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Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo

London, United...
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132 posts
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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Hi, when I visit in September I’m planning on going to both Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Australia Zoo. The Koala is my favourite animal and I’ve waited all my life to see one. I want to do a cuddle/ interaction with one. Has anyone any advice on whether I m best to do the Koala Encounter at Lone Pine which is $150 (including entry so is really $114 extra)) for 45 minutes (though I’m not sure how much of that time is spent with Koala) or the One at Australia Zoo for $49. I understand that you can do this for free where they quickly let you hold koala for a photo, but I’d prefer to pay for a less rushed experience. Has anyone done both and have opinions on which one was the best?

TIA

Noosaville...
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
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16,993 posts
57 reviews
26 helpful votes
1. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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My understanding (not personal experience) is that at LP you get to spend time helping the staff actuallly care for the koalas as well as a cuddle. Lone Pine is very much focussed on native animals and if you have the budget I would recommend this one - Aust Zoo is a great zoo, but far more commercial and geared towards profit as well as animal preservation. LP is and always has been about looking after rescued koalas from the local area.

Cheers.

Brisbane, Australia
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4,192 posts
162 reviews
116 helpful votes
2. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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I concur wholeheartedly with Sweetbiscuit. Australia Zoo, IMO, is far more commercial than Lone Pine and while a nice experience, I feel you could get just as much at Lone Pine. I don't feel there is any need to visit both.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
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16,132 posts
124 reviews
58 helpful votes
3. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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You can hold a koala at Lone Pine and have photos taken for $20.

Noosaville...
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
16,993 posts
57 reviews
26 helpful votes
4. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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And just to clarify, I have visited both places numerous times - just haven’t done the koala thing at either. I love Lone Pine for its animals - but don’t plan on lunch there - the cafe is awful, but at least you can take a picnic to have by the river.

Cheers

Bermagui, Australia
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3,369 posts
129 reviews
129 helpful votes
5. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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Please don't do it.

If you're really food of Koalas respect the fact that they stress very easily and any place that lets you cuddle or hold them isn't thinking of the Koalas best interests.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
4,192 posts
162 reviews
116 helpful votes
6. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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Hi gilaga_girl. I first visited Lone Pine when I was a toddler, some 70 odd years ago, and at that time they had a German Shepherd meeting the boat with a koala on its back. I still have photos, back from those years, of holding a koala which seemed bigger than I was at the time. The koalas did not perform in any manner which indicated that they were stressed. Had they been I think they would have peed on the holder which I understand they have done to some celebrities who have visited LP in later years. In my memory it was one of the best on visiting LP. I still say LP over Australia Zoo.

Noosaville...
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
16,993 posts
57 reviews
26 helpful votes
7. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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Yes, a Lone Pine Koala carer experience is all about preservation/caring for koalas - many of the ones at LP are hand raised by humans because the mothers have been killed by motor cars or dogs - and it is certainly a place that puts animal welfare front and centre - Bermagui-girl, your assumptions are completely incorrect.

Cheers.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
2,035 posts
51 reviews
36 helpful votes
8. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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I’ve worked in conservation and now outdoor education my whole life and i wholeheartedly agree that these places allow visitors to hold a koala. They have extremely strict regulations on the handling. These places are like arks of disease free animals. I love holding them and love seeing them in the wild. You need to add the entry cost of Australia zoo on as well, it’s insanely expensive. I love Lone Pine and highly recommend it.

London, United...
Level Contributor
132 posts
4 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone....Lone Pine it is....I can’t wait 😃

Bermagui, Australia
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
129 reviews
129 helpful votes
10. Re: Koala Encounter Lone Pine or Australia Zoo
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I'm not incorrect.

There was a time when it was ILLEGAL to even touch let alone hold a Koala. Too bad those days aren't still around.

Visiting these places is great and I actually love Zoos but not to hold animals, it's just not appropriate.

We've come a long way, why go back.

Edited: 2 years ago
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