2 years ago
Over the new year period, it appears I might have harped on a little too much about Australia’s lack of animals because our whole schedule was put on hold, turned upside down, thrown around a little and completely re written to include a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary about 50 minutes away from Dragonfly Mansions at an average speed of circa 120 Km per hour (bizzies allowing).
We arrived there early enough to find parking (not bad for a public holiday) and proceeded to the outside café to await coffee in hand the other members making up our party for the day who included Patricia (Youth development officer from cadets) and her two boys Sean and Andrew (Great Name there) from the night before (we spent the night before with them at theirs for New year’s Day. Hence my absence from proper blog content lately).
|Click here for the full day out at the zoo album|
And apologies for the old geezer pics.. I thought he was Crocodile Dundee
And then there was another couple, Shari-lee and Keith who are adult leaders from another cadet unit (yes cadets again). And then there was Paul another adult leader. Probably the tenth Paul I have met over here and pretty much like all the other Pauls, he was good company although for one reason or another, I couldn’t remember who, what or why he was here, but he was, so we happily put up with his presence.
Anyway, armed with camera, coffee and a lone muffin between two, we strolled through the entrance just in time to feed the 100 or so Lorikeets that lay in wait for us. Lovely wild birds in their multi-coloured splendour but none the less, trained to ‘turn up’ for a freebie sugar laced meal they couldn’t possibly refuse while crapping on all and sundry beneath them. And yes, we were included in that last statement but fortunately, their diet had rendered their doo-dahs to be nothing more than watery splashes rather than the muddy white and black offerings rendered us in the more usual crow dusts and duck oils of the real world.
After that was the short wander through a gateway to the petting zoo where we saw (and could join in with had we wanted to) lambs, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, chickens and miniature ponies all desperately pleading to be fed with overpriced pellets and straw (available at a nature reserve near you at no extra cost). The usual stuff you would find in petting parks all around the world. There was however one slight difference here, this one had free range kangaroos (OMG they do exist) surrounding it.
Now before I go any further I have to relate that my only experience of these spring loaded beasts was that of Skippy the 3 foot tall bush version from 1970’s television. BUT… I also know they can grow as high as six or seven feet tall in optimal conditions. No such luck here though, the highest we saw was around four foot standing on its hind legs so as to pose no form of threat to us foolhardy visitors.
Among the kangaroos (reds and greys – mmm, a bit like squirrels then) there were their smaller cousins, the wallabies and their too big for roasting tins neighbours, the emus and ostriches. And then there was also “Look at the size of the nut-sack on that big boy”, Jodie scaring away parents with small children with her more audible of observations on the roo's tackle bags.
From there we were herded to the Birds of Prey pavilion for a flight show including falcons, owls (two kinds, barking and barn), sea eagles, and eagles (of a fashion – the ozzie interpretations of). Cool birds and a cool way to meet them for sure. But alas not half as long as one would have liked it to be which meant we were soon looking for more to see. But first it was time for din dins in the restaurant area that was besieged with hundreds of bush turkeys and water lizards. Well it felt like hundreds.
When lunch was at an end, it was time to take in a few more of the indigenous animals of Australia. There were koalas (not bears by the way), wombats, snakes, turtles, lizards, monitors, crocodiles, sheep dogs, dingoes (not many people with kids there), Tasmanian devils, flying foxes bats, and a platypus for us all to witness as well as numerous hooked beak type birds with their parrot-phenalia (you may groan here) to be observed.
Besides all the animals, the place also went out of its way to help educate its visitors with sheep dog and shearing exhibitions, the bird of prey show, a scale and tails show (snakes and crocs), a koala presentation, platypus feed and keeper presentation and a Tasmanian devil presentation.
All in all, it was another great day out with plenty to see and do. It wore out the kids (which is always a bonus), and because of its very outdoory nature and the 30 degree sunshine in near blue overhead skies again, it almost got me burnt some more. Almost I said… It really needed Cath Slater to have pulled that sort of thing off more successfully.
And so it is with a heavy heart at being wrong, that this whinging pom finally stands corrected. There are animals in Australia, real ones too, but they hide themselves well from all lily white skinned tourists like me. In all honesty, most of the creatures are dawn or dusk types which is probably why I have done so well to avoid them which is good too really.
I mean, if a wild and unpredictable 7 foot tall kangaroo decides it’s a good idea to dive out in front of your moving motor (putt-putt in our case), it can really do some serious damage to it in the process of having its arse going through its brain like that of a fly. And with that in mind, you want to see the size of the roo bars (more aptly named bull bars for UK and American markets) they have on the front of vehicles over here.
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