Steve 'Crikey' Irwin's Australia Zoo

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April 16th 2008
Published: April 20th 2008
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Crocodile HunterCrocodile HunterCrocodile Hunter

Irwin's Croc Wheels
We left Byron Bay, feeling at one with the surf and mother earth, only to be smacked in the face by the high-rise sight for sore eyes that is the Gold Coast.

Who on earth let that happen? Surfer's Paradise it might once have been, but surely no self-respecting surfer REALLY thinks thinks that paradise is set in concrete 50 floors high?

Surfer's.. cough.. Paradise must float some people's boats as it, together with the 35 km strip that makes up the Gold Coast, has reportedly over 2 million visitors a year. Not all coming to surf I bet...

If you like theme parks, casinos, and shopping malls BIG TIME then you'd be delighted if, on completing the Gold Run on Blockbusters-can-I-have-a-'P'-please-Bob' you'd won a fortnight's 'trip of a lifetime' here.

Maybe you've just got to be in the mood for brash commercialism and sky-scraper high 'fun'... We drove through as fast as the heavy traffic would allow, with me doing a Rain Man from the van with the camera, recording a fleeting glimpse of Paradise...

And with the pedal to the metal, we sped past Brisbane too. Sorry to all those who perhaps wanted an account of the wonders of BrisVegas, er Brisneyland, I mean Brisbane, of which I genuinely expect there are plenty. After all, it's reportedly one of the most desirable places to live in Australia with its climate and lifestyle.

But we couldn't muster up the mustard to navigate the city streets, sans GPS and with a dodgy fuel pump to boot. Besides, all the city campsites are billions of miles away, meaning one has to use public transport and mingle with the great unwashed.

So, we've pretty much done New South Wales, and by-passed the first stretch of Queensland, and it's only week 2!

We couldn't, however, come to Oz and not go to Australia Zoo, home of the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, who's legendary life lives on through the zoo.

I'm not a fan of zoos - the idea of captive animals walking round and round in mindless circles just puts me off. But respect to the Irwins for having created a fantastic educational and conservational resource with the most idyllic environments imaginable for the lucky creatures kept there.

Plenty food and water, plenty space, and plenty greenery. The only unhappy looking creature was a little Tasmanian Devil who kept doing a route round and round its enclosure looking totally gone in the head, but perhaps that's what Tazzie's do??

We watched the very polished and respectful animal and bird performances, including a croc feeding show, in the 'Crocoseum'. And around the park we saw the elephants and the tigers and the roos and the koalas... Oh and the emus, one of which became very amorous towards Steve with a bit of a corkscrew thing going on. Well, he's always had a way with the birds...

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Interview With The Architect:Interview With The Architect:
Interview With The Architect:

'... my brief was to pack em in and pack em high and I think I've achieved that with no regard to aesthetics whatsoever... quite an achievement I feel.'

Sadly, our only photo...
Cute Little Croc...Cute Little Croc...
Cute Little Croc...

'Give us a kiss then...'
Tazzie the DevilTazzie the Devil
Tazzie the Devil


'Did you get my better side?'

'...time for a few zeds...'

20th April 2008

Has Ronnie Lost his Dog?
Ronnies Hotel!!
20th April 2008

Hiya Rich!
Just up Ronnie's street that, Pink Poodle Motel! Hope you're all missing me loads, don't work too hard, Lich :-)
21st April 2008

how could you?
how could you sully the beautiful location that is Peter Andre's birthplace?! Saw him and Jordan visit there this week on "katie and peter the next bit". Looked out for you, didn't you meet up with them? I also found ozzie based van people to be a bit stand-offish. think that people are more aware of their image there than in NZ xxxx
21st April 2008

Hi Cathy & Jo
Well if we'd known Katie and Peter were going to be there we'd definitely have popped in for a brew... You're right, definitely a different vibe in Oz... x

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