The Lone Pine sanctuary came gigly recommended, but with the rain we were hoping it would be a largely indoor activity. Our hopes were dashed when we boarded the bus and were told dryly, "Hope you have jackets, you're going to get wet."
Admission is not cheap, but you can get a lot closer to the wildlife here than at a zoo. Whether it is a good idea to allow people to pet kangaroos and koalas for $14 (YHA discount) is more debatable.
Koalas are super cute, it is undeniable. What no guidebook tells you, however, is that they are stinky little devils. This becomes immediately understood when you readily fork over an additional $15 to have your photo taken holding one. The aroma is pungent - a mix between eucalyptus and urine. They are also heavy, weighing between 7 and 10 kg.
Other interesting facts: - Koalas are marsupials (pouched mammals), not bears.
- Koalas rarely drink because the eucalypt leaves contain so much water.
- Koalas will eat only 50 of the 800+ varieties of eucalyptus tree found in Australia.
- The nutritional content of eucalyptus leaves is so low, that koalas must rest for at least 20 hours a day to conserve energy.
- Baby koalas must eat there mothers excrement to ingest gastrointestinal microbes before being able to digest eucalypt leaves.
We were also able to see and pet several kangaroos and watched a sheep herding demo. Sorry to any "Babe" fans, there were no sheep pigs, just dogs. Despite the expense and damp, we had a great time and I have some great pictures of koalas!