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Amazing Zoo – by Renee

by on June 29, 2016

Today we went to the Zoo of Australia… created by Steve Irwin (the “Crocodile Hunter”) and now run by his family.  It was quite a day… This is possibly the best zoo in the entire world.  Similar to the San Diego Wild Animal Park but much more hands on.  You can pet koalas (including seeing but not petting a lot of Joeys – baby koalas that were so cute you can hardly believe it!), wombats, kangaroos…you can see wild birds, African Zebras, rhinos, giraffes and an adorable 3 month old sumatran tiger cub called “Reggie” who was the only cub in his litter and loves to cuddle with the trainers…and you can gaze upon a large and varied selection of crocodiles.

We attended their big “show” where we saw a 15ft croc track the trailers for the entire time (they worked in teams and one of them never took their eyes off the croc).  Basically the take away is that you should NEVER get into the water in croc country, and even standing too close to the edge or leaning out over the water is dangerous.  If a croc gets you in the water, it’s all over.  However on land you have a fair chance to escape if you can run faster than they can.  Overall I think we will stick to swimming in a pool…

We also visited the state of the art Australia Zoo animal hosptial – the busiest in the southern hemisphere (getting over 100 calls a day!) and saw a ringtailed possum receiving emergency medical treatment.  (Uncle Eric, you will be pleased to know that they use Stryker medical equipment! )

Overall it was a super fun day…the weather cooperated and we have mastered the train system here in Queensland.

Tomorrow we head for the “gold coast” to see a tropical island.  No swimming though….as the saltwater crocs are bigger and more agressive than their freshwater cousins!

A few random thoughts:  People here are very friendly and helpful.  Yesterday a stranger grabbed Virginia as she was about to step out in front of a bus (her NY instincts about jay walking are not working so well here).

The trains and train stations are very clean — honestly the UK and US should figure out how they do it.  (Where New Zealand gets the award for the cleanest cities and towns – we drove over 1000 KM through the north island and I saw maybe three pieces of trash on the side of the road, total.)

There are more UGGS  stores than Starbucks here in Australia.  One on every corner, at a minimum.  We’ve looked in a few and Virginia purchased a pair of boots.  We are still too early in our travels to be buying anything as big as a pair of UGGS…but it is tempting.

Oma, Anna and I have been looking at a cool Australian chain (of stores) called T2.  They are filled with the most beautiful, colorful teapots, teacups and TEA!  If we were flying home from here we would bring one for everyone!  Maybe we will take a picture of their beautiful display windows.




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