My response 9 times out of 10 is as follows:
Well lets’ see, my College back home in Canada has an articulation agreement with Griffith University, I’ve always wanted to come here, and a couple of years ago I had an epiphany and adopted a Koala in Brisbane.
Yes. that’s right I adopted a Koala. One of my favourite animals that makes me go all mushy feeling inside. I also bought a year membership to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary because I just can’t get enough of them. That though is a whole other story, so I’ll save that one for later.
Back in December of 2010 there was major flooding in Brisbane and other areas in Queensland. I have always loved animals and I followed some musicians online that are from Australia. I ended up coming across an article about the flooding and how it had hit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary especially hard. Lone Pine is the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary and I was so saddened to see how the floods had wiped out some of their memories that had been there for so long.
They were doing various methods of fundraising to help and I fell in love with the idea of their koala adoption program. I went through the Koalas on their site and saw, Zap, who I knew I just had to adopt.
I had no idea when I adopted Zap that years later I would end up finishing my schooling on the Gold Coast so close to my Koala. When I looked into the Griffith campus I checked to see how close I would be to my koala and was very excited. A couple of months into being on the coast I made a trip up to Brisbane to visit my koala. I learned that she recently gave birth to her second joey and was now in a separate enclosure with Cordelia.
Zap has now changed places on the adoption website from years ago, when she was in the adult section.. to now being in the mum & joeys section. It’s heartwarming to know that the donations others and myself have made, may have contributed to her housing and ability to have two joeys at Lone Pine.
I wasn’t able to hold her because she isn’t a holding koala and after giving birth they are very protective. It was still beyond worth it to be able to see her, and was reassuring to see that I had donated to a great place. They take great care of their koalas and you can tell the staff there are very caring about the wildlife.
Even if you can’t go and adopt a koala, you can still give back another way. If you want to see the koalas or other wildlife here, than visit one of the Sanctuaries. I ended up buying the year membership at Currumbin, which is a great way to do it if you plan on going more than once. I love animals and photography, I’ve already been about four times which has already paid itself off. I also get discounts on purchases at Currumbin while I’m there, like the Koala photos! 🙂
Getting to actually hold and meet the Koalas was the best experience I could have ever imagined. I always dreamt of the day when I got to hold a Koala, and when you do it doesn’t even seem real. I highly recommend it, and if you’re a Koala enthusiast like myself, do the Koala Experience Tour.
Memberships for the National Trust are only $80 for students and $100 for adults; while regular priced tickets are $39.95 for students and $49.95 for adults. I have an amazing time when I go to Currumbin and I can’t wait to go back again. Every time I have a new favourite moment and I love seeing all the different animals.
Quick tip: If you aren’t interested in a year membership but are still looking for a deal, try checking Groupon or the Gold Coast Tourist Magazine. They both often put deals up for general admission.
It is also worth remembering that while I am crazy over the Koalas; there are numerous other animals for you to fall in love with during your visit. Kangaroos, exotic birds, Wallabies, who knows what creature will become your favourite!