Dec 08 01
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Our first day in Brisbane kicked off with a few trips down memory lane; a drive out to Redcliffe to see my old home and school! It was exciting, and a little bit sad.

After that Laetitia, Ian and I went off to the see the late Steve Irwin’s world famous Australia Zoo. What a great place. I’m not a fan of caged zoo animals normally, but here there is so much space and interaction it seemed far more equitable for the animals. Plus a clear overriding aim to protect and celebrate Australia’s unique wildlife!

I took over 150 photographs it was all so amazing. How much would that have cost before digital photography? Here are just a few to show some of the highlights…

The water lizards were roaming freely everywhere. It was hard not to step on them.

Water lizard

Water lizard

The centre piece was the show at the “Crocoseum”. All sorts of animals were showcased; snakes, parrots, etc. But it was the adult salt water crocodile that stole the show. As he came out swimming/gliding slowly under the water (barely knee deep, yet not making a ripple) he seemed quite small. Then as he climbed out of the water, tempted by one of the crocodile handlers offering a chicken leg, we realized just what a massive creature it was.

The Crocoseum show

The Crocoseum show

Later we got over to the tiger enclosure, obviously not an Australian animal, but what a show. There were six juvenile tigers playing in the water with a very brave and tough handler.

Tiger play?

Tiger play?

One big Australian wildlife ‘tick’ that we hadn’t seen was the Koala. But maybe that isn’t surprising. We learnt that there were 3m Koala’s in the wild when europeans came to Australia. But now thanks to hunting (before they became protected – a legal status now enjoyed by all Australian native wildlife) and cat & dog attacks, there are only about 100k left! Then consider that there are only about four thousand in the Brisbane area of Queensland – the same number that are killed every year in the same area by road traffic accidents – and it’s clear we would have been very lucky to see them in the wild. These cute critters are seriously at risk.

Cuddly Koala

Cuddly Koala

Laetitia having a ripper day!

Laetitia having a ripper day!

:star: Crikey, a Ripper venue, recommended! :star:

Series - Australia 2008

  1. Australian Rock
  2. Blue Mountains
  3. The Australian Alps
  4. I’m a climber get me out of here!
  5. The Greatest Crag in the World … ?
  6. Farewell to Arapiles … for now …
  7. G’day Kats
  8. Emu Holiday Park
  9. Hello Grampians
  10. Crikey! Australia Zoo
  11. Glass House Mountains
  12. Rainforest meets Reef
  13. Quizzing in Sydney
  14. Reunion in Kiama
  15. The end of the Australian Adventure
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