On my last day in Brisbane it decided to confirm itself at one of my least favourite places (only beaten by Surfers Paradise) by pouring with rain for the entire day. It seemed that the Cyclone everyone had been going on about had finally hit Brisbane, which also meant my bus to Australia Zoo was 45 minutes late.
However, eventually I did get there and happened to meet a girl on the bus who I had shared a taxi with to the hostel a few days earlier. Taking pity on me, her and her friend adopted me for the day and we explored the zoo together.
Although we were soaked through by lunchtime, it couldn't take away from the extraordinary zoo. It was absolutely huge with 2 kangaroo walk-throughs and 1 koala walk-through, meaning you could feed and stroke them for hours.
Sadly the tiger and cheetahs experiences were both sold out, but we made up for it by getting our photos taken with a rather heavy koala who gripped onto us for dear life!
We seemed to have a bit of a koala day as we also went to a koala talk, where we were thoroughly educated, finding out that they sleep 18-20 hours a day! (Very jealous)
Next we headed to the tiger kingdom, which did not disappoint. There was only 1 tiger in the enclosure as they rotate them every few hours, but he was absolutely stunning.
The best thing about the tigers was that there were 3 zookeepers walking around inside the enclosure with no protective gear on - so the people who hadn't seen the programme 'tigers about the house' were very confused about why the tiger wasn't attacking them. (For those of you who also haven't seen it 1) why haven't you seen it and 2) they raise the tigers from birth and take them on walks, wrestle with them and cuddle them, so they are very good at judging their mood)
Later in the day Shannon and Emily got even more confused when we saw a zookeeper taking a cheetah for a walk on a lead around the zoo. Absolutely brilliant.
Next we went to the crocodile show, which Steve Erwin made famous. What was already an exciting show escalated even further when the crocodile decided it wasn't going to do what the zookeepers wanted it to do and instead was going to wait lurking in the water for one of them to get off the ledge. Luckily the crocodile eventually got distracted by the other keeper, but there were about 10 minutes where everyone was on the edge of their seats because you could see something had gone very wrong!
After that excitement we had lunch and wondered down to see the rhinos, zebras and giraffes. But they appeared to hate the weather as much as us and were hiding near the back of their enclosures.
Surprisingly, we all found the zoo made us very nostalgic for Steve Erwin and his crazy shows. It was very interesting (and a little bit sad) to visit the small museum they had about his life and hear about how his legacy is living on through research projects in his name.
Soaking wet and a little bit cold, we headed back to the coach and arrived back in Brisbane absolutely shattered.
Since I needed to leave the hostel by 7am for my flight to Cairns the next morning, I headed to bed a bit earlier, praying the Cyclone wouldn't cause my flight to be cancelled!