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Part 12: Warner Bros. Movie World
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Coasting with Culture through New Zealand and Australia!
Part 13, Australia Zoo

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Part 14:  Aussie World
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11/12/2016 - For our second day in the Southern Queensland area, we took the long drive from the apartment we were staying in up to the town of Beerwah, to visit a place that had been very high on my list in Australia, the Australia Zoo! For those not familiar with the Australia
Zoo, this was the zoo that was operated by the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. Unfortunately, Steve had passed away in 2006 from an incident with a sting ray, but his legacy lives on in part through his zoo. Steve had always been one of my favorite TV personalities, and so I knew that comming to his zoo was a must if I ever made it to Australia. 


  One of the first things that I noticed about the zoo was that there were some fairly large lizards wondering freely around the zoo. I was used to seeing smaller lizards roam free in Florida while I lived there, but these guys were quite a bit bigger!


Now what would a zoo be without some animals! Let's take a look at some of the critters that they had. Starting first with the Rhinoceros Iguana.
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Next, we have the Cassowary, which is a fairly large bird that appeared to be a possible relative of other flightless birds. They had a very distinct look because of the funky looking horn thing on their head.


Then we have one of the largest tortoises I have ever seen, the Aldadra Giant Tortoise.​

Then we have the Dingos
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Of course, if you're in Australia, you have to see Koalas! What we would see is that these guys are pretty lazy as most of them were asleep.


What was pretty neat though was the Koala Walk, where you could get up close and have your picture taken with them. You could also get a chance to lightly touch them, which you find out their fur is soooooo soft!


There's also the Echidnas
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Another Australian classic for animals is the Kangaroo. Below we have the Gray Kangaroos.
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Now, The Australia Zoo has their Kangaroo areas in an open space where you can walk right up to them. What I came to find out is that these roos were almost like dogs (probably thanks to being around people a lot) as they enjoyed a nice scratch, and they loved you if you have food
for them. Definately one of the best parts about this visit.


There is also another area where they have the Red Kangaroos.​


Near the Red Kangaroo area is an aviary where there were many species of birds. I'm not even going to pretend to know which ones they are.
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They also have wombats, one of which was about to go visit the vet for a check-up.
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For anyone who watched the Crocodile Hunter, while it was the Crocs that he was best known for, he also spent a lot of time going after
snakes. So it was fitting that they would have a building dedicated to these reptiles.


But of course it wouldn't be Steve Irwin's zoo if they didn't have Crocodiles!
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Of course, Steve was considered one of the leading experts in crocs, and at the zoo they had this exhibit that talked about these large beasts, and how he had become involved in helping to relocate them.


Speaking of Steve, there was a large exhibit that paid tribute to him, as they had plaques in his honor, a collection of items such that paid
tribute to him, and articles written about him after his passing. One of the things you realize when walking around the place is that even after his death, he is still very influential to the zoo.

Of course, if you visit the Australia Zoo, you cannot miss a visit to the Animal Planet Crocoseum! This is where Steve and his crew would host feeding demonstrations for the crocodiles. This is also where they held a memorial service in his honor after his passing. Comming to watch a show here was definately a highlight of the day.


And that show we would enjoy today is Wildlife Warriors.
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The show features members of the zoo staff sharing information about the importance of conservation, a message and belief that Steve held very strongly. Then they bring out the animals. You actually can have some up close moments as they have various birds fly around, from parrots to falcons to vultures.
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The handlers also bring around some large snakes for people to see.
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Of course, it's the feedings that people want to see. One of the feedings involved bringing a zoo guest to the center to help them feed a
smaller alligator.
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Afterwards, they would bring out the big guy! This day's croc was Mossman. Upon introduction, they led him into the crocoseum, and then did a few feedings from various areas of the crocoseum.
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And the show ends with a montage of clips from Steve's work, and sharing his message about the importance of conservation. Again, this was a highlight of the day!
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On the way out, there was a sort of Walk of Fame with the hand prints of famous visitors to the zoo.
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At the end of this was a slab that had the hand and footprints of Steve and his family along with the paw prints of his trusty dog Sui.
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While this update doesn't quite show it, both of Steve's children, Bindi and Robert, as well as his wife Terri, are still quite involved in the work that Steve had taken part in. At the gift shop they sold a variety of books based on his children, and of course you could also buy an Australia Zoo khaki shirt, which was a signature look for Steve.
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And near the entrance of the zoo, there is a statue of the Irwin family.
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And with that, we end our visit to the Australia Zoo. While it is a shame that Steve is no longer with us, his zoo does a great job of sharing these incredible animals with those who visit. I was incredibly happy to have an opportunity to visit, and would strongly suggest that you find your way up to Beerwah for a visit.


Up next, we take a short drive to the next theme park of our trip.
 
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>> Part 13 - Australia Zoo <<
Part 1 - Wondering through Auckland
Part 14 - Aussie World
Part 2 - Walk to Mission Bay
Part 15 - Sea World & Wet n' Wild
Part 3 - Mount Eden
Part 16 - Alice Springs
Part 4 - Rainbow's End
Part 17 - Kings Park in Perth
Part 5 - Arrival in Sydney
Part 18 - Indian Ocean & Fremantle
Part 6 - Ms. Macquire's Point
Part 19 - Perth CBD & Elizabeth Quay
Part 7 - Luna Park
Part 20 - Adventure World
Part 8 - Sydney Harbor Bridge & Rocks Tour
Part 21 - Walking through Melbourne
Part 9 - Bondi Beach & Darling Harbour
Part 22 - Luna Park Melbourne & St. Kilda
Part 10 - Walk Through Cairns
Part 23 - Victoria Parliament
Part 11 - Great Barrier Reef & Green Island
Part 24 - Back to Auckland
Part 12 - Warner Bros. Movie World