Why not hang out with the natives on Australia Day?
The Lone Pine has been around since 1927 and is considered one of the world's top ten zoos. It was named for the lone hoop pine, a rather large coniferous tree that the original owners of the 4.2 hectare site planted.
The world became aware of the koala sanctuary with the visit of American General Douglas McCarthur's wife during World War Two.
Since then the santuary has thrived with daily visitors from all around the world. This Australia Day, why not do something with some of the native Australians? All kinds of Aussies await you - kangaroos, koalas, monitor lizards, wombats, dingoes, even a platypus.
Along with all the inhabitants the Lone Pine is going to have a jumping castle and will be handing out temporary tattoos. A special Aussie menu will also be observed on this national holiday.
There will also be lamington making demonstrations to do with the kids. Limited spaces are available so come early as the fun starts at 10:00am and goes to 1:00pm. Come dressed in green or gold and find out what happens.
You can buy memberships at the gate or online at www.koala.net. The benefits are numerous, including 20% off guest admissions and 20% off of food purchased. All the information you need to become a member can be had online or from your friendly staff at the sanctuary. A word to the wise - get your memberships online before you head there and save yourself standing in line.
There are over 16 presentations and shows every day. Some of these include the Koala presentation and the Sheep Dog and Sheep Shearing shows. The Birds of Prey are interesting to watch as they swoop and dive across the sky.
Hours of operation are between 9:00am-5:00pm every day except Anzac and Christmas Days. You can go online to check all the scheduled shows and times for holidays. There are volunteer sections as well as educational programs.
There are a number of ways to get to the sanctuary. You can drive, take a bus, or hop aboard the Mirimar. Daily cruises leave the Cultural Centre Pontoon in the city at 10:00am, touring you up the river with some historical and wildlife encounters along the way. They return you later in the day after your outing at Lone Pine and price includes admission to the sanctuary. More information, pricing and schedules can be seen here.