Association News - New Member Spotlight - February 2019


Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

With today’s fast-paced lifestyles and constant exposure to technology, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary offers a place for visitors to take a break and reconnect with nature and wildlife, says Amy Swinn, the sanctuary’s communications specialist.

“At Lone Pine, we don’t just want our guests to see our animals, but to meet them,” she says. “Through close, meaningful interactions with our animals and wildlife officers, we hope our guests leave feeling inspired to make small, positive changes in their daily lives to protect their own native wildlife and habitats.”

Lone Pine Founder Claude Reid opened the sanctuary in 1927 as a safe refuge for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas. He saw a need to help protect one of Australia’s most iconic species and started the sanctuary with just two koalas named Jack and Jill. 

Ninety-two years later, Lone Pine is home to 130 koalas and recognized as the largest koala sanctuary by Guinness World Records. In addition to koalas, 100 species of Australian native animals—including Tasmanian devils, wombats, dingoes, emus, and cassowaries—live at the sanctuary. 

“The sanctuary is set in a very natural, green, leafy setting, with various relaxation zones located throughout the park, such as our ‘Sleepy Forest,’” Swinn says. “Lone Pine is authentic and interactive. [Guests] will meet real, genuine people who have a passion for what they do.”

Swinn says visitors are most excited to see kangaroos, koalas, and platypuses, and they can participate in a variety of activities, including holding a koala, hand-feeding 150 free-ranging kangaroos and wallabies, and feeding wild lorikeets.

“We joined IAAPA to learn about safety from major companies and to gain more international perspective,” Swinn says. “We also hope to be able to share sustainability and inclusiveness success stories.”

Fast facts:

  • Guests have the opportunity to see “rofalconry,” an innovative training and enrichment technique that uses robotic prey, in Lone Pine’s free-flight raptor shows, featuring eagles, owls, and falcons (pictured above in top right photo).
  • In partnership with Brisbane City Council, Lone Pine opened the Brisbane Koala Science Institute in June 2018. The institute is a world-class science and research facility with the aim to deliver practical outcomes for wild koala populations. 
  • Lone Pine is dedicated to maximizing the positive environmental and social impacts of its operations through water and energy efficiency, biodiversity, communication, and planning. Sustainable technologies including geothermal and solar power help the sanctuary in its aim to become 100 percent energy self-sufficient.
  • The sanctuary has 2 million liters of rainwater storage used for irrigating wildlife areas, watering gardens, and supplying toilet facilities.
  • Lone Pine’s welcome signage is translated into 16 languages, and all ticketing machines and wildlife interpretation signs are translated into the region’s top eight languages, with translations accessible via QR codes and near-field communication (NFC) tags.
  • The facility offers free device charging, Wi-Fi, and designated “Blogger Corners,” allowing bloggers and social media influencers to post and write while among the wildlife.