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Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary picture in Brisbane
Marco Simoni / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.7
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    2.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

For many, a trip Down Under wouldn't be complete without a koala bear sighting. Pay a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and you won't just see these snuggly creatures up close; you'll also have the chance to cuddle with them. Here at the world's oldest and largest koala sanctuary, where conservation and research is the reserve's main mission, these marsupials are the star attraction. You don't have to pay extra to hold a koala, but you will have to fork over 18 Australian dollars (about $14) to have your photo taken with one. You can take your own photos with the koala, but only after you've purchased a professional photo from the sanctuary.

Aside from the 130 koalas that call the sprawling sanctuary home, there are plenty of other native Australian animals to see. You can hand feed kangaroos (for an added fee) and hold pythons. You can also catch several animal presentations throughout your visit with the sanctuary's resident lorikeets, platypuses and sheep dogs. Even if you're not one to get up close and personal with animals, you should still consider the sanctuary a worthwhile visit. Recent visitors say its verdant atmosphere and its seat on the Brisbane River make the sanctuary a pleasant (if pricey) place to experience Queensland's landscape. The sanctuary hosts two cafes, but past visitors say you can save some money (and enjoy a little more meal variety) by packing your own picnic lunch; it allows outside food to be brought in.

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with reduced hours on ANZAC Day. Adult passes are AU$36 (about $27.50), while kids tickets cost AU$22 (approximately $17). Family ticket packages for three children and one or two adults are also available. Entry includes access to all shows and activities (except koala, raptor and snake photos and kangaroo feedings), as well as facilities like restrooms, a cafe and a gift shop.

To get to this attraction, which sits in the Fig Tree Pocket suberb, visitors can take the No. 445 or a river cruise via Mirimar Cruises. This river cruise, which leaves from Cultural Centre Pontoon (directly across the river from the central business district), includes admission to the sanctuary when you purchase a round-trip ticket. Round-trip tickets for adults cost AU$73 (or $56) and AU$40 (less than $31) for children between 3 and 13. Check out Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary's website for more information.

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#1 Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha After you've admired the sweeping views at the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha, walk (or drive) about 1.5 miles northeast to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. At this ... Read more » brewbooks / Flickr

#2 City Botanic Gardens If you're searching for a quiet respite from the city bustle, you don't have to go far: The City Botanic Gardens are less than a mile southeast of ... Read more » Alan Simpson / EyeEm / Getty Images

#3 Story Bridge Story Bridge operates as more than just a link between Kangaroo Point, central Brisbane and Fortitude Valley: It's also a major attraction – and not just for photo-ops. With an ... Read more » John and Tina Reid / Getty Images

#4 Roma Street Parkland It's the largest urban subtropical garden in the world, but travelers just think of Roma Street Parkland as a slice of urban reprieve. Roma Street Parkland, which stretches across ... Read more » bertknot / Flickr

#5 Museum of Brisbane Housed on the fourth floor of Brisbane City Hall, the Museum of Brisbane aims to showcase Brisbane's residents and locals throughout the years. More than 120 exhibits are on display ... Read more » Quirex / Getty Images

#6 Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha For sweeping views of Queensland's capital, head up to the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha. Located 5 miles southwest of Brisbane's city center, this free viewing platform offers more ... Read more » RobertDowner / Getty Images

#7 Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Travelers are consistently impressed with Brisbane's arts scene, and perhaps the best way to experience it is to pay a visit to this comprehensive institution. Made up of two ... Read more » Phillip Capper / Flickr

#8 CityHopper One of the best ways to take in Brisbane's sights is to travel along the Brisbane River on a CityHopper ferry. Part of the TransLink transportation network, CityHoppers offer ... Read more » Brisbane City Council / Flickr

#9 Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary For many, a trip Down Under wouldn't be complete without a koala bear sighting. Pay a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and you won't just see ... Read more » Marco Simoni / Getty Images

#10 Suncorp Stadium Situated about 2 miles northwest of Brisbane's Milton neighborhood, Suncorp Stadium regularly hosts rugby matches for local and national teams like the Wallabies, the Queensland Reds and the Brisbane ... Read more » Jason O'Brien / Stringer / Getty Images

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
City Botanic Gardens picture in Brisbane
Story Bridge picture in Brisbane
Roma Street Parkland picture in Brisbane
Museum of Brisbane picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art picture in Brisbane
CityHopper picture in Brisbane
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary picture in Brisbane
Suncorp Stadium picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
City Botanic Gardens picture in Brisbane
Story Bridge picture in Brisbane
Roma Street Parkland picture in Brisbane
Museum of Brisbane picture in Brisbane
Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha picture in Brisbane
Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art picture in Brisbane
CityHopper picture in Brisbane
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary picture in Brisbane
Suncorp Stadium picture in Brisbane

Flora and fauna, a planetarium and picturesque city views are just some of what you'll find at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. brewbooks / Flickr

One of the standout spaces at the City Botanic Gardens is the Weeping Fig Avenue, where several fig trees planted in the 1870s tower over a walkway. Alan Simpson / EyeEm / Getty Images

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The world's largest urban subtropical garden can be found at Brisbane's Roma Street Parkland. bertknot / Flickr

More than 120 exhibits are housed in the Museum of Brisbane, making this a great option for travelers wanting to learn more about the city's people and places. Quirex / Getty Images

In addition to offering picturesque views of Brisbane's skyline, the Brisbane Lookout, Mount Coot-tha features top-notch walking trails, including several that end near the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. RobertDowner / Getty Images

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art are collectively known as QAGOMA. You'll find this artistic institution in the Parklands at South Bank. Phillip Capper / Flickr

Ditch the car and climb aboard a CityHopper ferry to get to top sights like Story Bridge and the City Botanic Gardens. Brisbane City Council / Flickr

You'll find about 130 of these cuddly creatures at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world's oldest and largest koala reserve. Marco Simoni / Getty Images

Catch a rugby match or football game at Suncorp Stadium, one of two sports facilities found in Brisbane. Jason O'Brien / Stringer / Getty Images

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