One of the most amazing things about Australia is its truly unique and breathtaking wildlife. Although I managed to see quite a few animals since we moved here I still got really excited visiting Australia Zoo for the first time last weekend. And I did not only get an unforgettable experience, but I also learnt some inportant lessons…
Seeing a koala, a kangaroo or a wombat is a dream of almost anyone who arrives to Australia. But what about the venomous reptiles and insects? I do think that there are a great number of people, including myself, who keep wondering about the dangerous aspect of the Australian wildlife and who are maybe more afraid then they should be. But how does visiting the zoo help this problem?
So many times fear comes from the feel of the unknown. If you do not know something (a situation, a place, an animal etc.) you do not know what to expect from it. You cannot be sure if it is going to hurt you in a physical or any other way. So, as a reaction, you keep your distance. You build walls around you in the hope of protecting yourself. But by doing so you might not realize that together with the frightening things you also shut the door on loads of enriching experiences. The scary things might remain in a safe distance from you, but so do all the beauties of the unknown. Going back to the subject of the animals I have been terrified of snakes and spiders ever since I stepped on the land of Australia. On my tenth day in the country I was lucky enough to see a green snake in the wild. But at the time I could not appreciate it, since I was too busy being scared to death and not knowing where to jump to avoid it. Of course, I do realize that seeing this creature in the wild was pretty special, but I had to learn to truly appreciate it.
And this is where Australia Zoo comes to the picture. This place teaches you in such a unique and fun way and helps you to discover these wonderful creatures from a safe distance. It gives you space and time to learn about the beautiful animals of Australia in your own rhythm, within your own limits. Many times it brings them close enough to touch, but you can also opt for just observing and marvelling at them. You get the chance to ask questions, raise concerns, or read a little story about every animal, which lives in Australia Zoo. Wherever you go you find well-signed routes, great maps and friendly keepers, who are happy to help you to find your way and make the best out of your day. Also the language (describing the animals etc.) is playful and easy to understand even for kids and foreigners who might have more limited English skills. A lot of visual language is used as well, which helps the understanding further and makes the whole experience more fun. It is also pretty cool that not only biology related information is listed about the different spices, but you get some insight knowledge about the personality of most inhabitant of Australia Zoo. This brings them closer, and if you return you can almost greet them as old friends.
My TOP10 experiences at the Australia Zoo
1. It was great learning more about Steve Irwin, the father of the zoo, who even after his tragic death remains a true inspiration for this animal kingdom, where the king undoubtedly is the salt-water crocodile!
* The Crocoseum is the fulfilment of one of Steve Irwin’s lifelong dreams. Steve wanted to provide the visitors to Australia Zoo with the opportunity to see crocodiles in clear water ponds. This idea was to help educate the public by showing them how crocodiles live and behave in the wild.
3. As part of the Wildlife Warriors show we also saw the most amazing free-flight bird shows with colourful parrots, cockatoos and a giant black and white bird, whose name unfortunately I cannot recall.
4. Feeding and hanging out with the kangaroos at Roo Heaven.
6. Seeing animals that I did not even know they existed.
8. Eating our lunch with a spectacular view of three crocodiles.
9. Having a very close look at the cassowary.
10. Learning about the various snakes of Australia and how to keep safe from them.
TIP: The discovery of the day was the annual pass, which is pretty worth to consider if you would like to become a regular visitor at the zoo. With an annual pass for $99 you get unlimited visits for a year, as opposed to a daily adult ticket costing $59. Since the zoo was just too huge to cover it all in one day now I cannot wait to plan our next visit.
P.S.: Seeing a kangaroo in the wild is also fun.