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  • Entry to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • Modern river boat cruise
  • See Brisbane's riverfront highlights
  • Entertaining & informative commentary
  • Brisbane's best animal attraction
  • 3 hours to explore the sanctuary

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary River Cruise by Mirimar Cruises

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with Return Scenic Cruise

Help code: D2B-11F7

(4.7)

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What you need to know
Reviews (38)
Top Tips
Tried & Tested
Location

Offering a convenient departure point right from the heart of the city, this popular Brisbane River Cruise has been taking visitors to the popular Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for over 70 years. There is no better way to travel to the largest Koala sanctuary in the world than with a comfortable boat ride along the Brisbane River that will take you right to a disembarking point on the shores of the park. The perfect way to get up close and see eye to eye with Australia's huge range of native creatures while also enjoying the many sights and sounds of Brisbane's most attractive waterfront suburbs which are accessible only by boat.

You'll gain the benefits of an entertaining narrated journey from the experienced, entertaining and knowledgeable captain and see breathtaking modern mansions and historic Queenslander homes along Brisbane's exclusive riverfront. Upon arriving at Lone Pine, you'll have two and a half hours to explore the sanctuary where you'll be able to hand feed kangaroos and emus, check out the rare and shy platypus swimming, see amazing birds of prey, and - of course - have your picture taken while holding a koala!

Combining great sights with great attractions, this package is great for those looking to explore one of Brisbane's best animal attractions while also enjoying a relaxing and scenic cruise along Brisbane's famed river. Cruises depart on a daily basis from 10am at the Cultural Centre Pontoon in South Bank to arrive at Lone Pine by 11:15am, spend 3 hours at the Sanctuary. Arrive back at the Cultural Centre by 3.30pm.

Inclusions

  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Entry
  • Return Brisbane River Cruise from the CBD to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on board a ultra modern cruise
  • Enjoy a narrated journey by the Captain and be amazed by his intimate knowledge of all things Brisbane
  • See breathtaking modern mansions and historic Queenslander homes along Brisbane’s sought after riverfront
  • Explore Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for three hours where you can hand feed kangaroos and emus, spy on a shy platypus swimming and plenty more

Exclusions

  • Delicious homemade snacks and light meals available on board cruise
  • Hotel transfers
  • Koala photos (available for purchase on the day, subject to availability)

Time

  • Depart Cultural Centre Pontoon 10:00am
  • Arrive Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary 11:15am
  • Depart Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary 2:15pm
  • Arrive Cultural Centre Pontoon 3:30pm

Location

  • The cruise departs from Cultural Centre Pontoon located on the boardwalk outside the Queensland State Library

Terms And Conditions

  • Concession purchases require a valid Australian Pensioners Card

Booking Information

  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • Mobile Vouchers are accepted! - Vouchers can also be presented on your mobile device for this attraction
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
  • Cruise vessel subject to change without notice
  • Availability was accurate at the time of booking however, is subject to change due to circumstances out of our control
  • We strongly suggest reconfirming your booking with the tour operator within 24 hours of making your booking and prior to making other travel arrangements
4.7 out of 5 stars
5 stars 78% (30)
4 stars 19% (7)
3 stars 0% (0)
2 stars 3% (1)
1 star 0% (0)
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Hannah Brouard 2 months ago
Everything was perfect and as stated on the website! We had an amazing day and it was so nice meeting animals originated from Australia like Koalas and kangaroos and many more! The cruise in the river was really relaxing and they even had blankets if cold!
Everything was perfect and as stated on the website
Hannah Brouard 2 months ago

Everything was perfect and as stated on the website! We had an amazing day and it was so nice meeting animals originated from Australia like Koalas and kangaroos and many more! The cruise in the river was really relaxing and they even had blankets if cold!

We took the Mirimar Cruise to Lone Pine
Chee Keong Lee 3 months ago

We took the Mirimar Cruise to Lone Pine. The cruise was clean and depart on time. It is very good for children to able to get so close to Kola and able to hug and touch it. My boy was able to feed tha kangaroo and touch the sheep it is a very good experience for a city boy. He is very happy.

Awesome crew
Leanne knudsen 8 months ago

Awesome crew. Really interesting commentary. Service was the best.

