young koala bear at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Australia

On my latest trip to Australia, I immersed myself in its diverse wildlife and ecosystems.

All while on an aggressive four city tour sharing best practices that government agencies, around the world, have used to address citizen interaction challenges. Talk about a diverse itinerary!

My trip begins with a quick hop on a Virgin flight from SFO to LAX. I’d never flown on Virgin before, and it was a swank experience with mauve neon mood lighting and slick seats. Alas, I did not see Richard Branson anywhere. Oh wait, I did see him in cartoon form during the safety briefing on my personal monitor. After a short layover I was in Brisbane, my first stop. Barely did my feet touch the hotel, I was whisked away on a day tour prior to the business meetings the next day. I’ve been to Australia before, but my last trip explored mainly their Shiraz…this time, I was after some Koala hugs and hikes!

One of my most memorable stops was to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. With the motto, “the earth is not only for humans,” this sanctuary is considered one of the top 10 zoos in the world. The animals were all so glad to see me! Embarrassingly at least one emu recognized me from a Wine Tube TV episode.

The koalas were so cute! The kangaroos… well, they seemed preoccupied as you’ll see in the video.

At times Brisbane reminds me of Vancouver, with lots of beautiful vistas, waters and a real outdoorsy feeling.

There is more to come, including a tour of a chocolate factory, and some more wildlife adventures.

Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.