Australia 2015 – Flights and Arrivals (Day 1-2 )

We Set off for Heathrow at 10.30 on Sunday 1st Feb although it was a bright day still a bracing 5 degrees, We made good time so stopped for Coffee at the Radisson Blue Edwardian which we will be staying at when we get back and is nice and close to the airport.Rassison Blu CCoffeeRassison Blu CCoffee
We checked in all went lovely and smoothly and after a walk around the shops and a nice bottle of perfume ( Ysattis) from duty free  we settle down in no 1 lounge for nibbles and a light supper waiting for the flight to open. A glass of champers helped it down nicely.

We board at 8.30 for a 9.15 take off and get comfortable ( Economy not the biggest seats BTW) at 10.15 we take off finally after the ground crew have to change a wheel ( while we are sat on the plane ) – big jack apparently! and then the Pilot tells us they are going to spray de-icer on the wings as they have iced up ( -2 by now in Heathrow) and he says “ice guys is not good on wings” – you don’t say ! lol

So flight is ok and the best thing is the web cam in the tail which gives you fab views on take off and landing! View on my screen from tail camView on my screen from tail cam

It manages to make some time up but not all of it and by the time we reach Dubai we have missed our slot so have to wait for a new one and we also have to get off in Dubai and go around security again to get back on  while they clean the plane – pain in the bum but cant be helped.

Flying in to DubaiFlying in to Dubai

When we arrive in Sydney airport 13 hours ( and one or two unusual smells on the plane – not all from me😉  ) later, We seem to have hit hell! It was chaos with lots of people including us with new E passports and not knowing what to do with them so there were queues and then queues for queues, we figured it out and managed to find the transfer to domestic departures and as we were late landing we had already missed our connection to Brisbane but Quantas had re-booked us on to a later flight – which we still were too late for!  It was fine its an hourly service so we were just re booked on the next one and to be honest it was a smooth turn around and the extra time was good as it meant we landed later and also had a bit of a break between flights.

At least we can say we saw Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera house ( just -as we flew past )At least we can say we saw Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera house ( just -as we flew past )

Finally we arrived in to an overcast but very hot and humid Brisbane (29 degrees) after seeing some amazing sights on the way including Morton Island with is the third largest sand island in the world and stunning

Morton Island ( i believe)Morton Island ( i believe)

And at last we were here.

Crikey Its a ( very wet ) Zoo Mate

After having a lovely steak dinner at the Transcontinental Hotel which was a converted colonial building and is now a pub restaurant and gaming area and has beautiful interiors last night, we wake up all excited as today we are going to Australia Zoo which was (and still is) owned by the Irwin’s as now that Steve has gone Terry and the children run it. We grab some brecky on the way to the coach at the Transport depot I have yummy toasted banana bread and Tim has the traditional Butterscotch and White chocolate Muffin a huge big lump of loveliness … Breakfast?!

The driver of the Minibus we are on is called Chris and we are on the Croc Express to the zoo.  He is a nice man and gives a running commentary about the history of the Zoo (started by Steve’s dad and Mum in the 70s) all the way there. It’s getting darker and darker and he goes “I think we are going to have a shower in a minute” and we get a colossal downpour and then it rains the rest of the way. To be honest the rain is good as its warm anyway and the heat here at 29 degrees + with the humidity getting wet is amazingly refreshing.

We arrive dead on time at the Zoo for opening time and we see the Man himself greeting us, and his presence is all around the place its quite an emotional feeling as we all know how passionate he was about wildlife and his life with the Zoo, So much of the money he made from the programmes and films was ploughed back to the Zoo to make it so much bigger and keep it running, it’s a story we all know well too from Dartmoor Wildlife Park at home.

Australia ZooAustralia ZooThe IrwinsThe Irwins

The adventure begins – first things first we have to buy some stunning outerwear straight off of the catwalk the AZ international rain protectors and we look so sexy

Australia Zoo Poncho

Australia Zoo PonchosSexy PonchoSexy Poncho

The Animals at the zoo are just how you would picture them, they are well looked after content and happy….  see Even Big Al is smiling

Big AlBig Al

AS we only had a set time at the zoo we planned our day so we could see what we wanted before the coach left so after a walk around the croc enclosures we head straight to the pussy cats. On route we stop to feed the Kangaroos and wallaby’s and admire a cute Koala or 2

Arrr KoalaArrr KoalaIts a RooIts a Roo

When we arrive at the Tiger Temple the entrance gates are stunning and basically show us what good things we have to come.

Tigar Temple Gates

Tigar Temple Gates

We sort of knew about the Tigers here after watching the documentary’s Cats in the House about Stripe and Spot and had fallen in love with the cubs from episode 1.

We are both mad on any feline anyway so for us to see the conservation of these very endangered Sumatran Tigers is terrific. When we arrive the keepers are in the process of swapping the tigers over, now this is Australia Zoo so they do it rather differently here they go into the enclosure and each tiger gets put on a lead and is walked out  – so amazing to see and puts a whole new meaning to putting the cat out!
WalkiesWalkies

They were beautiful and then they brought out Clarence and Hunter who we knew as Spot and Stripe they had their names changed after a competition at the zoo and for the breeding programme although spot will not be able to breed due to his eye defect and his false eye. We were very lucky to see them and it made the day so special.

Clarence and Hunter

Clarence and Hunter

We are off to the Croccosesum to watch the wildlife warriors show next, it was so good Tim videoed it.  fantastic does not describe it, from the free flying Cockatiels, parakeets and birds of prey to the snake demo and how to treat snake bite – using a dingo as the patient ( wow fab) and finally the big one ( and he was ) Big Al the 14 foot salty ! He was the no 1 predator ( using a certain Mans words) and he knew it – he played up the keepers by not doing things in the order they normally do – well after all you cant really train a croc! They wanted to get him out of the water but he was having none of it even when the keepers both went in with him ( they call that the old fashioned way I suppose as we have seen Steve doing the same so many times) But no Al was determined  he was going to do the bait jump from the platform first not as the usual finale and who was going to argue with him?

They did manage to get him out after though so they could use him to educate after all that is what the zoo is all about.
stunning free flying birds

stunning free flying birdsFree flying displayDingo playing poorly dogDingo playing poorly dogThe A Z Ambulance serviceThe A Z Ambulance serviceThe snake showThe snake showGetting his AttentionGetting his AttentionNow he sees youNow he sees youwhats for lunch?whats for lunch?

By the afternoon the weather had brightened up and it got very humid  I think we were lucky to have the rain as it did cool it down and the animals were more active because of it. We did manage to see a lot more and by the time the coach picked us up we were flagging so it was just the right amount of time too. Crikey What a day!