Friday, June 21, 2013

Hanging Out With Koalas

Good thing I practice "the tree" in yoga.

"Be a tree."

That was the advice of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary employee while positioning my limbs (arms) in preparation for a koala to perch on me.

Her name was Tinkerbell.  And the minute I felt the trusting weight of her compact body lean into me, I fell in love.

Why do so many people go nuts over koalas?  Perhaps because they are insanely cute. And they smell--so adorable!--like cough drops.  I think the fact that they are marsupials adds to their allure.  How delightful is the fact that they carry their young in a pouch?

Munching on eucalyptus, ergo the cough drop scent.

Koalas spend most of their time sleeping, especially during the warmest parts of the day. For that reason, we'd heard they might not be very active. A cool day played in our favor.  We saw them eating and moving about.  But we also saw plenty koalas endearingly snoozing while curled up in tree limbs.


This sanctuary is an awesome place.  There are many amazing animals to see.  We were able to get up close to raptors and dingoes that park employees walked around with.

Can get up to 85 K (190 pounds) and 190 cm  (75 inches ) tall.

Dave was especially thrilled to get to see--finally--the Southern Cassowary.  This colorful, large, flightless bird is the only bird in Australia that ever killed a man.  That was in 1926 so it's really not something to lose sleep over.

We also saw various other birds, wombats, a Tasmanian devil (which looks nothing like the cartoon version), platypuses, and kangaroos.

so soft
The kangaroos--and a few emus--hang out in a large enclosure that you can walk around in.  You can pet these docile creatures who are clearly used to people.  That was quite a contrast to having seen kangas in the wild.

Getting to the sanctuary was fun because--although you can drive or take a bus--we chose to ride a boat up the Brisbane River. 

The boat ride takes about an hour.  It's a lovely experience, floating past the city and under numerous bridges that are architectural wonders.  As you leave the downtown, the river is lined with beautiful foliage and amazing homes. 

Dave's got photo skills.
The riverboat captain noticed a boa in a tree and stopped to allow people to take photos.  I heard it was off-season for snakes, but this one didn't get the memo.

When we returned to downtown, we walked around the city, just exploring.  Before we knew it, the sun was setting.  And we experienced a final treat:  the splendor of Brisbane at night.


Cindy said...

Absolutely incredible and heartwarming! I want to book the trip immediately, but for now, it will be a dream. Thanks for sharing this, Kate.

Unknown said...

Cuuuuuute! Like a live Teddy bear.

Gotta love the magic of the Internet, that from ancient Rome I am able to keep up on your adventures in the land of Oz.

Bacio for Dave!

Daisy Luu said...

Just got all caught up on your blog! I know it's mostly about the people connections, but I love looking at all the pictures of the fuzzies and featheries!

Kate Evans said...

So glad you're all enjoying this!

And Daisy: No worries, we love and attract animal encounters, so there will certainly be more. In the next few months, watch for dolphins and other sea creatures in Hawaii, elephants and leopards in Sri Lanka, and maybe cows (?!) in India! :)