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    • Day 30

      Day 30/72: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      November 26, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 32 °C

      The day started with a debate about whether we should got to the Australia Zoo or to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We decided that Lone Pine was probably more our thing- our reasoning being that it was probably more like the Owl and Hawk Conservancy (one of our favourite days out back home).

      We got an uber to the sanctuary and made it in just in time for the wild lorikeet feeding! We held up plates of oat mixture and the little colourful birds came down and sat on the edges of the bowl to feed. Izzi got pooed on, but that's lucky isn't it?

      After a clean up we went into the Kangeroo enclosure which was like a large park, and wandered around their huge paddock watching them lazily hop around and eat food that people were giving them, very similar to the stuff you'd feed animals at a family farm. We walked past the enclosures for loads of Australian animals- they had freshwater crocodiles (smaller, thankfully, than their saltwater cousins), they had dingoes and tons of koalas!

      We went to a sheep dog show which was really good: the border collies they used to use in Australia found it a bit too hot working on the farms, so they bred their own type of sheep dog which is 15% dingo. The dog was great, and when the sheep were in a tight enough enclosure would get up on the sheep's backs to run across them- much safer than being on the ground with them. We spent a while talking to the farmer about sheep farms in Australia and the training process for the dogs.

      After getting some iced teas to cool off we went to hold a koala. They were surprisingly heavy, soft and quite complacent with being held! They all seemed completely nonplussed by the days activities.

      We went to the snake keeper talk, who taught us basic first aid if you are bitten by a snake; not something we get taught in first aid classes back in the UK. The sanctuary had two of the most venomous snake in the world, and luckily the keeper told us that there was no way to tell which snakes were venomous or which aren't unless you're amazing at telling apart every type of snake. But there is a universal anitivenom so no need to bring the snake to the hospital, and if you put a compression bandage over the bite and lie down, you can salvage yourself 9 hours where if you ran to a car and didn't compress the wound, you'd be in a coma in 3 minutes. Wow!

      The next talk was the koala keeper talk, they sleep for 20 hours a day and eat nearly 1kg of eucalyptus each day each. The eucalyptus cutters have to cut more than half a ton of eucalyptus a day for all the koalas at the sanctuary. They only like 40 of about 800 species of eucalyptus and of that only eat the juiciest leaves at the very top, fussy animals!

      The platypuses (platypi? Help!) were really cool- they are nocturnal and lived in a dark house thing. They weren't blue, nor did they look like they solved crime very well. The males are venomous though! They have a venomous spike on their heel which can cause excruciating pain in humans that morphine can't subdue. Also, they're an egg laying mammal, so don't have teats but secrete milk through the skin of their stomachs so that the babies can drink it out of a furry milk pool on the mother!

      The Tasmanian Devil talk was good- it started with the handler giving them half a rabbit and the next 1/2 hour they fought over the best bits. They are named this way because they scream, so people thought they were devils or ghosts.

      We went on a quest to find the wombats next- a pretty tough task because they are nocturnal. We spotted one asleep in a tube in his enclosure though. He was huge! Much bigger than you'd imagine, about the size of a large pillow! As a defence mechanism, wombats have a large flat bottom that they can use to crush anything against the sides or ceiling of their homes if say a snake was to slither in unawares when they were asleep.

      After some more feeding of the kangaroos (the grown up males were huge and muscly, the joeys were all so cute), we headed out for the day. Interestingly, any marsupial gives birth to a joey, which is about the size of a jelly bean. The joey then crawls it's way up into the pouch, and latches onto a teat and stays there until it is fully developed. It's more than likely for a kangeroo to have more than one joey in its pouch at once, one tiny one and one nearly fully developed one.

