Just a quick note to let you know that we added 2 blogs and 2 photo albums earlier this week (Whitsunday Is. & Fraser Is.) so if your especially bored you can check these out in the relevant files at the top of the screen.
We arrived in a very humid Brisbane on Sunday after a nice bus journey down from Hervey Bay. We checked into our hostel & set out to get some food as we were absolutely famished! We headed into the city and after stuffing our faces we had a look around a few of the shops before heading back to the hostel. Here we planned what we wanted to do for the next 2 days. It seemed as though there was a fair bit to see but due to us only having a couple of days here as we needed to be in Sydney by Christmas we had to be selective. After agreeing on what we wanted to see we headed down to the river that runs through the city and took a stroll along it taking in the views. Back at the hostel we had some dinner before having an early night as we had another early start in the morning as we were going to AUSTRALIA ZOO! Woo hoo!
For those of you that don't know, Australia Zoo is the zoo that Steve Irwin (the crazy crocodile hunter guy) used to own before he died earlier this year. We caught the train from Brisbane up to Beerwah where the zoo's located which took around 2hrs. From here they put on a courtesy coach to take you from the station to the park itself. We soon realised after looking at the park map that it was absolutely huge and there was so much to see. I wont bore you with the details of every animal we saw as i'd be here all day but we saw koalas, crocodiles (salt & fresh water), kangaroos (red & grey), dingos, elephants, a bengal tiger, numerous birds, 20 of the worlds 25 most venomous snakes that live in Australia, a cheetah, wombats, a Tasmanian devil and many more! The highlight of the day though had to be 2 of the shows we saw. The first was in the 'Crocoseum' which was the 5,000 seater stadium you often see on his tv programs. We were warned before that the show carried a film certification of 'LB' which stood for 'Little Beauty'!! Here they did a snake demonstration, a cool bird show where they flew around the stadium not too far from our heads, and a crocodile demonstration which showed what crocodiles can do, especially when food is involved which was interesting. The second, and the most impressive, was the Bengal Tiger demonstration. The tiger was absolutely huge & could kill you in a second but he was putty in the keepers hands as he had a small carton of milk to bribe him with! They showed us how big he was by making him stand up on his back legs - he was around 6.5ft. They also showed us how big his teeth are, how high he could jump and they also got him to climb up a tree to get some meat which was amazing! They also demonstrated the fact that tigers are not afraid of the water by throwing a meat bone in pool making him dive down to get it. Unfortunately there seemed to be a post or bar in the way of most of the photos so you may have to spot him in a couple of them!
There was also a tribute section in the zoo for Steve Irwin that people had sent in from all over the world. There was painting, flags, figures & hundreds of khaki safari shirts plastered with tribute messages which was very moving! It was also amazing to see that he and his wife had managed to build this fantastic park from a small crocodile & reptile park that his parents owned before him.
After 6.5hrs of walking round the park we were finally kicked out at 4:30 and waited for the courtesy bus back to the train station where we caught the train back to Brisbane. By the time we got home we just had time for dinner before we crashed out.
The following morning was another early start. As this was our last day in Brisbane so we wanted to see as much as we could in the day. Our first stop was Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which was around 7k out of the city. Helen visited this place 4 years ago when she was visiting Kirstie and wanted to come back to have another look around and to cuddle another koala! This park is the oldest koala sanctuary in the world and they must have had around a hundred koalas of all ages. As well as as the koalas they also had kangaroos which we fed, lorikeets, lizards, dingos, an afro looking hen & a sheep dog demonstration which was worth it just to see the dog jump up on the sheep and lay down on them while they were in the pen!
From here we caught to bus back into town where we crossed the river to the Queensland Museum. This was ok but not the best. They had displays on loads of different subjects but there seemed to be no logic to it. You'd walk a couple of meters and the theme had changed again to something totally unconnected. By now we were hungry so we headed to the Parklands area which was a short walk away. This is an area of park land (believe it or not) that has loads of little cafes over looking the swimming lagoon by the river front. It seemed really popular with the local children splashing in the pool and many others just walking along the walkway through the park.
After some food we headed back into the city where Helen did a bit of shopping and then we went back to our hostel. We just about had time freshen up before we meet up with Helens old work mate from Trada, Ewan. He took us back to his place where we briefly got to catch up with Lucy (his wife) before she had to go to work. We also met their dog Bruce who was absolutely crazy! Ewan then cooked us a real feast which was lovely & we followed it down with a few beers & a good old chit chat. Around 10:30ish we said our goodbyes and caught the train back into the city centre.
We left Brisbane midday today (Weds) and took the short bus journey down to Surfers Paradise where we will be for the next few days.
Hope everyone is well and looking forward to christmas!
Gavin and Helen