I was always a fan of Steve Irwin’s Crocodile Hunter shows. So when I was in Brisbane I had to make the trip out to Australia Zoo. The zoo is located about an hour north of Brisbane, in Beerwah near the Glasshouse mountains.
The zoo is 100 acres and there is a lot to see. I fed elephants, saw lizards, dingoes, alligators, camels and crocodiles. Agro has his home there. Being an avid fan of Steve Irwin’s, I knew Agro was a huge, fearsome, black saltwater crocodile who always featured in Steve’s wildlife shows.
Afterwards I went to see the “Crocoseum”, which cost AUD$90m to construct. A large, enclosed viewing area where you can watch birds flying, tigers playing, and snakes and crocodiles being fed.
Then to the kids zoo and, being a kid at heart, I fed the goats and sheep. I also picked up some “roo” food and wandered through “Kangaroo Heaven” where you can feed the kangaroos by hand. They are very tame and a couple of the females had joeys in their pouches, which were very cute.
Then to the “Tiger Temple” which was, back then, the zoo’s newest enclosure. There I watched the trainers play with these huge cats. They were just like domestic cats, although not so little, pouncing and leaping in the water trying to grab a black bin liner on a stick. That game, however, didn’t last long as they burst the bin liner within minutes with their sharp claws. Along with dolphins, tigers are my favourite animals, so this was the best part of the day. I stood and watched them for ages.
On the way to the zoo the bus driver had explained that Steve was the only person allowed to ride a motorbike in the park so, if we saw anyone on a motorbike, it could only be him. I noticed that a few people were watching the park attendants trying to catch a small snake which was lurking in the undergrowth. Small but seemingly venomous. All of a sudden a motorbike came round the corner, and riding on it was Steve and Terri Irwin! They didn’t stop but they waved at a few people and went on their way. I have always loved him and think he was brilliant at what he did, mad but brilliant, and, for me, this was one of the highlights of my trip.
Back at Annie’s I got myself a bottle of wine to celebrate my last night in Brisbane. My intention (as always) was not to drink the whole bottle but as the night went on, more people came to join me. Rupert and Gloria, who looked after Annie’s, were so friendly and made everyone feel at home and at ease; Hugo and Annie, who were from Belgium, were going home after 8 months there; Christine, from New Zealand, was waiting for her daughter to arrive; Toni, from Cairns and in Brisbane because her husband was in hospital there; and a couple from Melbourne, who originated in Ireland and lived up North somewhere. We all sat around and had a few drinks and chatted. Gloria even made some pasta for us all. It was such a lovely night, hence to say I drank all my wine and went to bed, happy as the cat who’d got the cream. It’s so nice meeting friendly people like that. It really does enrich your life. And the next day I was off to Byron Bay for the next leg of my Australian odyssey.
Next Time: Dolphins and Horses in Byron Bay 🙂 🙂