I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am a HUGE fan of Steve Irwin! While growing up, I use to throw on Animal Planet and watch The Crocodile Hunter for hours. I just loved his sense of adventure and his passion for conserving wildlife.
It is no surprise that my one MUST SEE/DO while in Australia was the Australia Zoo. After we got back from Airlie Beach, we had an entire week in Brisbane. Other than Noosa with some friends, I hadn’t planned much for the week. Chloe and I went online a few days before we set out for the zoo to see what there was to offer. I didn’t know we could book animal encounters! My dream was to hold a koala! So we booked a koala encounter and a wombat encounter.
The day had come and we set out for our adventure at the Australia Zoo! It was about an hour and half from Chloe’s place. It always seems longer because of the anticipation. At the entrance, one of the employees told us about feeding the kangaroos. There is an entire enclosure you can walk through and feed the roos! We knew we had to head there first! We didn’t get far into the zoo before we met a Kookaburra and a wee American Alligator. I was shocked at how BIG the kookaburra was! Easily bigger than a house cat.
We eventually made our way to the roo walk. We purchased some food and it wasn’t long before the roos knew what we had. They were a bit intimidating at first. Some of them are quite large. When you see them bounding towards you, it can be a bit frightening. But they all just waited around to be fed. None of them were aggressive. One was a bit handsy….so we named him Handsy.
You could spend hours in there watching them and feeding them. But we peeled ourselves away and continued to explore the zoo. It wasn’t long before we had to make our way to our koala encounter. I was so excited!
They limit the size of the groups since the time allotted for each encounter isn’t quite that long. Maybe an hour or two at most. The little koala we got to meet was named Kramer. He is adorable! I’m not just saying that because I LOVE koalas, just take a look yourself! He’s so handsome! The keeper gave us some insight into the daily lives of their koalas at the zoo. Most of them are rescued and rehabbed here at Australia Zoo and released back into the wild once deemed healthy enough.
Finally we got to hold him! They taught us ‘how’ to hold a koala. He’s heavier than he looks! And don’t worry about the massive claws on him, he didn’t hurt any of us. Although it does look like in one of the photos his claws are digging into my arm. They really weren’t…or maybe I was just too excited to notice. She gave us all a chance to hold him while a photographer snapped photos. After everyone had their chance, we were all just standing around passing the time. She asked if anyone wanted to hold Kramer again and I immediately said ‘yes!’ I could have held him all day!
After meeting Kramer, we had a bit of time to explore the zoo some more before meeting the wombats. We checked out the alligator and crocodile enclosures. We even caught a show at the Crocoseum! It was surreal being in the Crocoseum having seen this place only on TV through the Crocodile Hunter. I never thought I’d ever step foot in this place, so I was pretty excited to be sitting in the stadium watching Steve’s vision come to life.
Chloe and I were the only two signed up for meeting the wombats. That was fine with us because that meant we had more time with them one on one. We were meeting two wombats that day. The keepers warned us of some hazards with these creatures. They look cute and the like, but can be quite violent if they feel threatened. Wombats have bad vision. If they don’t recognize what is in front of them, they will charge you. They can reach speeds of up to 40km/hr when they feel threatened (that’s 24 mph). It’s enough to break your shin. So we were warned to always stay behind them.
Thankfully they had bowls of food to keep the wombats occupied while we were in their home. The entire back and rear of the wombat is one large plate of cartilage. If you knock on their back like you’re knocking on a door, you’ll feel how tough it is. It is a great natural line of defence for this creature because a predator cannot bite through the cartilage. Anyway, these ladies were so cute. Again, a photographer was there snapping up photos of Chloe and I with the wombats. The keepers were so great and knowledgeable.
As our time wrapped up, we were making our way out of the enclosure while one of the keepers distracted the wombats. Well I guess one of the wombats wasn’t too keen on us being there once she realized we were, and decided to charge us. The keeper we were with told us to run. So we did! It was a bit thrilling to say the least!
There is so much to see/do at the Australia Zoo! I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Brisbane or the surrounding area. It was a dream come true being able to see the Crocodile Hunter’s passion for wildlife in person.
So this concludes my one month adventure in Australia and New Zealand. The remainder of what little time I did have left that week was spent with friends and Chloe’s family.
Chloe flew back to Sydney with me the night before my flight home. We had one last Nandos feasting together. It is the hardest thing saying ‘see ya soon’ to a best friend who literally lives across the globe. I wasn’t sure when we would get together next. But over the course of the year we decided that we NEED to have a plan. We decided that every 2-3 years, we will meet somewhere in the world and travel together. Where we would meet will be decided together but that was the plan.
So fast forward 3 years later, Chloe is set to arrive in Canada this October!! I couldn’t be more excited for her visit! Luckily she is staying 10 weeks, so I’ve got some planning to do for our weekends! As of right now we are booked for trips to Halifax, Walt Disney World (of course!!!) and NYC. Quebec City for New Years is still an option, but nothing concretely booked. Anyway, those will be stories for another time!!
My adventures to the other side of the globe have come and gone. The next adventure I had planned, if you’ve all seen my blog you may already know, was a Christmas River Cruise along the Danube.
Stay tuned for my holidays abroad!
Until next time…