Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 30, 2013

Kangaroos, koalas, wombats…

When I am in Italy and it is discovered that I am Australian, the first question is “My cousin lives in Melbourne (or Sydney) do you know him? The next one is always to do with kangaroos and koalas.

I decided to be a tourist in my own city of Brisbane and visit Lone Pine Sanctuary to see some of our gorgeous native animals up close. Lone Pine was founded in 1927 and is the oldest and largest koala sanctuary anywhere.

The best way to go to Lone Pine is by river on the Mirimar which leaves the Cultural Centre in the city every day at 10.00am. The boats have been taking visitors to Lone Pine for over 70 years.



There are lots of koalas at Lone Pine, most of them fast asleep.


They occasionally wake up, yawn, eat eucalyptus leaves, have a scratch and go back to sleep again. They sleep for about 20 hours every day.


There are lots of kangaroos too. They have mastered the art of relaxation.


They occasionally wake up, yawn, have a scratch and a dust bath and allow people to hand feed them.


The joeys (babies) are especially cute.


Emus wander about expecting to be admired although it would be difficult to describe them as beautiful.


They have their own special places to eat.


They have an interesting way of resting.


The Tasmanian Devils were resting comfortably when I walked past their place.


Boris the wombat had been for a walk when I spotted him returning to his home.


There are 2 echidnas asleep in this log.


The red tailed black cockatoo is gorgeous. The spectacular red feathers are under the tail, you can see them when the birds fly.


There are lots of incredible looking reptiles, lizards, crocodiles and turtles.


There are kookaburras, including regular, blue winged and babies.


I think the cassowary takes the cake for the most incredible looking bird I have seen. It was about my height and looked me in the eye ( take a look at his eyelashes). It appeared to have been hand painted in brilliant colours.



There are many more amazing things to see at Lone Pine…you will have to visit.

I have been before. This photo below was taken almost 60 years ago. That’s my Dad holding me and a koala.

Doug & debbie-Lone Pine

The Mirimar cruise along the Brisbane River to Lone Pine was excellent, but this post is very long already. I’ll tell you about that another day.


  1. The last picture is the best picture. Absolutely bloody brilliant…

    • I was about 1 year old there. You can still have your photo taken with a koala, but I didn’t think I could better that one.

  2. What a great photo of you and your Dad, you haven’t changed a bit! I’m serious.
    Kim Do Canto

    • I am still short and chubby.

  3. Fond memories! The first thing we did in Australia was to take the girls to the Lone Pine Sanctuary. I still have their photo holding a koala…. They were so happy!

    • Lone Pine is a great place to visit at any age.

  4. Deb, you have changed in 60 years! 🙂 Isn’t it interesting how different our colours are here in Australia, so much more muted and olive brown and ochre reds. And I’m not sure whether koalas have mastered the art of relaxation, or if they’re just perpetually stoned (I suspect it’s the latter!). 😀

    • I think you could be right about the koalas. There must be something in those leaves.

  5. Cheers to you taking a tour within your own city. Oh the stuff that we city people don’t take advantage of! Great last pic!!!!

    • It is great fun being a tourist in your own city. I do it often.

  6. Hh Ha Deb you still look the same! Catch up for a coffee while you’re here?


    • Hi Trish, I am here until October, we should have a coffee one day.

  7. wow, never seen that cassowary bird before,,,,,,very exotic! looks like out of a movie his style. very nice story and images.

    • Isn’t it a bizarre looking bird? The colours are incredible.

  8. Aww you look a little apprehensive in that picture! I love wombats I have to say. They’re so cute and podgy!

    • I don’t recall being apprehensive, but it was a long time ago.

  9. What a beautiful post! I must revisit our own local giardino zoologico near Pistoia.

    • I haven’t been there…next time.

  10. Beautiful wildlife, and you are so cute on that last photo!

    • Lone Pine is a wonderful place to see Australian wildlife. My mother wrote Deb at Lone Pine on the back of the photo.

  11. Oh Deb. These are beautiful. I was already oohing and aahing over the animals and then I got to the picture of you and your Dad. Stunning. Really stunning. What a sweet, pretty “joey” you were!

    • Thank you, I do like old photos.

  12. Deb, this is a great blog. Cute photo of you with your Dad. The Australian animals certainly are spectacular.

    • Thanks, Lone Pine has a great collection of native animals in a wonderful setting.

  13. The cassowary certainly is strange looking (my first time seeing one) and it’s good to see the Tasmanian devils looking healthy. Would you happen to know how their battle with cancer is going?

    • The problem with Tasmanian Devils is still going on, which is why it is so important to care for healthy animals in sanctuaries like this.

  14. Koalas re-define the word cute… Are they as soft as they look?
    I like the face of the kangaroos, they are so special… and the cassowary is something out of this world. 🙂

    • Koalas are as soft and cuddly as they look. They don’t have much personality.Kangaroos are much more fun.

  15. beautiful, beautiful photos – the cassowary is so striking!

    • Thank! Can you believe that blue neck???

  16. Lovely images of the animals in Lone Pine forest and the one of you with your dad and the koala bear is cute.

    • The animals are all beautifully cared for, it is a great place to see these animals.

  17. It’s so much fun to be a tourist in your own town. Usually I only get to do it when guests come to visit, but it’s nice to do that every now and then on my own.
    The koalas are impossibly cute, but that cassowary has the most unique coloring!

    • I went by myself to Lone Pine. I quite enjoy wandering about alone, especially when I am taking photos for the blog. It can be a bit boring for others.

  18. Reblogged this on Sherry's Space.

  19. You have convinced me – I need to take the children to Lone Pine. Your photos are so vivid and lovely. It was lovely to meet you today. Melissa

  20. I have been there and I have held a koala.I´d always found them little and cute and didn’t realize they were so “heavy”. Love the picture of mini-you.

    • They are very solid, compact animals and can grow to be quiet big.

  21. The picture of the Emu sitting down is so funny – it looks as if it is saying “What!!”

    • He has a very quizzical look on his face. I think he was posing for the camera.

  22. Oh gosh I remember our trip up the river to Lone Pine. And my photo with my favourite halter neck dress (would you believe I’m wearing one quite the same – nearly forty years later) Gorgeous shots!

    And yes it’s so true about what Italians ask. How many times have I been asked, Do you know my brother maybe? In Melbourne? (I come from Sydney) He went out in the sixties and never came back… Sometimes it’s fun to say Yes! Of course I know your brother!

    • Fortunately I no longer wear checked rompers…scary!

  23. They are so lovely dear Debra, Thanks and Love, nia

    • Our native animals are very special.

  24. The Cassowary staring at you is an incredible capture Debra! And i love the last one too of course 🙂

    • He seemed to be staring directly at me through the wire fence.

  25. The first time I saw boh koalas and kangaroos was just last month. Ow there are adorable creatures! And yeah, they chill a lot. 😀

    • They are very cute and cuddly animals.

  26. Yes, sometimes we know about foreign countries more than about our. It is very wise idea to try to be tourist in your city and to write about your experience.

  27. […] couple of weeks ago I took the Miramar up the Brisbane River to Lone Pine to spend a few hours with some iconic Australian […]

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