World Cruise Update: The Secret To Koala Cuddling in Brisbane Australia

Brisbane Australia
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch docked in Brisbane Australia

Hello from my world cruise on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch. Our latest port of call is Brisbane Australia where we will enjoy the heat of summer and some cuddling with animals. In case you didn’t know, Brisbane Australia is the capital of Queensland the third most populous city in the country. 



Our Arrival Into Brisbane

Black Watch entered Fisherman Island Grain Terminal by 7:30 am. After a quick breakfast onboard, we were on the gangway and off the ship by 8:15 am. A short walk into the terminal and we were soon on our coach into the city. Although we were told it could take up to an hour, the ride into Brisbane was all of maybe 20 minutes.

Brisbane Australia
Anzac Square war memorial

The shuttle dropped us off at Anzac Square and we crossed the street to wait for our Uber. We had arranged to visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on our own although the ship did have tours running there as well.

Brisbane Australia
Driving around Brisbane Australia

We could’ve taken the Koala Express at 11 am, but we were both interested in beating the crowds. So a 25 minute Uber ride 12km outside of Brisbane Australia and we arrived at our koala destination.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Brisbane Australia
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Opened in 1927, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest of its kind. Inside you’ll find an array of animals including, of course, koalas.

Once inside, we headed directly to where the koala cuddling action could be found. Unfortunately, you then had to walk over to the General Store to queue up and pay for your photo in advance. We also picked up some kangaroo food for A$2 and looked over the cute stuffed animals before getting back into the photo line.

Time To Cuddle A Koala

Brisbane Australia
Cuddly koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

This line was massive but it did move relatively fast. As we got closer to the front, we were advised to put all of our belongings in a bin and that we could take pics with our own cameras and cell phones. Then it was our turn and we moved up to prepare for a cuddle.

Danielle was up first and she kept saying he was so much heavier than she expected. I’m thinking she’s crazy as he’s a vegan who eats eucalyptus leaves and sleeps up to 20 hours a day. How heavy could he possibly be? I took several pics of Danielle holding the koala and she also had her pic taken by the photographer.

Up next was Michelle, Black Watch’s Cruise Director. She’s a tall blonde who made holding a koala look like child’s play. Lots of pics later, including by the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary photographer and it was then my turn.

Look Who’s Cuddling With A Koala

Brisbane Australia
Hugging a koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I stepped up to the feet marks on the ground as indicated to begin the process. I then placed my hand in the appropriate position as told to me by the staff member. She advised that he would do the work on his own and I didn’t even have to help. Once in place, I could feel my back bending to accommodate the heavy load of this 9 kg koala. Who would’ve thought something so cute and furry could weigh so much? Several pics later and it was time to return him back to the handler.

We then walked back to the General Store to wait for our photos. But my secret to koala cuddling? Follow the instructions provided and always keep at least one eye on your koala. More on that later.

Kangaroo Time

Brisbane Australia
Kangaroo at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

During my trip to Hobart, Tasmania, I visited a kangaroo sanctuary and was excited visit with kangaroos again. This would be Danielle’s first ever up close and personal experience with kangaroos.

Brisbane Australia
Emus at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

But first we had to walk past the emus that were acting like security guards for this area.

Finally we came upon so many kangaroos. There were big ones and tiny baby ones called “joeys.”

Brisbane Australia
Selfie with kangaroos at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The kangaroos have the option when they’ve had enough to enter a fenced in area seats from humans. I needed a selfie with the masses of kangaroos as you can see here.

We brought out the kangaroo food and looked around for someone hungry. Since there were so many visitors and many with children, the kangaroos didn’t seem nearly as hungry as I’d expected.

Brisbane Australia
Feeding a baby kangaroo at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I did feed this tiny kangaroo who ate from my hand ever so gently and delicately. What a baby!

