Blog Day 166 Wed 20th October 2011
STEVE IRWIN ZOO DAY!!!!!!
So after some deliberation we decide to go with the people who were 'for' going to the famous Steve Irwin zoo. We have previously had very mixed opinions about this zoo but have decided that no matter what people say a zoo is a zoo & you can't really beat it for a good day out.
Just as we are preparing to leave we bump into Stephen & Sarah an Irish couple who we met on the Whitsundays trip. They are also off to the zoo today & are trying to book onto the bus. We are going that way anyway so offer them a lift. Once on the road it's a quick stop for a maccy d's brekkie then onto the Steve Irwin road headed for the zoo.
Trish is very excited as one of the things on her to do list is to cuddle a Koala, probably not the cheapest place to do it but we haven't had the opportunity so far so it's a must for today.
Upon entering the zoo & getting a picture with the family statue we see a keeper holding a baby alligator. This alligator is far from scary as it's tiny. Saying that all baby animals are rather cute. The keeper begins to tell us a little information about the difference between crocs & alligators when Dan being his typical self suddenly utters 'CRIKEY'. The funniest thing is that he didn't even realise he had said it until Trish elbowed him in the ribs, it must have etched itself onto his brain as we entered the zoo.
We spend the day wandering around the zoo with Stephen & Sarah, only stopping for an extremely overpriced burger (should have made sandwiches but forgot!).
First up were some humongous turtles that are said to live well into their hundreds!
Next up is feeding a banana to an Elephant but this is so regulated that it's a far cry from our Thailand experience.
After this we visit the Koala's then watch the Australia Zoo Main event show where they have beautiful birds flying around, elephants walking by & a crocodile show which is also rather disappointing & a far cry from the Hartley's Croc Farm experience up in Cairns.
We then see the huge cassowaries. These are the birds that you are supposed to see all on the top coast just wandering around but as of yet we have seen none. You would know if you hit one of these things though as they are huge. More Koalas', some rather healthy looking Dingoes' (look nothing like the skinny wild one's on Fraser Island) & the very cute Tasmanian devil!
Next up is the creature that Steve Irwin was famous for wrestling, yep the Crocodile & there are tons of the things, big, small & darn evil looking!
A few piglets & a goat (RANDOM)!!
Some porcupine looking things!
Then onto the next animal that we are also supposed to have seen running alongside us whilst driving the coast (& haven't), the Kangaroo!! Here we get to hand feed them & get some great pictures just lounging about amongst the most docile of animals (though apparently they give a good kick if they feel it necessary)!
After this we go on to see the tiger show which proves to be amazing. They have those beautiful but huge, muscly creates standing up on 2 legs, climbing posts & making foot print paintings all for a carton or 2 of milk. They can even do health checks on the stomachs & teeth which are razor sharp. Rather them than me!!
The birds aviary is next followed by some very cute looking wombats, one named Laura, even eating out of a named bowl. TOO FUNNY. If you're reading this SORRY LAURA!! Lol
Then we meet some of the most poisonous snakes in the world hidden behind glass, thank goodness & some huge lizards!
After all of this Stephen & Sarah had to leave us to get the bus back to the hostel. We are driving on down the coast so cannot give them a lift back unfortunately but it was great company for the day & we hope that they enjoyed it as much as we did.
Then Trish's favourite part of the day, her cuddle with a Koala, he was very cute & extremely soft, I'm sure if given half a chance she could have stood there for the rest of the day but with a queue of people behind her even sweet talking the keeper didn't get her any extra minutes!
Finally for the last part of the day we take the new African experience shuttle to a new exhibit where they have 2 adult & a baby Rhino, 2 giraffe & a couple of zebra. These are the new additions to the park, which over the next few years is going to have a lot of work done to it so that they can introduce lots of new animals into the zoo. On the way we also see a Cheetah being taken for a walk (RANDOM AGAIN!).
A visit to the shop see's us buying our usual souvenir shot glass & then we head over to check out the zoo's own hospital complete with operating & recovery rooms. It's a 2 dollar entrance fee which go's straight into the hospital. It's actually a very sad end to the day when you see a board of today's alone admittance into the hospital. Nine Koala's & one Joey all hit by cars. They try to save them, heal them back to good health & then release them back into the wild if they can. There are pictures & stories of previously rescued animals including a huge turtle that had got caught up in fishing wire & was on deaths door. After something like 3 months they managed to save him, had him back up to full recovery & released back into the wild. Without these places animals would have no chance, so just coming to the zoo alone today we feel we have done a great deed. It's very sad that the great Steve Irwin is no longer but you can tell his spirit is in the air & the expansion of the zoo is a clear sign that they are still doing well even without the great crocodile hunter.
If we had more time in this area & had have known sooner we definatly would have volunteered for a few days here.
So after a full on day we jump in the camper & head off to the nearest rest stop, a 15 min journey to the truck stop at the back of a BP garage. Cheese & crisp sandwiches for tea tonight & then I'm pretty sure we were out before our heads hit the pillow.
What a great day!!!