Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Australia Zoo!!

6am on Sunday and I positively leap (ok so more limped) out of bed! Why? Because we were visiting Australia Zoo, Home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin until his tragic death in 2006. Today the zoo is ran by his wife Terri, their children Bindi, Robert and their 600 strong staff! I was a fan of Steve’s work during his TV career; you could help but be enthralled but his enthusiasm and genuine love for wildlife.

I could not wait to get (both!) cameras out and flex my photography muscles! Trouble was my digital point and click hadn’t charged and my SRL camera suddenly needed a “scan and fix” and would only take 200 snaps! To the average traveller that should be enough but my nickname Tamagotchi – The Japanese Tourist, just shows this is an usually small amount of frames for me! I had no choice but to take pictures then cull leaving the best ones behind – hate this because even the worst of pictures can be brilliant.

Anyway, the Brisbane trains where working perfectly, I kind of missed my V.I.P bus from the day before (see The Surfers Pardise post). When we got to Beerwah Station, Australia Zoo’s own fleet of complementary coaches took us from station to park. These weren’t accessible coaches though.

Camera, map, water and credit card (it’s not the cheapest day out!) in hand we set about planning our route to see all the shows and feeds along the way. We soon gathered that geckos and various other lizards are the English equivalent pigeons, they’re everywhere, and I found myself even a day later checking the floor as I didn’t want to run any reptiles over!

First show was the Otter feed, three cute females begged for their breakfast like puppies, I thought how cuddly they looked only to find out they’re mean little biters! Next on the agenda was feeding Elephants, grin permanently fixed in the queue I fed the bloody huge Sabu. I will never get over seeing these (and ones I’ve seen before) such gentle and yet staggeringly massive animals that always look endearingly sad.

Me and Sabu
Sufficiently slobbered on we moved on to the giant tortoise enclosure, they aren’t kidding with the giant; I didn’t think they were real at first and contrary to belief they can move quite fast! The two we saw had the most ingenious names – Goliath and Igloo two Aldabran Tortoise’s.

We made our way through the lizard section, bird enclosures and the petting zoo fairly quickly, not that I don’t appreciate these equally as wonderful animals; I was here for the big boys and the Aussie animals!

In the main stadium of the zoo we settled to watch the bird, snake and crocodile show, despite the fact you know these are highly trained people you can’t help but flinch when a 1320lb croc called Agro snaps at his trainers arm and foot! I always think that if these were the smaller of the dinosaurs, we were in trouble with the others, walking through the crocs secure enclosure made me nervous enough!
Rather him than me!
We had lunch at the Zoo but I wouldn’t recommend it, their salads were limp and their sandwiches were soggy, I kept to drinking tons of water all day instead.

After lunch we must have spent a good hour flitting between the Koala bear and Kangaroo’s! This is what Australia Zoo was about! The Kangaroo’s roam around a massive pen that you freely walk around in (with strict guide lines that you’d expect i.e. no touching their pouches) there’s a Roo vending machine so that you can sit amongst them all feeding the red and greys. They’re so gentle and my second highlight of the day.

Coming first has to be my holding a Koala Bear called Kramer, we had our picture taken with him and Mike later on stroked and chatted to one called Coco. We went to the Koala show mid afternoon and I was horrified to find out that if these creatures aren’t looked after in the wild they will be extinct within two years – can you believe it? I’ve fallen in love with them, I can’t imagine coming back to OZ and them not being here or now showing any of my future children these beautiful darlings.
Just chillin'

The rest of the day we wander round seeing Dingo’s, Wombats, red panda’s, tigers, Tasmanian devils amongst others although ironically for their stature we managed to miss and couldn’t find the giraffes!

Just before we left we wanted to see the onsite hospital where there is an antenatal ward, as well as two open operating theatres that you can see the procedures taking place in, my weak stomach was thankful that there was no such animal in need at that time although I was bewildered to see a long necked turtle being examined, I’ve never seen or heard of one of these, must have sounded like a complete div asking what the hell it was!

On the way home 200 photos happier, I struggled to stay awake yet again, Mike said I looked like a happy child blearily looking out of the train window on the way home, all I needed was a face covered in ice cream and the picture would have been complete and funny enough it was the only day so far I’ve not had any!

L x


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  3. Love the jean shorts, its been a week and you’ve already gone Auzzie! All you need now is a hat with beer corks on strings… Good to see you’re putting your new wheel chair through its paces. Shame the food was a bit soggy. I think we all grew up watching Steve Erwin wrestling an unsuspecting dangerous animal on a Saturday morning telly. I think the greatest tragedy was all the revenge attack on sting rays after his death, something he would never have wanted done in his name.

    ps. I suspect the giraffes(due to their hight advantage) saw a gurning girl exstatically clapping her hands in a wheel chair and thought. 'Oh, here comes another 'one', quick hide!'



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