We had one day in Brisbane, and we chose to spend it at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We had spent twelve days exploring the east coast of Australia, and had yet to see a single koala. I wasn’t going to go home without a good look, even if it had to be at a zoo.
You might get the impression that the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary only contains koalas, but in fact they have a wide range of indigenous Australian mammals, birds, and reptiles, plus an abundance of local birds who just come to visit for the free handouts. And while we certainly enjoyed seeing the koalas up close, I was just as thrilled by good views of a Tasmanian Devil, dingo, duck-billed platypus, and some extremely venomous snakes (safely behind glass). Plus, I got to pet an emu!
It’s the middle of winter. We could go birding, but it’s hard to juggle binoculars when one has on several layers of insulation, hat, scarf, and wool mittens. Cold weather has us huddled indoors, wishing we could migrate to someplace delightfully tropical. Well, we can. I recently visited a place that’s always nice and toasty, filled with moist air, green plants, and exotic species, and is only an hour or so from my home—the Denver Zoo.
Bird World consists of a series of three large, sky-lit rooms, each with its own assortment of brightly colored birds from around the world. The rooms are sized so that you don’t need binoculars to get a good look. Natural surroundings encourage natural behaviors, even courting, nesting and raising young. Because the birds aren’t in cages, there are no bars between you and your subjects, making this a great place to take pictures. Connecting these rooms are wide hallways where more birds live in glass-fronted enclosures.