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