The best day ever
Having left Surfer’s Paradise only 30 minutes before, I saw a sign pointing to this wildlife sanctuary that I’d read about on TripAdvisor. I made a split second decision to ask Emma, my Aussie mate, to take the exit off the highway to go check it out. She didn’t seem too convinced, but as a good friend was willing to accommodate my tourist needs. Once we found our way out of the labyrinth that is the parking lot, I immediately ran to the toilet. Never drinking DARE coffee again…In the bathroom I heard some women speaking Spanish and immediately tried to become besties with them. A totally normal thing to do when you’re in the bathroom, right? I found out that they were from Argentina and they were on holiday, just like me! I had almost totally forgotten that Emma was waiting for me outside at the ticket center. Oops. The price of the tickets were pretty steep, I suggest you buy it in advanced to save $$$, and all of the super cool wildlife experiences were sold out. I did get lucky, however, because for an extra 25$ I could take a picture with, and HUG, a Koala. Yes, sign me up! The Koala experience is just past the ticket center and I gravitated there first, as did my friends from Argentina.
Anxiously waiting in line for my turn to hold the little fluffball was one of the hardest things I had to do. I just couldn’t contain my excitement! The handler showed me how to position my hands to hold the Koala and then handed me the big chubby one. The cutie just grabbed onto my shoulder and posed for the picture like it was a model. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled that hard in a photo in my life. And just like that, in 2 minutes it was over. And it pooped on me.
Saltwater Croc feeding time >°ˆ¸ˆ¸ˆ~~~´
After snuggling with the Koala’s we walked over to the Croc feeding show, which just so happened to start in 25 minutes. We weren’t the only ones with that idea, though, because the train was full until that part of the park, where everyone then disembarked. By the way, the train ride was spectacular and I recommend everyone to ride it, especially since its free!
We followed the crowd to the show and made it just in time for it to begin. There is an option to be the volunteer that feeds the crocs, but you have to book it in advanced :(. So we settled for a spot near the back. It didn’t have the best view of the show, but I could still manage to see a couple of the crocs and their “stunts”. It was pretty cool to see them jump out of the water and roll. I also learned a lot from the handlers. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to run into one of these bad boys anytime soon.
There was only one thing left to do, and that was to get a picture with am Aussie Kangaroo. Just past the Croc area you can find the emus and kangaroos. For a few dollars you can buy some food to feed the ‘roos. Though, they seem HIGHLY uninterested in the food. Probably because of how many people try to feed them a day. If you’re lucky enough and get a kangaroo that isn’t laying around, then it’ll be a miracle. This little guy got up to nibble on some food, but after smelling it went back to sleeping. It was still a good experience to pet them and grab some photos. Though you can find them inside the pen, you can also see kangaroos scattered around the park.
Be happy and free!
This sanctuary stole a piece of my heart that day. It’s almost as if you were entering the habitat of these animals, rather than gazing at them through cages. The animals are free to walk around the park and you can see kangaroos, birds, iguanas, and other animals peacefully lounging around he sanctuary.
I’ve never been a huge fan of caging animals, and I believe that they should remain in their natural environments. There are only 2 reasons why animals should be kept caged by humans.
1. For rehabilitation of sick/abandoned animals that need help.
2. To help repopulate and protect endangered animals.
And this sanctuary really did seem to give the animals open space and freedom, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Australia has a massive problem with animals going extinct. In fact, Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. Which is really sad considering that 87% mammal, 93% of reptiles, 94% of frogs and 45% of our bird species are found only in Australia. I’m glad these sorts of places exist to help preserve the wildlife.