I was so excited to spend the two days in Brisbane between cruises!
We disembarked from the cruise on Friday morning and spent most of the day catching up on some work at our hotel in downtown Brisbane. We found a really cool Mexican place for dinner. I'm not sure if Brisbane has a lot of restaurants that serve Tex-Mex food, but we ended up at two of them!
We woke up on Saturday and got on a train at the central station, headed to Beerwah, where Australia Zoo is located. It was a little over an hour and a half on the train and was so easy. We even had cell service and were able to work most of the way on the train. This giant hill/rock was just before we arrived at our stop in Beerwah.
We took the shuttle from the train stop to the front of the zoo and got our visitor's guide. Brennan brought his backpack to hold our laptops, so we found the lockers and left our things there while we went out exploring. It would be amazing if all attractions had lockers like this-it's so convenient to be able to store things you don't need, especially since we don't have a car.
This bird, a cassowary, was one of the first large animals we saw. It was running along this fence, with its back feathers flopping in the wind. It was very funny to see this giant bird acting like a toddler, running back and forth.
Next was the koala nursery! Australia Zoo has a huge group of koalas, since so many are brought to their animal hospital and rehabilitated here. These koalas were all content to stay in their "trees"; most were sleepy but a few were eating the eucalyptus.
The next animal was a binturong (bearcat). It was pretty sleepy too, but eventually lifted up its head so we could get a view of it.
We walked through the Crocodile Hunter Museum, where there were many pictures and artifacts from Steve Irwin's lifetime. They have really worked to preserve and carry on his legacy here and it was amazing to see how far his reach was in the early 2000s.
By the museum was this enormous anaconda. The little girl you can see in the reflection was thrilled to see such a large snake at her level. I was not as happy about it, even though it was behind glass!
By far, my favorite part of the day was getting to interact with the kangaroos! There was a huge gated area where the kangaroos were. We walked in and realized guests were able to go up and pet them. These kangaroos were so calm and used to people; they were fine with us petting them as long as we wanted to. Surprisingly, their fur is very soft. I think this one was young, so its fur was softer than the larger one we petted later on in the day.
So many kangaroos laying around! You can see they have no reaction to the man standing near them. We walked around for a bit and finally saw one up moving and he was jumping. That made the whole experience even better! I overheard one of the zookeepers saying there are 37 females and 2 males at the zoo. That's a lot of kangaroos!
There was a walk-through area with koalas. All around, they had signs that said "Look up! There's a koala in this tree!" Koalas sleep for 18-20 hours per day, but we were lucky to see one climb out of the tree and scurry down the path to find a new tree. It moved fast!
We saw a red panda after the koalas. I don't think I had ever seen a red panda before-it was cute! It kind of looked like a teddy bear. This one was quick and liked to climb up in these trees.
At the very back of the park, there is a section with animals from Africa. I didn't know this was back here and was thrilled to turn the corner and see giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and meerkats! I've never seen so many giraffes lounging on the ground, but apparently these ones were tired. They were a great surprise after the long walk to the back of the park.
At the center of the zoo is the Crocoseum. This is where the main animal show took place, with lots of birds flying in and around the stadium and a crocodile coming in for a performance. This was built before Steve Irwin passed away and was a huge part of his legacy at the zoo.
I was excited to see the crocodiles, but had no idea how massive they are. Even just looking at this guy's tail was intimidating! I can't imagine being in the center of the the grass and seeing it come out of the water.
After the show, we only had a few more animals to check out. There was Robert's reptile house (Robert is the Irwin's son), where all the snakes were. I do not like snakes, but my friend Reagan (who is 7) LOVES them. I had to take pictures for her. My mom said she was very excited when she saw all the photos.
We saw this tortoise after the reptile house, walking along inside its enclosure. I've never seen a tortoise moving at a pretty good pace like this!
The last thing we saw were the crocodiles. Agro and Cookie were two of the crocs that were around when Steve Irwin was alive. I think I remember hearing about Cookie on Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet. To see these animals in real life is crazy-they are bigger than you think they would be!
At the entrance to the zoo, this statue shows the Irwin family. It's evident that Steve Irwin's love for animals has been carried on by his family and they are working to keep his legacy alive. I'm not sure what I would think if there was a bronze statue of me for tourists to look at everyday, but it's a nice memorial to their family.
I had to take a picture with the sign while we were waiting for the shuttle to head back to the train station. Our visit to Australia Zoo was great and we both really enjoyed spending the day there.
When we got back to Brisbane, Brennan headed out on a long run. When he got back, we went to The Pancake Manor for dinner. This restaurant is located in an old church and is open 24/7. Brennan tried their pancakes; I got crepes. Both were decent (it tasted like diner food), but the building was what was really amazing.
We headed back to the hotel and got one last night's sleep on land before heading out on another cruise the next morning!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.