Trip was exceptional
Beatrice Adenekan 1 year ago

Trip was exceptional. The boat tour was amazing the staff were very friendly, and the tour of the sanctuary was also amazing. Up close once in a lifetime experience with the animals such as Koalas, Kangaroos, Viper etc. Would highly recommend this package.

We loved our experience with Miramar Cruise
Alyssa Villamor 1 year ago

We loved our experience with Miramar Cruise! It is a very good way to learn more about the famous Brisbane River and the buildings that surround it. The cruise boat is cosy and I am surprised that there is a cafe inside it! So we had our breakfast on the boat, the price is also affordable. We also love the Lone Pine Zoo! It feels so natural and the animals look happy and calm. We got to see loads of Koalas and feed the Kangaroos too. Although we only had 3 hours to stay in the Zoo (because the next trip back to the city is at 2 pm), it was enough for us to enjoy the sights and animals in the Zoo. Would definitely recommend anyone that’s holidaying in Brisbane to have a go at this experience with family and friends.

Nice relaxing cruise up the river
Catherine Robb 1 year ago

Nice relaxing cruise up the river. Good informative narrative. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary great experience. Lots of koalas to see and opportunity to hold a koala and have your photograph taken (for a price. Funds go to help with sanctuary costs). Lots of kangaroos to hand feed.

My first time visiting Brisbane
Sabrina 2 years ago

My first time visiting Brisbane, I only had a day and a half to explore as much of the beautiful city as I could. I read the reviews on Experience Oz + NZ, and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and River Cruise received high reviews, so I decided to book this experience. It was incredible! The staff were fantastic, the narrated journey really was entertaining, and the views along the river were incredible. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was a magical experience seeing all of the native Australian animals and nice food. Of course, my ultimate highlight was taking a photo with a koala (which, is an extra fee, and you can only hold koalas in Queensland), and feeding the kangaroos! I highly recommend visiting this place to all who visit Brisbane. I definitely would visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary again!

We had such a wonderful day out yesterday
Melissa Rihari 2 years ago

We had such a wonderful day out yesterday. The staff on the boat were lovely and incredibly helpful. They organised colouring in for my children and also allowed them to have turn driving the boat. Their food was fresh and very well priced. The Lone Pine Sanctuary was great too. Such a relaxing place. The free flight raptor show was mesmerizing. I found for Sanctuary the perfect size to walk around with without the children getting too tired. We saw loads of different animals and the kids loved it. I'd highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting or living in Brisbane and the surrounding areas. It's a lovely day out with friends or family and fantastic value for money!

I took my overseas cousin on this cruise to show him Brisbane from the river and
Eva Popper 2 years ago

I took my overseas cousin on this cruise to show him Brisbane from the river and, of course, the koalas. We had a great time from the moment of boarding. The staff were most helpful and the commentary most informative. I am a local and still learned a lot about my city. After walking all over Lone Pine, it was most relaxing to return home on the boat.

Enjoyed the day even though it was raining
Martin Ois 2 years ago

Enjoyed the day even though it was raining. The staff were friendly and helpful. Worth the money spent to see the animals.

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Remember your camera, Lone Pone is the world's largest Koala Sanctuary and is home to adorable Australian wildlife! The fast boat option arrives back to the Cultural Centre Pontoon 1 hour earlier, so it is perfect for those who would like to enjoy another activity in the afternoon.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and River Cruise Review

By Mackenzie Burr

Combining two of Brisbane’s most popular experiences, Mirimar Cruises and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure within the confines of a delightful day trip.

Mirimar Cruises

Despite being a Brisbane local, I’d never been to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or explored much of the Brisbane River before this experience, and it’s now something I would highly recommend.

The cruise makes for a brilliant way to see Brisbane, with much of the city’s top attractions neighbouring the river, creating an almost exhibition-like display of Brisbane’s rich history as you follow the river inland.

Mirimar Cruises drops you off at the riverbank beneath the sanctuary’s entrance, with only a few stairs and a short stroll between you and the gates. From here you’ll have almost three hours to hug a koala, feed some kangaroos and find a seat at as many shows as you can manage before making your way back to the boat for the return journey.

