On the 22nd, Marcus and I went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary just outside Brisbane. It’s the first and biggest Koala sanctuary in the world, with 130 koalas. We had LOADS of fun playing around with the animals – Marcus even finally decided birds aren’t as boring as he thought.
This koala was born with only one eye. He’s young – only 15 months old.
Marcus cuddling a koala – they have very sharp claws, so we had to stand very still to keep them from digging in.
The sanctuary has many other animals, includin emus. There were a bunch of them in a fenced in area, but a lady was feeding them from her hand – they’re really quite creepy in my opinion.
The kangaroo area was reeeally cool. We could walk right up to kangaroos and feed them and watch them bounce around.
A lace monitor lizard chills in the sun.
A laughing kookaburra – they’re a type of kingfisher, and really look similar to the ones we get out at Bowen Island in BC. They ‘laugh’ quite hysterically, and we heard them at night while we slept in our tent later.
Two lizards relax in the light of a heat lamp.
A hairy-nosed wombat – very endangered. I believe the current estimate is 300 living members of the species. I can understand why – they aren’t particularly suited to the survival of the fittest theory. Strange strange creatures.
Hundreds of lorikeets (small, very colourful parrots) were flying around, and at feeding time they all swarmed to the feeding area where they pretty much attacked anyone that was holding the food, fighting with each other and flying into people’s faces.
Echidnas are pretty cool – they’re sorta like a porcupine with the toxic quills deal going on, and a sorta beak… I believe they’re related to platypii (my plural form of platypus).
The koala sanctuary even had a tasmanian devil named Trevor! Turns out they can only run 13 km/h and are scavengers, not predators… so they look pretty crazy but they’re not all that bad. I wouldn’t mind one as a pet.
We spent about 15 minutes waiting for the baby in this photo to make his head visible. When the mother moves around (and she leapt from one tree to another a couple times) the baby holds on to the mother’s stomach/chest. Pretty cute.
After leaving the koala sanctuary, Marcus and I went to the Brisbane Forest Park to camp, as we read that we could camp for $4 a night there. We got there around 6pm and the office was closed! Luckily, while we stood there wondering what to do, a jeep drove by us and stopped not far past us. The guy got out and turned out to be Jason, the park manager. Turns out Lonely Planet could use some clarification, as the camp sites were on the other side of the park, accessible only by car. The book specifically said we could get to the park by public bus, which is what we did… gah.
Well, Jason was quite nice and offered to drive us to a local park where we could tent out. However, after some thinking he decided the locals might not be happy, as technically it wouldn’t be legal. So, he drove us a few metres into the Forest Park to a clearing beneath some trees with a fire pit. He said we could stay there, even gave instructions if we wanted a fire, and told us to mention his name if anyone gave us a hard time.
Sure enough, in the morning some cranky know-it-all locals came by with their dog and after sniffing around for about an hour, finally asked us what we were doing. They left as soon as I explained our situation so it was all good.
Best of all – we didn’t even have to pay the $4 to camp out! Free accommodation is a backpacker’s friend.
After our night tenting outside Brisbane, we bused up to Hervey Bay (pronounced Harvey Bay).
At our evening rest stop, there was a nice sunset.
To be continued…