On Tuesday morning the only trip we had planned well in advances was about to happen. First stop was local car dealership where we rented a car. I was quite nervous driving through such a big city on the opposite side of the road for the first time, but after an hour or so I got used to it. The car had automatic transmission which helped a lot, since I didn’t have to shift with my left hand. I did however turn on the wipers couple of times instead of the turn signal.
After about an hour and half of driving we reached our destination The Australian Zoo. The zoo was first created by legendary Steve Irwin – the crocodile hunter and is now run by his family.
The ZOO is quite large, about 2 or 3 times the size of the Koala sanctuary. The whole philosophy of the zoo is that you can book private encounters with most of the animals they have. This one is to some degree more traditional zoo as they also have animals not native to Australia, like giraffes, rhinos and so on. Speaking of foreign animals the first thing we had planned after coming, was encounter with lemurs. We were very excited about it for quite some days already. ZOO keeper told us everything we needed to know on our way to the island where lemurs lived. To reach the island we had to go on a small raft and as we were closing toward the island lemurs were already running around the landing port waiting eagerly for us. We brought food for them after all.
They were soon all over us and we had a chance to take some photos while they were standing on our shoulders. Despite their look they are quite heavy and having one on shoulders ruins ones posture. 🙂
After the photo shooting we sat on a close by rock and zookeepers gave us some food that we could give them. By the looks of it they eat everything from vegetables to meat. They had great variety of food to choose from but they seemed to really like peas as they picked them out and ate them first. We had the opportunity to touch/pet them meanwhile (especially on their tail). If the kangaroo’s fur was soft before, it was nothing compared to lemurs. It is hart to describe but their fur was softer than silk. It would be perfect pillow material.
Time flew and after about half an hour it was time for us to leave. We had high expectations about this encounter even before arriving to Australia and Veronika and I both agree that it was worth it. It is simply hard to express how cool it was, all I can say is if you ever happen to be in Australia, it’s worth taking a plane just to visit this zoo and have an encounter with lemurs.
After the lemurs we had to hurry to catch the show this zoo is most famous about – the crocodile show. The show is held in the arena and they demonstrate some tricks with a bunch of birds and of course the crocodile. Surprisingly I preferred the birds part compared to crocodile. They had great variety of birds from parrots, cockatoos to enormous condor. Seriously that thing was about 3-4m over the wings. The funniest part was when they trained a cockatoo to go to a random visitor and take 5$ bill out of his hand (you can see this in the video below).
After the birds they brought out a giant crocodile which they fed and made jump a bit out of the water.
After the show we had a chance to visit the rest of the zoo. They had vast variety of animals, tons of crocodiles, koalas and of course the kangaroos. We also saw some giant lizards and very fun otters.
We also saw some gigantic turtles, cassowary and the most venomous snake in the world, safely behind the glass, of course.
When walking around the dingo’s enclosure we saw them attack one of the smaller lizards (who were again walking all over zoo). After the zookeepers saw that, they went in and the dingoes were running around them like dogs – expect the one who had the lizard in his mouth. He was running away from the zookeepers. After the zookeeper finally got the lizard from the dingo they took him to the animal hospital they have in front of the zoo.
Talking about walking a dog… you can actually walk a cheetah here.
In the late afternoon we had another encounter booked, this time with a native animal we did not see in nature yet – the wombat. The encounter was fun, but nothing compared to lemurs. Supposedly wombats get scared easily so we could only pet them from behind where they have some super protective ass area or something. Veronika did massaged one really nicely however, it went pancake flat on the plate of food.
Just as the last zoo this one also had two enormous enclosures full of kangaroos you could pet and feed. It was just as fun as previous day and this time I also did some posing with them. We finally saw one with baby (joey) in the pouch.
We also saw some white kangaroos.
With this we concluded our visit to the zoo, it was fun day’s trip and we did see enormous amount of animals. It’s well worth visiting.
Since we had a car, we decided not to take the highway back to Brisbane but take a longer rout that goes more inland. Sadly it was soon dark but it was an interesting experience. Couple of minutes of driving toward the mainland the road went from asphalt to gravel and soon we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We stopped at the top of a small hill where there was no (city/house) light for as far as the eye could see and in between there were some pointy mountains growing from nowhere.
We arrived to Brisbane couple of minutes before midnight and prepared for next day when we were living for Gold Coast.