How to get there

By car: Park at the Performing Arts Car Park, with access directly to the pontoon

By bus: Hop off at the Cultural Centre Bus Station

By Train: Catch the train to the South Brisbane Stop

Highlights

  • Brisbane’s beautiful riverfront sights and sounds
  • Convenient departure location
  • Friendly onboard crew
  • Entertaining and informative Aussie commentary
  • Great onboard food (the banana bread is a must!)
  • The opportunity to meet koalas, kangaroos and emus!
  • Brilliant shows on free flight raptors, snakes, koalas and more
  • The opportunity to hug a koala and have your photo taken (purchase on site)

What you’ll do

Depart South Bank

Mirimar Cruises

The cruise departs from the Cultural Centre Pontoon at 10am, boarding anytime from 9:30am onwards. There are plenty of nearby cafés and eateries where you can enjoy breakfast or a hot coffee if you weren’t able find the time beforehand (there are also a variety of options onboard).

Mirimar’s large riverboat arrived at the pontoon moments before 10am and the friendly staff were quick to welcome us aboard. We made our way upstairs to carefully pick out our seats, ensuring we had views of Brisbane’s waterfront while also benefiting from the warm winter sun.

Within 10 minutes we were on our way up the river, enjoying views of South Bank as we departed the pontoon.

Enjoy entertaining commentary of the city’s rich history

Mirimar Cruises

Some true blue Aussie commentary accompanied our voyage along the river, with the familiar accent – although a bit thicker than your average Brisbanite – adding a layer of authenticity to the stories being told.

The commentary provided a light-hearted summary of the region’s history, including seamless directional cues and light touches of humour that perfectly complement the experience.

Take in the sights and sounds of Brisbane and its surrounds

During the trip up river you’ll be able to see Brisbane slowly transition from concrete jungle to leafy-green suburbia, with the uniquely Australian colours of eucalyptus trees dominating the embankment.

In between the greenery you’ll find some of Brisbane’s most exquisite properties backing onto the river, each with their own personal pontoon.

Mirimar Cruises

The cruise offers a comprehensive look into Brisbane’s diverse and sprawling backyard, including the initial cityscape with large bridges and buildings, followed by factories, universities, a golf course, and eventually passing some of the city’s most elite properties.

Experience Aussie animals up close and personal

Once you’ve completed your journey up the river and said goodbye to the crew, you’ll need to make your way up the path (including a few stairs that zigzag up the embankment) all the way to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself is relatively compact, with most of the enclosures a short walk from one another. We arrived at around 11.15am, which gave us exactly three hours until we would need to meet back at the pontoon for the return journey at 2.15pm.

Number one on our to-do list was undoubtedly to get a photo with one of the sanctuary’s koalas, and so we immediately made a b-line for the main exhibit.

If you wish to cuddle up to one of these adorable marsupials, you’ll need to purchase a ticket from the General Store before you line up. The line to get your photo taken was reasonably short for the mid-morning; especially considering the park was bustling with visitors when we first arrived.

Lone Pine

Once in line, you’ll be able to place your personal items in the pigeonholes supplied and watch on as other guests have their photos taken. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to practice your koala-holding technique, as you’re within earshot of the keeper’s instructions.

In preparation for your cuddle, all sunglasses must be taken off your collar and hair pushed behind your shoulders to help avoid any accidental hair pulling.

The koala we were lucky enough to hold, O’Malley, was tentative to commit to being held at first, but after some audible cues and comforting gestures by her keeper, O’Malley agreed to sit in my hands and hang on tight for an extended hug and plenty of photos.

Meet some of the sanctuary’s most popular residents

Lone Pine

Beyond just koalas, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is also home to a wide variety of Australian animals to become acquainted with. One of the unexpected highlights of our visit was getting to feed kangaroos and wallabies in an open range area known as the Kangaroo Reserve.

You can purchase a bag of specially made kangaroo food from the General Store for just $2, a bargain that both you and the kangaroos can appreciate.

The Kangaroo Reserve also included several roaming emus, who seemed rather excited to meet us, along with parakeets and various other birds that were free to leave the sanctuary as they please, but had instead chosen to take full advantage of the free food on offer.

Lone Pine

The sanctuary also offers a wide variety of excellent shows and events throughout the day (every half-hour!). We were able to attend two shows during our three hours (both of which were amazing), fitting perfectly into the cruise combo schedule.

