We decided to spend our second day in Cairns embarking on a road trip to Hartley's Crocodile Adventure! Normally, renting a car in another country wouldn't be THAT big a deal - but in Australia, they drive on the other side of the road AND they have LOTS of round-a-bouts that you go around backwards! Anyway, turns out - Brian's a pro at driving on the other side of the road and there was very little traffic to actually make us nervous! While he drove, I was able to enjoy the beautiful coastline of Australia and take some pictures for everyone back home.
Once at Hartley's we walked around the park to see the unreal number of crocodiles on the property. Then we got on a lagoon tour (on a caged in boat) to get up close and personal with the crocs! One of the most entertaining aspects of the visit, was the croc show we watched. There, we learned that it's not normally the bite that kills people attacked by crocs - it's their strategy. Generally a croc will bite it's prey and drag it to the bottom of the lagoon/river until it's prey drowns. If it's prey fights
back, the croc will barrel roll it to snap it's neck! All in all we learned when we'd already assumed - crocodiles are pretty vicious killing machines. The other thing we learned is that crocs are really common in Australia so NEVER go swimming in a body of water that isn't deemed safe by authorities. Overall, we enjoyed our time at Hartleys and walked away with a strong appreciation for the beautiful (and deadly) wildlife in Australia!
To finish off the day, we headed back into the city of Cairns to find a pub to watch the greatly anticipated Rugby match: Australia vs. New Zealand. All leading up to the event the Australian newspapers were saying, "this is the best chance we've ever had against New Zealand....our team is younger, faster and ready," and how they'd finally give the All Blacks of New Zealand a run for the money. Literally for days, we had been reading articles that were continually pumping up the Australian team, so, we went to a bar where a good sized crowd had convened to watch the match. As I was ordering some pub food and drinks for me and Brian - the teams were
announced and the bar went silent - the bartender whispered, "oh, I forgot they do this" - and then I saw my first Haka. The link below is really worth watching. It's shear intimidation and the Australian Wallabies just have to take it.
Once we saw the Haka - we knew the Australian's had no chance. It was like watching a college basketball team play a high school JV team! The All Blacks beat the Wallabies 20-6. It was an embarassing loss for Australia and for just showed the world that New Zealand is still the team to beat when it comes to Rugby.
The next morning the newspapers basically read, "who are we kidding, New Zealand is still a class above Australia in Rugby!"
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Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name...more info