared the front gates, I headed straight over to the koala exhibit and gawked at the 4-5 koalas enclosed in the little open house. Behind the koalas was another house with 2 young koalas and a “Kindergarten” sign hanging from the top. I was so excited to see them in such an open setting, without cages or glass separating them apart from the visitors. Just as I thought I had my fair share of koalas, I took a few more steps and found the Main Koala exhibit. Holy moly. There were at least ten more branches with around 2-3 koalas in each tree! They were everywhere!
This place is so cool! I don’t think I have ever seen a koala at the zoo, let alone hundreds of koalas sleeping barely four feet in front of me. I walked around the rest of the park, stopping to see the Tasmanian devil, dingoes, wombat, and found the Kangaroo Feeding area! It was a large enclosure filled with a bunch of kangaroos, wallabies, and emu. I was a little surprised that I could just walk through the gate without a line or a ticket or a park staff giving me some sort of briefing. The first kangaroo I spotted was a couple of yards away, stopped to look at me then hopped back around.
They have little bags of kangaroo food that you can buy for $2. I didn’t have any but one girl offered me a handful of hers so that I could feed a kangaroo! So cool! They just hop over to you and eat right out of the palm of your hand. I got lots of pictures taken and then left with a huge smile on my face.
Feeding the kangaroo would’ve been the highlight of my day, but there was one more thing I had to do. Next to the Main Koala exhibit, there is an area where you can get your picture taken holding a koala! After already snapping tons of pictures of the koalas in their trees and the great time with the kangaroos, I wasn’t feeling like spending the extra $20 for a picture. BUT after watching a few more people get their pictures taken with a koala and knowing this opportunity probably wouldn’t come again, I quickly changed my mind and bought a ticket.
I’m so glad that I did! This was the absolute highlight of my day. Even though it only lasted a few minutes, it was such an awesome feeling to hold an actual koala in my arms. The experience was definitely worth it and the photos were just a bonus!