Thursday, 7 January 2010

Australia Zoo

While on holiday at the Sunshine Coast Brad, Chel and I took a day trip to Australia Zoo. The zoo was made world famous by the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin.

Some of the enclosures are done really well allowing visitors to enter and get up close with the animals. In one of the kangaroo enclosures both Brad and I stroked a roo which had amazingly soft fur. (You could argue you shouldn't tame wild animals, but I'll leave that debate well alone.) In the koala enclosure the staff had put up signs telling you which trees to look up which was a helpful touch.

The reason you go to Australia Zoo is to see a show in the Crocoseum, which is a very impressive arena for a zoo!

Unfortunately the show starts with 30mins, of frankly, self promotional guff. The young kids were enjoying themselves (which was probably the point), but it went on a bit too long. Once the animal show started the bird display was very good, with a variety of birds soaring round the Corcoseum. Handlers also stood in the crowd getting the birds to fly to them so that we could get a good look at some of the birds on display.

The main event is to see a crocodile. The keepers obviously don't want to be attacked by the crocodile, but the croc was looking extremely sluggish to the point where I would have fancied my chances (if you paid me enough!). When I was in Kakadu one of our guides was very vocal in his dislike of the showmanship at Australia Zoo, saying it was too far south for cold bloodied animals and you would never risk such displays further north. Whatever the reason, there wasn't quite the thrill I was expecting.

In conclusion, I'm pleased I went to Australia Zoo. Some of the enclosures are done every well, and there are lots of opportunities for animal interaction. They are also pushing animal conservation and fundraising. However, the main show didn't live up to expectations and the entry fee is pretty steep.