I love getting up close and personal with the Australian Wildlife at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, just clicking away taking advantage of the many photo opportunities that even sleeping Koalas present. Actually, you’ll see most of the Koalas just sleeping as they are nocturnal animals. They sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day to save energy – who wants to move around when it’s hot and steamy during the day?
The Koalas start moving around when it’s cooler, at dusk and at night, looking for food, grooming and interacting with their mates. There is a special enclosure at Lone Pine for Mothers and their Joeys – don’t miss that.
I’ve learned that the Koala gets its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning “no drink.” They only drink when there is not enough moisture in their food, particularly during droughts. The Koalas get about 90% of their fluid from eating Gum leaves.
Make sure you walk around the large Kangaroo enclosure, mingle with the cheeky Emus and feed the Kangaroos. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a Joey in a mother’s pouch.
Did you know that all baby marsupials are called Joeys – like wombat joeys, possum joeys and Tasmanian devil Joeys?
I have a special place in my heart for the Dingos. They are Australia’s wild dogs. Dingos, like wolves howl, they do not bark like our pet dogs. At Lone Pine, you can get close to my very special friends Simpson, Tanami and Smiggins. Smiggins is a white Alpine Dingo from the colder parts of Australia.
Another exciting experience at the Sanctuary is the Australian outback show. Learn how to shear a sheep and be astonished by the mustering skills of the smart sheep dogs and their fantastic interaction with their handlers.
You should also watch the amazing birds of prey “free flight show,” where the eagles soar high in the sky and dive down to their very dedicated handlers. How magnificent is the white-bellied sea-eagle below?
I tried, not very successfully though, to catch the hyperactive Barak and Aroona platypuses on camera. It is pitch black when you go into the platypus house, so you can see them in action in the water. “The Platypus is a furry, warm-blooded, egg-laying mammal which retains some features of a reptile.” (Australian Platypus Conservancy) When a platypus is born, it feeds on milk from the mother. Adult Platypuses feed mainly on insect larvae, worms or other freshwater insects. They do so principally at night, using the electro-receptors located on their bill to stir up mud on the bottom of the lake or river (www.australianfauna.com/platypus.php)
There are so many, beautiful and exotic animals at Lone Pine, check out my video