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Our History

How we started…

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was opened in 1927 by Queenslander, Claude Reid. We initially opened with just two koalas, Jack and Jill, at a time when wild koalas were being culled for the fur trade. It was quickly recognised by Claude that something had to be done to help protect one of Australia’s most iconic species.

The sanctuary is named after the huge hoop pine that still stands today at our Ticket Entrance. It is said that the single pine tree used to be a location marker for guests visiting the sanctuary via the Brisbane River, mooring their boats at the ‘lone pine’. The tree was planted by Daniel Clarkson in 1867, when the property was a cotton farm.

Key Moments in History

1934 – first welcomed Mirimar River Cruise to the sanctuary

1948 – opened our first café and gift shop

1974 – became home to our first platypus, ‘Peter’

1980’s – officially discovered and named koala gut flora, ‘Lonepinella koalarum’

1989 – education department was established

1990’s – opened our wildlife hospital. Lone Pine got inducted in to the Guinness World Records as the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary

2009 – recognised as one of only 15 Q150 icons across Queensland

2011 – suffered severe flooding and damage during Brisbane floods

2014 – became an eco-certified Nature Tourism operator

2018 – opened our Brisbane Koala Science Institute, in partnership with Brisbane City Council