      After we got back into Brisbane, we went to the cinema to watch Fantastic Beasts and had a burrito. Both were good but interestingly enough they don't have sweet popcorn in Australia! After the film we wandered around to some lagoons by the river and then headed back to the hostel.
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    • Day 34

      Lone pine koala sanctuary

      July 8, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Heute morgen gabs erstmal eine heiße Dusche nachdem wir gestern noch so ewig im Auto sitzen mussten. Immerhin war sie kostenlos! Wirklich eine tolle Rest Area.
      Dann hieß es wieder ins Auto, die Fahrt nach Brisbane war dementsprechend heute morgen auch länger als ursprüngliche geplant. Nach knapp 1 1/2 Stunden und ein paar umfahrenen Toll Roads, waren wir dann in fig tree pocket angekommen. Bevor wir allerdings zum koala sanctuary abbogen, fuhr ich noch zu meiner alten Wohnadresse hier in Brisbane, um Kalina zu zeigen wo ich gut 2 1/2 Monate gelebt habe.
      Dann ging es aber endlich zu den koalas.
      Heute konnten wir auch das erste Mal in Australien mit unseren Studenten/Schüler ausweisen bares Geld sparen. Ganze 11$ pro Kopf 😳
      Jetzt hieß es "rein ins Koala Vergnügen"!
      130 koalas beherbergt das sanctuary, von Mamis mit Baby, über einen Kindergarten, eine boygroup bis hin zu den vielen Erwachsenen schlafies.
      Aber es gibt nicht nicht koalas zu sehen, sondern auch einen Känguru Streichelzoo, wombats, Tasmania devil's, platypus, Papageie, Krokodile, dingos, Schlangen, Schafe, hunde und natürlich gaaanz viele koalas 😀😜🙊
      Haben uns ganz in Ruhe alles angeschaut, ein paar tolle Fotos mit den Kängurus geschossen, eine sheep and dog Show angeschaut und vorallem beim meet and greet with the koala vorbei geschaut 🤗😍
      Nachdem wir alles gesehen hatten und ein paar Stunden vergangen waren machten wir uns langsam wieder auf den Weg Richtung Auto, denn wir wollten noch auf den Mount Cootha fahren. Knapp 30 Minuten später hatten wir Glück mit der Parkplatz suche und fanden ganz oben einen freien Platz 😋
      Wir waren natürlich nicht alleine dort oben, was das Foto machen etwas schwierig gestaltete, aber so eine Aussicht bekommt man auch nur schwer auf einem Foto festgehalten. Man sieht einfach die komplette Stadt, die Skyline, den River bis ins Hinterland.
      Dann gings noch eine knappe Stunde ins Auto bis wir an unserer Rest Area für die Nacht angekommen waren.
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    • Day 6

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      November 10, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Mein Traum war es, ein Känguru zu füttern und einen Koala zu streicheln. Dieser Traum wurde mir heute erfüllt!
      Es war großartig! Einfach unfassbar schön!

      "Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary" hieß mein Ziel heute.
      Man muss sich diesen Ort wie einen Zoo vorstellen ohne Käfige....
      Freilaufende Kängurus und Koalas in greifbarer Nähe auf Bäumen... Absoluter Wahnsinn!

      Es war so ein tolles Erlebnis, welches ich nieee wieder vergessen werde!
      Man füttert nun mal nicht alle Tage ein Känguru ;)

      Natürlich gibt es dort auch noch andere Tiere als Koalas und Kängurus. Zum Beispiel freilaufende Truthähne die einem das Vesper klauen... :D oder die weit verbreitete "Water Dragons".

      Ich kann dieses Erlebnis gar nicht in Worte fassen! Es war unglaublich!!

      Bin gespannt ob dieses Abenteuer noch getoppt werden kann...?!

      Liebe Grüße aus Brisbane :)
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    • Day 124


      August 21, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Refusing to let overcast skies and the threat of rain dampen our spirits, we bounced our way onto the city bus to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary down in the Fig Tree Pocket (cool name) suburb of Brisbane.

      Although we have been lucky enough to see Koala in the wild, the sanctuary offers visitors the opportunity to hold one, which is safe to do as they have been raised in captivity. Kim thoroughly enjoyed this and rode a Koala-cuddling-high all the way back to the city centre!

      We also got the opportunity to hand feed Kangaroo within a large open pen. Basking in the humid sun they appeared lack lustre, yet quickly demonstrated their power when a mob bounded at speed across the grass to a point 50 metres away. You were further reminded of their strength when the larger ones stood up on their hind legs to come level with your face, the muscles of their torsos visibly shifting under their short haired coats. Yet they docilely nibbled and licked up the food on our open palms, their glassy black eyes reflecting back at us.

