The Queen was in Brisbane for only four hours yesterday and she managed a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, so it's hard to believe that in the eight months I've been here the idea to check out marsupials in their semi-natural habitat came only last week. (I say 'natural', because it is Australia and unlike... errr.... other zoos in the area, Lone Pine keeps the flash to a minimum. I add 'semi' because I do clearly recognise that koalas don't normally leap out from their eucalyptus groves and into the arms of tourists for a 15 second photo-op.) Cliché or no, it's pretty cool to spend an afternoon patting kangaroos, watching sheep dogs do their rounds, acclimatising to the aroma of koalas, and craning to spot the wombats dozing in their burrows through the heat of the day. Just don't ask me to go into the tails and scales house.