Tuesday, 6 August 2013

and Brisbane, Australia - Part 3

Brisbane, Australia.

Day 6: Koala Sanctuary and Story Bridge.

On the Thursday, I had a day to kill before meeting up with my friend to climb Story Bridge. I spent a while flicking through booklets until I finally decided which cruise I wanted to do. I called up Mirimar Cruises that morning to see if there was a free spot the days cruise and, since they had a spot for me, I packed my stuff together and walked to the train station to catch the train to the city.

I changed trains in the city and jumped on a train to cross the river. I wasn't paying attention and jumped off one stop late and had to run/walk back along the esplanade to the jetty. It started to drizzle and time was ticking to when the boat was leaving. Luckily I caught the boat with enough time to get on, buy my ticket and sit down and get settled for the cruise to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The boat departs at 10am and I must have made it with about 10 minutes to spare.

Heading out on a rainy day.

Trees on the bank.

Amazing old house on the slopes over looking the river.

There is an apartment inside either pylon of the bridge.

Me cruising in style

The cruise to the Koala sanctuary was great. There was a running commentary the whole way explaining the local history as we cruised along the river. I sat on a chair by the side of the boat on the top deck. It was raining most of the day but I just stayed dry. When we arrived we climbed some stairs to the front of the Koala sanctuary. The cost of the cruise also included the entry into the sanctuary and we arrived at 11.15am. From here I walked to the Gift shop in the middle of the zoo to buy a ticket to hold a koala and to have my photo taken with them. Also, while you are there grab some kangaroo food so you don't have to go back unless you plan to buy your lunch there.

Hugging a koala. We both have devil eyes.

This photo was taken with my own camera. I also had my photo taken by their camera and had it mounted. I strongly suggest getting to the koalas as soon as you get there, if you go in the morning that is, because by 1pm there was a large line waiting to buy tickets to see the koalas. There aren't many places left where you can hold koala's now, as many states have made it illegal. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the few places left. If you plan on holding a koala don't wear your best shirt or anything white as they are a little dirty and smell a bit. 

The keepers are very conscience of the welfare of the koalas. After a specific time the koala gets returned to his/her enclosure and a new one comes out. I was the first to hold this koala and he was lovely and sedate. Their grip is firm but they don't hurt but he was pretty heavy.

After holding the koala, I headed into the kangaroo enclosure to feed and meet some macropods. Macropod is the name of kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, quokkas etc.

Kangaroos relaxing on the lawn.

A cute little pretty-faced wallaby.

Feeding an eastern grey kangaroo.

Beady eye.

This red kangaroo was not bothered by my presence 
and was happy just to snooze there.

Feeding three kangaroos. 

If you see a macropod sitting on her tail, do no get too close. She may be preparing to give birth or a bean-sized joey might be already making it's way to her pouch. It was about lunch time so I washed my hands and headed back to the gift shop to buy lunch. I then sat in the open aired lunch area behind the shop which is completely surrounded by koalas. They weren't moving much until the keepers started to change there food over. Then they become quiet active, some even jumping between branches.

Lunch with the koalas.

The koala scratched like a dog.

Changing of the leaves.

The koala looks pretty scary yawning.

After lunch I headed out to explore the rest of the zoo. The zoo has a really good range of Australian animals. All of your favourites are there including; dingoes, platypuses, wombats and echidnas as well as reptiles and birds.


As well as native Australian animals the sanctuary also has a farmyard section. Farming is very important to the economy of Australia. We have wide expanses of land and after colonisation by the British, large areas where given to the settlers for farming.

A bird flying over a farmer and his dog at the sheep dog display paddock.

After a wander around the barnyard it was almost time to leave. So I headed back out the front to wait for the boat to leave. I sat inside in the dry and enjoyed Devonshire tea from the boat kitchen and watched the world go by in the other direction.

More rain. This time I stayed in the cabin instead of being on the top deck.

Heading back to the city.

Story Bridge.

After arriving back in the city, I walked across the Story Bridge to meet up with my friend to go on the Story Bridge Adventure Climb. It was a present for my friend for her birthday and I joined her on the climb. I have previously climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge and even though the Story Bridge and the climb aren't as famous, it was still just as good.

Crossing over Story Bridge to go on the bridge climb.

View from the bridge to the city.

The Story Bridge climb was fantastic. As you climb the bridge, you stop at different locations and the climb guide runs through the history of the bridge. Something that this bridge has in common with the Sydney Harbour bridge is that both bridges were actually designed by the same engineer, John Bradfield

After the climb, my friend and I headed down the street to the Story Bridge Hotel, where we had an amazing dinner before catching the RiverCat back across and then the train home.

Brisbane by night.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

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