Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo
After about a 40-minute drive we arrive at the entrance to the zoo.
We arrived in Brisbane about 8:30am, a little later than scheduled, and today we have our first ½ day private car courtesy of Cruise Specialists. After the ship was cleared by immigration, we were finally able to leave the ship about 9:30 to have Kevin & Susan introduce us to Denis, our driver. We decided that we wanted to visit Australia’s Zoo, Home of the Crocodile Hunter (Steve Irwin). Unfortunately, it was about a 40-45 minute drive. Our car was very nice and it was a pleasant drive. During the drive Denis gave a lot of information about the city.
Brisbane is the state capital of the Australian state of Queensland, its largest city, and one of Australia’s up-and-coming cities. It has over 2 million people, the 3rd largest in Australia, and a city that is very sprawled out. Founded in 1823 on the banks of the wide, meandering Brisbane River, the former penal colony of Brisbane was for many years thought of as just a big country town. Many beautiful timber Queensland homes built in the 1800’s still dot the riverbanks and suburbs, and the numerous parks erupt in a collage of colorful jacaranda, flame tree and bougainvillea blossoms
Our first stop is two loving Iguanas.
in the spring. It has a great mixture of modern high-rises in its business center, along with a string of sandy beaches and outdoor attractions.
The city has also kept some of its heritage buildings in the downtown area dating back to the 1820’s, like The Old Windmill and Commissariat Store, both built by convict labor. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to explore them during our short stay. A unique feature here is the streets running toward the river are named after female (British) royalty, and streets running parallel to the river are named after male royalty.
The Australia Zoo burst into action in 1992 when the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin and his wife Terri took over the management. It was formerly known as the Beerwah Reptile Park, which opened in 1970 by Steve’s parents, and was a place where rogue crocodiles where rescued and rehabilitated wildlife called home. After arriving, we got there just in time for the elephant feeding. We got in line and just made the cut-off. It was great! We got to see a couple of giant tortoises, and then found the Tasmanian Devil area, where we saw two of them. We
Steve Irwin's nickname for crocodiles. Agro and Cookie are hangin-out.
saw some koalas and then went to the ‘Crocoseum’ for the afternoon show. They had wild birds, elephants, snakes and a huge crocodile that they fed. During the show it started to absolutely pour down rain. Fortunately, it let up. We would have loved to spend a lot more time there, but because of the time we got in the car and headed back toward Brisbane so we could stop at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. We have sooo many cute photos but will spare you and only show you the best. We were having so much fun we asked Denis if he could extend our time and we would pay him for the difference...no problem. After that fabulous Lone Pine experience, Denis took us to a vista point called Mt Coot-Tha Lookout, which offers incredible views of this very expansive city. Then we made our way back to the ship having had a fabulous day!
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