With Mum and Jenny with us there was no hanging around watching cable TV. Off we went in the Mitsubishi Starwagon (no horn, slips out of gear, but cheap) off to Australia Zoo.
I’m not a huge Steve Irwin fan, but he grew on me. When I first saw him on a British Awards show I had no idea who he was. Either did most Australians. But the rest of the world did. It took Aussies a long time to warm to him. Mainly because he was too enthusiastic. By the end I think we all realised he was genuine and it wasn’t some Crocodile Dundee inspired shtick. I was genuinely shocked when he died.
I’d heard good things about his Australia Zoo. Besides, it was a lot closer than the Gold Coast theme parks and Aidan and Jo were more likely to enjoy it. So we drove through the sugar cane and down the M1 past Aussie World and to the park.
It was really good. Spacious, green, well kept and despite the carpark being almost full, uncrowded. It was very warm, Rosa was cranky and Aidan had woken up at 5am, so we didn’t rush it.
The highlight was the hands on exhibits – feeding the kangaroos and the elephants. One took a grab at Aidan’s foot and left some black muck up to his shin. Aidan was perplexed. He enjoyed patting the kangaroos more. The croc show was painlessly short too. We stayed late and, after walking all day, glad to get back home.
The zoo must be one of the better private zoos. The keepers know their stuff, and the animals look happy enough with some really large, leafy enclosures.