Today was Brisbane. They say it very quickly – BRIZ-bin. We docked in a container port very far away from the city. I was up at 6:45 to get in line for tickets to the Australia Zoo. I was first in line and they only had 3 tickets left. Had I not gotten up we wouldn’t have gotten them. I’d have been crushed!! I went back to bed for a bit after that.
We had a big breakfast and met our tour group on the pier at noon. There were 3 big busloads of us. We drove an hour and a half to get there. We drove past lots of forests and marshes. Lovely country. Finally we reached our destination.
The Australia Zoo was founded by the Crocodile Hunter from Animal Planet – the late Steve Irwin. It was designed for foreign tourists to be able to interact with the animals, not just look at them in cages. All the habitats are as natural as possible and quite expansive. I will say that it wasn’t exactly easy to get around, though. Everything was in circles and it felt like we walked in circles all day.
We only got 2 hours there, so we had to rush. We headed straight for the roos. They were roaming free in a large area. You can buy a paper bag of roo food for $2, which I did. It was cracked corn with some little pellets. They’re much softer than I thought they would be. And as long as you have food, they’re friendly. I did try to pet one without having any food and he very gently slapped my hand away and gave me a little nudge with his back foot (he was lying down). I can now cross off another thing from list – I’ve petted a roo at last. I could have spent the whole day with them, but there was so much more to see and our time was very limited.These were so much softer than the one I petted in Sydney. I will amend my prior statement, they really could be cuddly. Except that they really don’t like to be held and they’ll pee on you. Holding isn’t allowed at this zoo. The only place I know of where you can hold them (for an extra fee, of course) is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary here in Brisbane. These guys were awake and fairly active, so I got some cute pix.
We had just enough time for one more surprise bonus – I got to feed an elephant! I’ve always wanted to pet an elephant and I even wrote one into our screenplay “The Murders of Curly Evans” just so I would get to be up close to one someday. I only got to give it a wedge of watermelon and get in one quick pat on her trunk, but at least I got to do that much. Bruce wasn’t able to get a very good picture of it, though so we posed this one.They were in a brown paper bag exactly like the one the roo food came in. We had a little roo food left over and I offered it to 2 elderly ladies. Little did I know that I had mixed up the bags and gave away my magnet and necklace!!
We almost had to run from the elephant pen at the back of the zoo up to the entrance in time to catch our bus. I don’t know why I happened to open the sack, but for some reason I did. I was horrified to find a sack of roo food! There was no time left to go back and no other opportunity for another magnet from this port. Horrors!! I remembered seeing the tell-tale sticker on the ladies I had given my treasures to - #19 which was our bus number. I looked around the bus and spotted them. As soon as I approached them, they told me they had given the sack to the sales clerk in the gift shop. I begged the bus driver to wait for me while I ran back there. Sure enough, she had it. Whew!!!
We made one quick stop at the famous Ettamogah Pub on our way back to the ship. Bruce had a sample...
So after all the incredible things that I got to do today, and then recovering my lost purchases, I think I’ll buy a ship lottery ticket tonight. Maybe I’ll win the $100,000 jackpot, if I haven’t already used up all my good luck for the day!