      We watched a demonstration of birds of prey, which soared and swooped around our heads to crunch down on white mice offered by their handlers. There was the fearsome looking White Bellied Sea Eagle, who was 22 years old and could potentially live to 40 in captivity. Then the Barn Owl, an assassin capable of silent flight to kill before it's prey even knew what had happened. Followed by the Barking Owl, named because of it's 'woof'-like call, which can kill prey as large as a cockatoo. Lastly the fastest of them all, the Peregrine Falcon, which was so fast (speeds up to 400km per hour) it was difficult to keep track of in the sky.

      Afterwards we watched that great Australian staple - sheep sheering. Undertaken by gruff shearer, Kevin, it looked like backbreaking work, particularly when done, as Kevin explained, over an 8-10 hour a day with shearers pocketing $3 per sheared sheep. However, for the sheep who calmly allowed Kevin to remove its coat with the abloom of a cutthroat barber, it appeared just another day at the office.

      After our recent burger splurges Alex's Dad commented whether we were in fact eating anything but this. We responded that we were, lots of sushi! So in honour of this and a brilliant day, we ate more sushi for dinner!
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    • Day 7

      A Koality day

      October 6, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Woke up thinking we were set for a day of rain so we were happy to see it was fairly clear out. We decided to catch the bus from the city out to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We weren’t sure if we were going to end up seeing Koalas in the wild while in Aus and decided we couldn’t leave without seeing one!

      We didn’t expect to be able to hold the Koalas (marsupials, not bears apparently) so jumped at the chance. Also fed and patted some Kangaroos who were roaming free, and checked out a native Wombat. It was great and really hit home that we were in Australia.

      After that we headed up to a great view point overlooking the whole city. Had a bit of a wait to catch the bus back down so sat looking out at Brisbane for a bit.

      Lastly we took a little stroll through the botanical gardens in the city which backed on to the riverside, before heading back to our room for a relaxing session in the sauna.

      Early Greyhound coach to Noosa tomorrow!

      Mart x
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    • Day 133

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      April 2, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Wir machten einen Ausflug zur Auffangstation für Koala's in der Nähe von Brisbane.

      Uns überraschte der stolze Eintrittspreis von 72$ (ca. 46€), allerdings kommt es ja den Tieren zu Gute - Hoffentlich 😅!!!

      Wir sahen sehr viele Tiere, am schönsten fanden wir die Koala's, die wir das erste Mal in Echt gesehen haben. Die Tasmanischen Teufel warwn aber auch sehr schön.

      Die haben das Chillen erfunden - eindeutig, so wie die sich in die Äste rein fleeeetzen 😄

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    • Day 19

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary!

      August 6, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Am 6. August fuhren wir gleich mit dem ersten Bus zum Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, eine Art Zoo mit vielen australischen Tieren. Anfangs gingen wir selbst eine Runde, aber viele Tiere haben noch geschlafen oder sich versteckt. Dann gingen wir durch ein Tor in den Kängurubereich, wo Wallabies und Kängurus einfach frei herumgehüpft sind und gefüttert werden konnten. Wir kamen den Tieren ganz nahe!
      Danach machten wir uns auf dem Weg zu der Raubvögelshow und sahen wie eine Eule eine tote Maus gleich im ganzen hinunterschluckte - igitt!! Gleich im Anschluss daran war eine Hütehundeshow und man konnte sehen, wie zwei Hunde eine Herde Schafe durch einen Parcours trieben (Balu kann sich schon auf etwas gefasst machen 😛).
      Nach der Show sind wir wieder auf eigene Faust herumgegangen und sahen ein Krokodil, Wombats, ein Schnabeltier, verschiedene Vögel und Dingos!
      Um 12:30 hatte man dann die Möglichkeit eine Schlange zu streicheln, was wir mutigerweise auch gemacht haben. Um 13 Uhr begann dann 'Meet a Koala', bei dem man gegen eine Spende einen Koala streicheln durfte und mit seinem Handy ein Foto machen durfte! Der Koala war nicht ganz so flauschig wie gedacht und hatte ein eher raues Fell, aber trotzdem war dieses Erlebnis einmalig!!
      Zurück in Brisbane haben wir dann kurz beim Suncorp Stadium vorbeigeschaut und haben uns bei leichtem Regen (das erste 'andere' Wetter, das wir in Australien erlebten) auf den Weg zum Abendessen gemacht. Wir haben in einer Broschüre einen recht günstigen Chinesen gefunden und haben dort echt nicht so schlecht gegessen.
      Als Fazit zu Brisbane kann man sagen, dass es eine Großstadt ist, die uns eigentlich gut gefallen hat, und wenn wir noch länger Zeit gehabt hätten, wär es schön gewesen, auch noch die äußeren Bezirke zu erkunden.
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    • Day 173

