19 October 2005 Brisbane

Borrowed Donnie’s car and drove to Australia Zoo, past a row of giant diggers precariously perched  on the brink of a steep slope onto the motorway, like dinosaurs playing dare. 

To the east, the strangely shaped Glasshouse Mountains.

Australia Zoo is owned and directed by Steve Irwin, who regularly appears on TV as a crocodile hunter. His photo is everywhere. Apparently he was one of the most popular personalities in the country and about to be given a national honour, but he did a Michael Jackson and was filmed feeding a crococile with one hand with his new baby under his other arm, and was dropped from favour like a stone. The zoo has a very narrow focus on endangered Australian animals and, in particular, crocs, but it also has two striking Bengal tigers, hand-raised from birth.


There’s a tortoise, whose age is estimated to be at least 175:

Relaxing after lunch:



A couple of shots from the crocs display, which went to great lengths to be informative about how these ancient animals live and hunt. These were patently not hand-reared or in any way friendly.


Here’s Pest in the ‘Roo park.


… and a koala demonstrating their skill at sleeping 20 hours a day:


In the evening a last meal with our hosts and packing for the trip to Sydney.

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