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Published: January 21st 2012
Driving Steve Irwin Way!
One of the places we were absolutely going to visit on our travels was Australia Zoo. Both Charlie and I grew up watching the charismatic Steve Irwin present the Crocodile Hunter and display his passion for wildlife and Australia Zoo. The zoo is located about an hour North of Brisbane along the Steve Irwin Way. The road was named after Steve just before his death and runs for about 30 kilometres. We got to the zoo at about 10am, just after the zoo had opened, we still had to queue! We knew the zoo was a home to Crocodiles, Koalas and Kangaroos, but didn't expect to find the amount of wildlife we did. As we walked through the gate, we were greeted by a lady holding a lizard and wanting to tell everyone about it. She worked there, not just a random that had picked up a lizard!! She was there to talk to visitors, let them have pictures and stroke the lizard. Another few steps and another worker had a Cockatoo on her arm doing the same thing. We were amazed at the place already!
We were given a timetable of events and map of the park as we
entered. First up was the Giant Tortoise Show. This was amazing. It wasn't a show like riding bikes, doing tricks or anything like that, but more of a educational class on the lives of these giant animals. Before the show, we were both amazed when we walked around the corner to see the enclosure and the size of them. At just under waist height these two tortoises were in their early thirties. The host was saying that they never stop growing and can live up to 200 years old. They fascinated Charlie and I.
We moved on after about thirty minutes. There is so much to see and do at the Zoo. We walked around the alligator enclosures, saw the Komodo Dragons and Koalas before heading to the Crocoseum. This is a purpose built 5000 seater stadium to show off the parks wildlife. It started with bird shows. Lots of different birds flew around the stadium over the next 20 minutes. One bird we both were not expecting was a Vulture. The massive bird had a wingspan of over 3 metres and was eating the scraps of meat the presenter was throwing down into dummy carcasses.
park of the display, and the part that everyone had come to see was the feeding of the Crocs. They only use one Croc per day, and one our day, it happened to be called Charlie! The presenter was saying that he had his work cut out as Charlie was the smartest Croc they had at the park. He was a big animal, around 3 metres in length. The feeding show started with the presenter getting Charlie out of the water and trying to get him to focus on the meat on not his leg! At the end of the show, he was trying to get the Croc to rise out of the water to take the meat from him on the him platform. It was an amazing show and set us up for the rest of the day.
We spent 6 hours walking around the zoo. After seeing the elephants, tigers, birds of prey, wombats, dingos, camels and much much more, we ended with the Africa exhibit which housed rhinos, giraffes and zebras. We can say that after seeing all those, the animals that put the biggest smiles on our faces were the tortoises. On our way to
the exit, we travelled back to the Giant Tortoise area. Amazingly, they were by the fence, they looked right at us and allowed us to rub their necks. It was a strange feeling, like a marshmallow, soft on the inside with a firmer crust on the outside (trying to describe a marshmallow is not easy!).
As we came to the gift shop at the end we bought a couple of badges to stick onto our bags. As we paid, we were given the option of paying $2 each to go to the largest animal hospital in the world. We took up the offer and spent some time looking through the glass into the rooms where the vets do their work. Animals are brought to the hospital by anyone within a 300km radius and Quantas have a deal that they will fly any animal for free to the hospital. There were three Koalas looking through the glass back at us unable to move as they had been hit by cars and had broken legs in casts.The hospital is doing great work to heal animals and release them back into the wild as soon as possible.
We left Australia Zoo
The croc show at the Croc-aseum!
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