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      March 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

      Nachdem wir nun schon so lange davon geträumt haben endlich mal einen Koala auf dem Arm halten zu dürfen, ist dieser Traum heute in Erfüllung gegangen als wir das Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary bei Brisbane besucht haben.😍
      Diese kleine Art von Zoo beherbergt super viele Koalas, welche einfach nur zum knuddeln sind.🐨 Und obwohl Koalas fast den ganzen Tag nur schlafen, konnten wir einige aktive Koalas beobachten. 😊
      Außerdem gab es dort ganz viele Kangaroos, welche auch gefüttert werden durften, Wombats, ein Krokodil und zahlreiche andere Tiere. Aber die Koalas waren einfach am tollsten! 😍🐨🐨
      Die Tierchen sind so lieb und kuschelig. Und dann riechen sie auch noch so gut nach Eukalyptus 😍🌿🍃
      Der Tag war also ein voller Erfolg!

      Morgen geht es für uns dann richtig nach Brisbane in die Stadt rein und ich bin gespannt, was uns dort so erwarten wird. :)
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    • Day 57

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      April 8, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      While at Base in Brisbane I joined in on the Sunday BBQ one day and ended up winning a pair of tickets to the lone pine koala sanctuary south of Brisbane, the girl that picked my number to win was cute so I invited her to come with me, it seemed only fair. I’m glad I invited her now as well as we crossed paths on Phi Phi island in Thailand and just bumped into each other again in Vienna!
      It was a great day out and well worth going to visit if you’re in the Brisbane area. You can feed kangaroos and meet some awesome birds of prey, as well as some wild rainbow parakeets around 2pm that fly in to get fed! You can even get your photo taken with a koala, there are a tonne of famous people that have been there with their photos on the walls in the main shop, I distinctly remember George R.R. Martins face being one of them!
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    • Day 22

      Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

      September 26, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Today we were up early to get to Brisbane, South Bank for 10 am. We are heading to Fig Tree Pocket to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on the Mirimar II. The trip took us down the river, during the cruise we sat up top to enjoy sunshine, cool air, great views of historic Queenslander homes and breathtaking modern mansions along the sought after river front. We also had an entertaining narrative for the journey down, from the Captain with interesting facts about the sites along the way as well as the river itself and the boat we were on. This was a relaxing way to spend an hour and a quarter!
      Once we arrived at Fig Tree Pocket and negotiated the climb up the 29 steps to the entrance we had 3 hrs in which to explore the sanctuary. From Koalas to Kangaroos; Wombats to Dingos; Platypus to Bats and Tazmanian Devils we spent the time exploring some of Australia's wildlife - some in enclosures, some roaming so you could get up close experiences feeding and touching - Emus, kangaroos and wallabies. Some animals and birds have the area as their natural home - Myna birds, black turkeys, Eastern Water dragons and a range of smaller lizards. There was plenty to see in a reasonably spaced area and the 3 hours went quite quickly. The return boat trip was a little warmer, just as relaxing and accompanied with Ozzie music.
      Once back to Sandgate we had cold drinks then an early meal so we could meet Ken and head to another theatrical event as part of the Brisbane festival. This time we went to Theatre Republic at QU; the production was called 'Two Guys In A Box' - two Brisbane guys known for clowning using a combination of physical theatre, dark comedy and satire to show their life in the box.
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