Friday, December 2, 2011

2 Dec 11 – Day 8 (Australia Zoo)

Today we went to the Australia Zoo and along the way; we passed by a couple of signboards that say mangoes at A$6 or mangoes at A$10. So BIL said he would buy some on the way back later the day. Reached the zoo and while walking into it, the partially hanging sole of my running shoes decided to drop off. Fortunately, it was a very thin piece that it would not affect my walking. Browsed the gift shop and bought a cap for A$19.90 but the weather was cloudy so did not get a chance to wear. Then I saw at the bottom of a rack with some boxes of coasters and a few loose ones with a tag at the side saying that they cost A$4.50 each so decided that I would get two boxes at the end of the tour as Christmas presents for people in office.

Walked into the zoo compound and saw a staff carrying a baby American alligator so sis and I went over to touch it. While touching it, another staff took a photo of us. We walked a bit further and saw another staff carrying a blue-tongue lizard. But there were a couple of other visitors there taking photos so we did not stay to wait. Followed the map and we saw birds, lizards, snakes and so on. While at the koala area, Ry cut his arm and we took a bit of time to clean the blood away and put a plaster for him before continuing with the walk. Most of the time, koalas were seen sleeping on the forks of the gum trees and we assumed that because they were lazy. Read the information provided and learnt that they sleep most of the time because they only feed on eucalyptus leaves which are hard to digest and provide very little energy. Another interesting fact learnt was that baby koalas actually eat their mothers’ poop to get bacteria they need for coping with the toxic from consuming too much eucalyptus leaves which happen to be poisonous.

Animals in the Australia Zoo :

Birds in the Australia Zoo :

Snakes in the Australia Zoo :

We watched the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors show at 11am which lasted half an hour before going to the foodcourt for lunch. Did not know what to eat and did not know if there would be leftovers to finish so I waited till the kids bought their food before I got mine. Lyn bought pizza and Ry had beef sandwich with fries. I bought fish burger with fries and BIL had beef burger with fries. I like the fish burger coz they used the barramundi fish fillet instead of those found in McDonald’s burger. We had a good meal before continuing the walk. Saw another area where visitors could look at koalas more closely and there was even a chance to pat a koala. Since I did not get to cuddle one in Perth and CWS, I took the chance to pat a koala. Their fur was soft and felt like touching a soft toy, I was happy.

Wildlife Warriors Show (Elephants & Snakes) -

Wildlife Warriors Show (Birds) -

Wildlife Warriors Show (Crocodiles) -

Koalas and more koalas :

Then we moved off to the wombat compound where we saw a wombat digging a hole. We also saw a few short-beaked echidnas running around in their compound near the entrance to the kangaroos and wallabies compound. The kids bought two bags of kangaroo food from the vending machine before entering. Compared to the CWS, the kangaroos and wallabies compound here is much bigger but still smaller when compared to the one in Perth. Also the number of kangaroos and wallabies was definitely less than those in Perth. The kids fed the kangaroos and wallabies while we took photos. Everyone got to do the feeding at least once but it seemed that most of the kangaroos and wallabies were not really interested in eating, even if they do, they would pick out the other stuff like oats and leave out the corns.

Wombat, the digger :

Kangaroos in the Australia Zoo :

After that, we went to look for the Tiger Temple and managed to catch the tiger show where audience were told the various behaviours of tigers. The staff used milk to get the tigers to show the various behaviours. After the show, visitors were told that there would be limited edition souvenirs on the tigers available at the corner to raise fund to save the wildlife tigers. Bought three photo-postcards at A$1 each while Ry bought a tiger soft toy and sis bought a coin pouch from the souvenirs pushcart nearby.

While at the Tiger Temple :

Dangerous reptiles and cute otters :

By the time we were done, it was already 3+pm and we thought we would do the South Africa part of the zoo which was newly opened. But it was only accessible by the train shuttle taken from the train station near the entrance. Studied the map and found a train station near where we were and so waited for it to go to station 2 which was located near the foodcourt. Reached station 2 and walked back to the entrance to go to the gift shop. Upon checking with sis and was told that we would not be visiting the South Africa section. So went straight to the rack I saw in the morning to get two boxes of coasters thinking that each box cost A$4.50. Took a souvenir collar pin for my elder niece, M, and went to make payment. The casher told me that each box of coasters cost A$20 each and I almost wanted to argue with her. Made the payment and went back to the rack to read the tag again and realised that it actually meant that each individual coaster cost A$4.50.

Steve and his family

Ry and BIL were browsing soft toys while Lyn were picking out keychains. After they had picked out three lemur soft toys which BIL said was love at first sight due to the big eyes, some keychains and a couple of small soft toys for Lyn, BIL asked me what soft toy to get for M. Told her I do not know what animals she likes and after walking around a few times, I decided on a bush baby soft toy that was beside the lemurs. While making payment, the casher told us that the eyes of the soft toys were able to glow in the dark, this made BIL even happier. Finally left the zoo and BIL wanted to drive the coastal drive. Along the way, passed by the sign saying mangoes at A$10 so BIL drove in to buy a total of three bags of about 30 mangoes which cost him A$30. Then we went to IGA to get some groceries such as eggs, bacons, butter, some bubble gums for Ry and myself, a pack to dark chocolate rum & raisin Tim Tam and so on.

Continued with the journey and came across a spot with good view so BIL stopped for some photo shots. As it was rather windy out there, only Lyn and BIL went out while the rest stayed inside the car. After some time, they came back to continue with the journey and this time, we passed by a night market. BIL asked if we want to check it out but Ry was the first to object in a loud voice. We went out for dinner later in the evening and BIL said he would be driving to either Maisie’s Seafood and Steakhouse or Bertoni’s Pizza & Pasta. Along the way, we passed by other restaurants and they were all quite packed. Parked near Bertoni’s to enquire about table and was told that we need to wait about 20 minutes.

So BIL drove over to Maisie’s to check the availability and was lucky to get a table for five. Looked at the menu and sis ordered seafood platter for two to share with BIL, Ry asked for clam chowder soup and Suft & Turf while Lyn asked for garlic prawns with rice from the entrée section and upgraded it to main course. When it was my turn, I asked BIL if they would be able to finish the food and he said just order. Therefore, I ordered a seafood starter from the entrée section and upgraded it to main course.

When everyone was shocked when the clam chowder soup was served coz the portion was big and came with bread bowl. Ry took some of the soup and when the rest of the food came, he pushed the soup aside and started eating his main course. My plate was the biggest with seafood such as oysters, mussels, baby octopuses, prawns, a crayfish, fruits and lots of salads and it was chilled. So the rest had hot food while I had to finish the cold food on my plate.

After we were done eating and made payment, Ry chose to walk back with sis while Lyn went with BIL on his car. I walked slowly behind Ry and sis and soon BIL caught up with his car but he overshot to the next block while I made the correct turn back to the apartment. After gotten back to the apartment, I went straight for shower, leaving the rest to do their things. Came to the living room to watch tv, the kids were taking shower in sis’s room and stayed there to watch tv. So I off the lights below and went to bed with my door closed.

Thoughts: Find that Australia Zoo is better than CWS with more animals and we learn more facts about animals through their shows and explanations. Mangoes seem to be abundant, maybe they were in season, however not all were sweet. Some did not have strong mango taste but at least they were not too sour either. Dinner was really good though I would have like my food to be hot.

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