Check out some of the Sanctuary’s feathered favourites!

Lone Pine

The Free Flight Raptors show is a definite must-see for any trip to the sanctuary, with shows at both 10.30am and 12.30pm. The show includes entertaining and informative presentations that highlight some of the sanctuary’s most impressive residents, including the Peregrine Falcon, White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Barking Owl and Black Kite.

Each were captivating in their own unique way, with incredible aerial displays of speed, precision and power paired with demonstrations of their remarkable hunting techniques, the show made for a truly fascinating experience to be enjoyed from any seat in the house. Just remember to stay seated throughout the show to avoid any accidental collisions, as keepers encourage the Raptors to fly freely overhead.

Take some incredible snaps of koalas as they eat

Lone Pine

Next was the koala feeding, which occurs at around midday and makes for some of the best opportunities to see them at play.

Typically, koalas are relatively inactive during their daily lives, choosing to sleep through your visit and snuggle up to one another to pass the time. While not part of a scheduled show or demonstration, you certainly won’t want to miss the chance to see koalas at their most active.

This is largely due to their diet of eucalyptus leaves, which are low in nutritional value and require an exceptionally slow metabolism. However, during feeding time the koalas seem to burst into life, climbing along branches and making their way over to the food source. We even spotted one or two running across the enclosure floor.

Slither on over to the Snake Keeper Talk!

The final show we were lucky enough to witness was the Snake Keeper Talk, which takes place at the main koala exhibit.

The Keeper told us all about how to deal with snakes, including never getting closer than you have to (and for the kids – leave the area and tell an adult), along with various facts about their incredible sense of smell (through their tongue!) and minimal eyesight.

There were a number of school kids watching during our visit, all very interested in the presentation and fixated on the huge python as it made its way along the bannister surrounding the koala exhibit.

The show ended with an opportunity to lightly place your hand on the snake’s scaly back, which was definitely a fan favourite amongst the kids.

Besides free flight raptors and snakes, there were also a wide variety of other shows that fall within your three-hour visit. These include a Koala Keeper Talk at 11.30am, Snake Photos at 12pm, Sheep Dog Show at 1pm, Meet a Koala at 1-1.30pm, and the Koala Keeper talk at 2pm.

Once we’d enjoyed a final look through the sanctuary, including quick stops to see the dingoes, platypus, and Tasmanian devils, we were ready to make our way back to the jetty for our return trip to South Bank.

Sit back and relax during your return cruise

Mirimar Cruise

The return trip provides a great way to unwind after your busy day running around the sanctuary, including a chance to purchase an afternoon snack (we had some banana bread and a brownie, both of which I highly recommend).

During the journey home you’ll also have the chance to meet Mirimar’s captain, Rob Treasure, and maybe even have a quick sit in the captain’s seat.

The commentary is no longer playing for the return trip, instead replaced by some peaceful Australian tunes to allow for some shut eye in the sun or the chance to debrief after a long day sight seeing.

The cruise arrives back in South Bank at around 3.30pm, leaving plenty of time to ponder over dinner plans during the mid afternoon.

Mirimar Cruise

What’s included


 

  • Narrated river boat cruise along Brisbane River
  • Scenic river cruise
  • Entry to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
  • 3 hours at the sanctuary plus return cruise
  • Shows and talks every half-hour

What to bring

  • Your camera
  • Lots of sunscreen (even in winter!)
  • Closed in shoes (preferable) and a hat
  • Lunch or money to purchase food on board or in the park

My Recommendations

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Mirimar River Cruise combo makes for the perfect day trip for families, couples, and solo travellers looking to enjoy a relaxing day in Brisbane that includes a bit of everything.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is also an excellent one-stop shop for international visitors hoping to see Australian Wildlife out in the open, with the Kangaroo Reserve being home to various Australian animals without fences or barriers dividing them from the sanctuary’s excited guests.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time both exploring the Brisbane River and meeting various animals (including holding a koala for the first time) and I would wholeheartedly recommend this experience to both locals and international travellers alike, as one of Brisbane best day-trip experiences all year round.

Need help? Contact our friendly customer support service. 1300 935 532 enquiry@experienceoz.com.au Help Code: 11F7
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