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Koala Hugs at Lone Pine

I had one goal for the trip to Australia: hugging a koala. This was a little more difficult than you might think; it's only legal in Queensland province, and there are strict rules about how long the koalas can work per day and how much rest they're permitted away from the affectionate public. My dream came true in Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which has 130+ koalas as well as kangaroos, wallabys, wombats, platypus, Tasmanian devils, kookaburras, and many other exotic (to us) animals. Presentations and demonstrations happen all day long, but don't forget to set aside a few minutes for the extremely popular koala-hug photos. My koala was a smallish, woolly female who rested comfortably against my chest and calmly looked at the camera like a true pro. Lone Pine is absolutely a must-do day trip if you're in Brisbane — as the Aussies say, you can't go past it!

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