Brisbane Australia
Kangaroo selfie
Brisbane Australia
Selfie with kangaroo at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Then it was time for another kangaroo selfie. That was followed by a few more pics of various kangaroos. I found a family with young children who didn’t have any kangaroo food and gave them my bag. That was my good deed for the day I guess.

Back To The Koalas

Brisbane Australia
Mama and baby koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Our next stop was the Koala Forest where we saw a mama and baby cuddling and so many others just resting.

TSG Tip: Did you know that there are over 100 koalas at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary?

Time To Leave Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Brisbane Australia
My pic with the naughty koala

As we weren’t in Brisbane Australia long, we decided to walk around as much as we could quickly before departing. On our way out, we ran into a few of our cruise passenger friends, Debbie and Alec. I had to show my koala pic to her and of course, she immediately zoomed in on something I hadn’t seen. Apparently, the koala was grabbing my boob and winking. Naughty koala!

They were going in as we were leaving and I ordered up an Uber back to Anzac Square. About 10 minutes later we were on our way into Brisbane again.

Travel Shop Girl Goes Shopping

In Sydney I had stopped at Sportsgirl looking for a pair of jeans. Usually there too big in the waist and tight in the hips/butt area. But the jeans I tried on were too tight in the calves. Strange but true. So we walked around the area near where our shuttle back to the ship was and it turned out to be a fantastic pedestrian shopping area.

If you love to shop like I do, Brisbane is a great shopping city. From designer brands to boutiques and malls to arcades, there’s definitely something for everyone. The first mall we went into was a designer shopping mall, so I had no intention of shopping in there. Nothing against designer brands if that’s your thing, but I’m less about brand names and more about how I either like or don’t like something. That meant I was going to walk on by and shop in H&M instead. I bought a pair of jeans, a few pairs of shorts, a couple of tops, and a bathing suit. That’s my idea of a successful shopping trip.

Lunch in Brisbane

Brisbane Australia
Rolld tofu bao

But we were hungry so we decided to eat inside the food court at the designer mall around Queens Plaza in Brisbane because it was close by. Danielle located another Mad Mex and pretty much ordered the same meal she had in Sydney, which was a burrito. I was pleasantly surprised to find Rolld, the Vietnamese restaurant I secretly coveted also at the food court. So for my lunch I had two tofu bao, which were crazy good and a mango bubble tea from Chatime. Felt like I was back home in Chinatown in Boston.

Even More Shopping in Brisbane

After lunch we decided to grab the shuttle from Ann Street at Anzac Square back to the ship. We even boarded the shuttle, but then saw the captain get on with a large Australia bag. Danielle had wanted to get some last minute souvenirs and decided to ask him where he had shopped.

Within a few minutes we were off the shuttle and walking around trying to locate a souvenir store. Luckily, we did find it and the money that was burning holes in our pockets was soon released and set free.

Back on the Shuttle to Black Watch

We are all one big crazy, yet dysfunctional family on this ship.Click To Tweet
Brisbane Australia
View from Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch looking toward the city of Brisbane

Another quick ride on the shuttle and before long we were back home on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch. It’s so funny how this ship and the people on it have become home to all of us. You start to miss people when you don’t see them and look forward to hearing someone’s laugh or silly jokes. We are all one big crazy, yet dysfunctional family on this ship.

Brisbane Australia
View of the city of Brisbane from Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch

With the view of the city of Brisbane in the background, Black Watch set off at around 6 pm to make it to our next port of call, Hamilton Island. Make sure you come back for another exciting adventure in my world cruise update.

Have you visited Brisbane Australia? Can you suggest other destinations in Australia that you found equally exciting? Leave your comments below. Discover some other great destinations and travel ideas here on the Travel Shop Girl website .

On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, Brisbane scores a 1 for spontaneous travel since it’s easy to get to and offers more than enough to keep you occupied and happy during your stay.

While Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary provided us with a discounted media rate and photo, as always – all opinions and photographs, unless otherwise noted, are my own.

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