Kerrie and I took the kids to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary today. It’s Calista’s birthday, which makes it a nice outing for the girls (that Cali will never remember). David and I have been working on our renovations all week, so it’s also a day off for me. David and Woodoo are going out to the shops today, so everyone is having a break.

Going on an outing with Kerrie is always fun. We’re both easy-going and the kids play so well together. Nothing seems like too much trouble (even toileting four at a time), and the extra supervising eyes are appreciated. It was a fantastic day out, topped off by a visit to one op shop that was not too far off the route home.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
The sanctuary has 130 koalas in its care.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
The koalas were in small enclosures with fresh leaves within easy reach. Each koala eats about two shopping bags' worth of eucalyptus leaves every night.

As well as featuring the koalas, the sanctuary has a large collection of other Australian native animals and some farm animals to keep children amused. We watched a sheepdog display where the border collie rounded up sheep and responded to the farmer’s different whistles. We missed out on the demonstration of birds of prey and the reptile talk, but after the close encounter with our own home-grown snakes, I didn’t mind.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
This wombat was very active for a nocturnal creature.

Kerrie, Brioni, 2yo, Damien, 2yo, Aisha, 4yo, Alex, 3yo, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
The kids were leaning over the wall, looking at the long-necked turtles. Kerrie's boys are exactly the same age as mine, minus two months.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
The Australian cassowary, so much more beautiful than the plain emu.

Aisha, 4yo, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
Aisha was very relaxed while feeding the kangaroos. In the past, she's been more skittish than the animals, but as she gets older, she's calming down and more willing to try new experiences.

Calista, 12 months, + Brioni, 2yo, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
Even Brioni had a turn feeding the wallabies.

Calista, 12 months, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
Today is Calista's first birthday.

Brioni, 2yo, + Calista, 12 months, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
A kangaroo hopped over to where I parked the pram to see if the younger two girls were offering any food.

Damien, 2yo, + Kerrie at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
The rainbow lorikeets came down in a noisy flock to feed before something startled them and they disappeared into the sky very quickly.

Aisha, 4yo, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
I was so proud of Aisha and her eagerness to sit and cuddle the koala!

Lauren at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
I even got my own cuddle! (This moment was actually the real reason we visited Lone Pine.)

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, March 2009
I spotted this bag on an Asian tourist and had to take a picture. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the colours and patterns on the whimsical birds. (If you know where I can get one, please let me know.)