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Published: April 1st 2008
Nicky: Hello everyone, hope you are well??
Before we came on this trip I had a list of things I wanted to do in each of the countries we are visiting. Things like Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, etc etc so far I have been really lucky to do them all and I can tick off another one now as we visited Australia Zoo on Friday. I was as upset as most people (well maybe less than Fiona but then she did love Steve Irwin!!) when SI was killed and the zoo is a great memorial to him as well as being just a great day out. The animals there appear really well looked after, the enclosures are huge, and you can get really close to all the different species. Keepers are walking around all day with baby crocs, goats, wombats etc so people can see them up close and pet them and there is at least one talk an hour somewhere in the zoo telling you about a native Oz species and letting you get a bit closer. We were able to pet a koala which was cool and I fed an elephant. (Technically not an Oz animal SI
wanted to expand the zoo to become a world zoo so a new South East asia section opened not that long ago with elephants, tigers etc) We also watched the big show in the Crocosseum which was perhaps the only dissappointing bit. I wonder if this was SI's thing and the other keepers feel a bit odd doing it, bt it was really cheesy and a bit over-dramatised. It was good to see the keepers handling the crocs though - i do not want to meet one of those on our travels!!!
We have also been to Fraser Island in the last few days. I think we can safely say we didnt do it justice because we just didnt have the time or the money to hire a 4x4 like you need to travel around the island, which is completely made of sand. But we went over for the day and walked along the beach on the side closest to the ferry point, among the mangrove trees and along the white sand, had some lunch, then walked along the other side. We would have loved to go a bit further into the 'jungle' area and to lake mckenzie but we
Koala's sleep for 20 hours a day!!
will just add that to the list of things to do when we come back...
Thank you for all the messages etc, it is great to know what everyone is up to. Speak to you soon
Hello everyone. We've had a mix of great weather and heavy showers, so we've done a lot of driving in the last few days. We're now in the town of Rockhampton - Australian home of Beef. It's also the town that straddles the Tropic of Capricorn so the climate is becoming more tropical and warmer than the south. If you replace beef with submarines it's very similar to Barrow-in-Furness!
As Nicky mentioned above the zoo was great - really worth a visit. It really lets you get close to Australias native animals as well as tigers and elephants from Asia. The best zoo i've been to!
Our camping is still going well. Most of the sites that we're staying at are free - although every 2/3 days we'll stop at a caravan park to get a good hot shower. We stayed in our best free campsite a couple of nights ago!! It had a pub near which most
haven't, which meant I was able to sample a few more of Australia's beers. The pub was really similar to the Railway from my home town!! It was great. At one point a big Aussie guy came in to buy some take away beer. He asked the bar maid what the spirit was in one of the bottles on the shelf. She proceeded to make a cocktail from it which consisted of a bottle of Schmirnoff Ice, a potent Lychee Liquor, and this strong spirit (that i can't remember the name of). The finished glass contained about half a pint of the stuff which the Aussie guy downed in one shot! (It would have put me on the floor!) On slamming the glass down the Aussie guy bid farewell to the barmaid and she replied - " G'night laarrvve. Drive Safe!" and off he drove in his ute!
We had a real treat last night!! Our first meal out for ages, so we sampled Rockhampton's famed steak dishes. I had a Aussie mixed grill which was massive! Most of the steaks on the menu were huge - a 1kg fillet steak being the biggest.
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