Kangaroo and Koala fun at Steve Irwin’s shrine(!): Australia Zoo

Australia has been a very a different experience than Asia
was, rather than culture and religion being the prominent areas for
sightseeing, the natural environment and the animals are high on the viewing
list. On my trip down from Cairns to Brisbane I had seen a lot of the natural
side, the beautiful beaches, the countryside, the outback, and now it was time
to see the animals!

Of course I had seen some animals in the wild on my journey,
but there were many more to see, and I wanted to do it in style-and I thought
what better way to do it than at Steve Irwin’s place! He was, and still is,
such a big icon to Australian people, that his zoo is famous worldwide, so I
thought it would be criminal not to visit!

It is 70km north of Brisbane, so I booked a day trip with
the Greyhound bus there and back. I arranged to meet Joanna there, my friend
from Fraser Island, and I went with a new friend I met in the hostel, so there
were three of us which was nice.

The zoo was nice, it didn’t seem that big, but it did take
the entire day to go around. They had shows throughout the day with different
animals which were interesting, and I began my day with the giant tortoise

The tortoises were ENORMOUS!! They were incredible! It felt
like I had stepped back in the pre-historic ages and a T-rex could come running
around the corner at any minute! I didn’t even know you could get them that
size! They were so sturdy and strong looking, and walked around the grassed
area without a care in the world. In what seemed to be slow motion, they would
follow the zoo-keepers in order to munch on some of the leaves that they were

HUGE tortoises!

OK, so it wasn’t the most exciting show in the world, but it
was very interesting. Even though these tortoises were already so huge, they
were only half their fully grown size! They live until about 150 years old and
they sexual mature at around 30. However, intercourse is extremely dangerous,
as if the tortoise falls on it’s back, it cannot get up again and will die!
Scary stuff!! Luckily in the zoo they can help them if this happens, and it did
once-and it took 5 men to turn the tortoise back over again!! I thought all of
this was very interesting.

From here we had a wander around all of the reptile
sections, we saw crocodiles, turtles (by the way there is a difference between
turtles and tortoises-turtles live in the water and have webbed feet and
tortoises live on land and do not!) and various lizards, chameleons etc.

The next show we decided to watch was held in the main
stadium area and involved birds and crocs. They had people strategically
standing around the stadium and the birds would fly over the audiences’ heads
to the zoo-keeper. It was actually really good. They had birds of all different
colours and sizes, flying all over the place, but it was an organised chaos. It
was really cool to see. Many of these birds I had seen in the wild and thought
were beautiful, and now I got to learn about them and to see them up close.
There are so many beautiful looking birds in Australia, if you’re a bird
watcher-this is certainly a good place to come!

Exotic Australian bird

During the bird-flying section of the show a guy came on
with a cage of birds. They said that he was auditioning for a job at the zoo
and was going to test his skills out on us. He made some people in the audience
stand up and make funny noises and then let the birds out the cage. But when he
turned around they all flew away!!!!!!! He saw this and run out of the stadium!
I thought this was a joke, and that he would do something funny….but nothing
funny came…he was just trying to catch the birds-it was really quite funny to

Then second part of the show was watching the crocodiles
hunting and the zoo keepers were making them run and jump etc, that was
interesting too.

HUGE croc!

The rest of the day I just wandered around the zoo with the
two girls looking at the various animals. Australia has sooo many animals that
we don’t have in the UK, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, that is
was very interesting to be able to see these animals in the flesh.

I saw more dromedaries, finally got to see a real cassowary
(although it would have been far better to have seen them in the wild!!), saw
Tasmanian devils, emu’s, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, dingos and much more.


The kangaroo section was brilliant as you could buy kangaroo
food and feed them (they even had vending machines selling it!), and they weren’t in cages, it was just a huge enclosure that you could go into-it was really cool to be in there with the kangaroos. Many of them had babies in their pouches too-it was so cute!! I especially loved it when they started bouncing around-they really are like no other animal!

Kangaroo with baby


Feeding the kangaroos


I was actually quite disgusted that I have since found out
you can purchase not only kangaroo meat (I have seen kangaroo burgers and
pizzas on my travels!) and fur products-but the full skin- tails, legs and all
AND kangaroo BALLS!!! Yes-that’s as in testicles…!!!! People actually have
these things on keyrings and bottle openers-I was actually horrified-those poor

But back to the zoo…

I also loved the koala sections, I really wanted to hold a
koala bear and get a photo (which I don’t actually like!!) so I paid the
staggering $20 to do so! It was so lovely and soft, and they smell just like
eucalyptus!! They are soooooo cute….I LOVE them!! I wish I had found some in
the wild, but unfortunately I didn’t : ( I also thought it was interesting that
koalas sleep for 20 hours a day-what a life!! I have since gone out and bought
myself a cuddly koala bear to remind me of Australia! : )


Koala photo


CUTE koala!


So all in all, a lovely day at the zoo, but it wasn’t just
any old zoo….it was Steve Irwin’s zoo!!!! And my God did you know it! It was
like a weird shrine to him, with pictures and videos of him everywhere, and the
staff all talking about him and saying how much he was loved etc… I have
actually never seen anything like it!!!! But I guess there aren’t too many
world famous Australians…so they have to make the most of what they have… ; )
he he

One of the MANY tributes to good old Steve

It was a bit expensive, but isn’t everything here in
Australia… but it was a lovely day! I would certainly recommend! : )