Reluctantly we left the Gold Coast this morning and headed north to Brisbane to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Lone Pine was the first, and is still the largest Koala sanctuary in Australia. Back in the early 20th century Koalas were hunted for their fur and it was not uncommon for a hunting party to kill 1300 Koalas in a single day. Eventually, due to public uproar, they were classified as a protected species and the hunting stopped. But this left a shortage of Koala’s in the wild, hence the sanctuary.

Other than learning a Koala isn’t actually a bear, we learnt that Koalas spend 20 hours a day resting so you can imagine they are very easy to hunt and kill. The reason they require all this rest is that their diet of eucalyptus leaves is about 50% water, 18% fibre and only 5% sugar so they spend their days conserving energy, they are not just lazy.

Photo of koala’s There are a lot of other animals at Lone Pine Sanctuary such as the Platypus, a rare egg laying mammal, as well as turtles, bats, owls and dingoes. Second to the Koala’s though, my favourite were probably the free roaming Kangaroos that you was able to feed and interact with freely. We were shocked how tame they were, they were happy to nibble food from our hands and would let you stoke them. They soon became fed up of our food and were more interested in drinking from our water bottle!

lone-pine-kangaroos

Saying goodbye to our fury friends we headed into central Brisbane where we soon learnt that parking was ridiculous, the cheapest we could find was £7.10 for 3 hours but this was enough time. Parking right next to the riverside botanical gardens was a complete fluke. Walking along the river through the gardens we found ourselves crossing the river over the Goodwill Bridge and passing the Maritime Museum that had a large collection of old boats.

As we continued up the other side of the river we was gob smacked at just how lucky the Australians are, was as a full on swimming pool and huge kids fun pool right there in more gardens for anyone to use, but the icing on the cake was when we walked a little further and found an artificial beach packed with sun bathers. So it seems even if you live in a city in Australia you won’t be denied your beach time and the outdoor space, BBQ’s, walking/running tracks and greenery are just as impressive as along the coast.

brisbane-city-pool

brisbane-city-beach

Having a Groupon dinner reservation at Moo Moo Bar and Grill we set off back. The meal was a tiny burger and 2 onion rings, not very big at all but it was delicious, and despite me immediately wanting more food, it did keep me full for the rest of the day as we drove to yet another free camp site just off the highway.