Still Alive/Koala Sanctuary

No worries! I haven’t been eaten by a great white – I’ve just been a lazy blogger.


Since my last post, I’ve adventured in New Zealand and started my study abroad program in AUS. Let’s just say while in NZ I tried hard living in the now rather than focusing on real-time chronicling.


Selfie @ Otehei Bay in the Bay of Islands (NZ)


I’ll try my best to designate a future blog post to describe my stay in NZ – which was, in fact, amazing. This post, rather, highlights my first 48ish hours in AUS, esp my visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Lone Pine

As the oldest & largest koala sanctuary in the world, Lone Pine is a great attraction and seems to be a reputable haven for koalas and other Australian wildlife.


A selfie fail I took at the entrance

Sanctuary vs Zoo

The word sanctuary is a bit more humanitarian-sounding than zoo. Although Lone Pine is hardly your typical zoo, boasting open animal enclosures – letting some roam among guests, there’s still that lingering feeling that makes you question how well the animals are really treated. With the sanctuary’s supposed reputation in mind, overall I had a generally good feeling about its practice caring for its inhabitants.


A koala looking at something idk

My three-and-a-half hours spent at Lone Pine were mostly self-paced. The sanctuary seemed small but I think that’s because of its somewhat natural environment – The towering trees and low, water-filled ravines make you feel you’re really in a forest, not a zoo…or sanctuary…or whatever.

One of my favorite parts of the visit to Lone Pine was walking in an open enclosure (I know, paradox) with kangaroos, wallabies and emus.


A wallaby in deep thought

My first impression of this enclosure was will this gigantic bird attack me – As soon as I entered I saw a beast of a bird – perhaps almost as tall as me, walking about 20 ft away (nothing standing between it & me, hence open enclosure).

Thank God the ones at the sanctuary didn't look this menacing.

Thank God the ones at the sanctuary didn’t look this menacing.

As soon as I got over the initial fear of being terrorized by emus (there were a handful), I got a glimpse of some of the enclosure’s more cuddly animals – kangaroos & wallabies. Within 5 minutes of encountering these marsupials, we were petting them/in very close proximity trying to take selfies (hehehhh).


Selfie w bae (a kangaroo I met in the enclosure)

The second most memorable part of the visit was holding a koala. Her name was Vinny (or some spelling variation of that name). I was on the rocks of partaking at first – mostly due to cost. It was 16 Australian dollars (AUD) to hold her/get a photo taken. It’s super lame but I hate feeling like a tourist; so I started second guessing if paying extra to hold a koala for a minute and a half while I pose for a picture was an authentic experience.

A koala called Vinny & her loving father

A koala called Vinny & her loving father – Photo Cred: Rachel Robillard

I caved and have no regrets. The caretaker had to remove Vinny once during our initial encounter because she started to climb up on my shoulders. This, of course, was totally my fault – my hands, acting as a base for Vinny’s bottom, naturally shifted upwards, encouraging her to keep climbing.

What can I say? I’m a natural father.

*4 June 2014: Update – Feeding a Kanga @ Lone Pine

First Impressions of AUS

Here I’m supposed to reflect on peculiar things/instances I’ve noticed/experienced in relation to living in a foreign place (AUS).

NZ definitely prepared me for living/traveling in AUS – Don’t think I’ve had much culture shock since I’ve arrived in Brizzy.

Cars & money are obvious differences I’ve witnessed.


Here’s what I believe to be the model/make of the car I ‘hired’ (rented) for my NZ trip – A ’98 Nissan Sunny

I haven’t had too much experience on the road in AUS because most of our transportation is pre-arranged. In NZ though, I had behind-the-wheel experience every day – which was a fun challenge for me. Over here, pretty much everything in relation to cars/traffic is opposite than it is back in the States – Driving on the left (sharp left turns, wide right turns), blinker on right side, etc.

NZ currency - I didn't know $ could get prettier

NZ currency – I didn’t know $ could get prettier

Beside the bills/coins being cooler, mostly just because they’re foreign, speaking on money: things are just more expensive here. I cringed when I noticed what I was about to order for brekkie at a café – basically, an egg scramble, was 22 NZD. The exchange rate between the US/NZ/AUS is somewhat similar.


One thought on “Still Alive/Koala Sanctuary

  1. Pingback: Rainforest/Dryforest | Crikey!

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