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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

Crocs Rule!

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 16 April 2007 | Views [1900] | Comments [1]

An entire zoo based around one family’s obsession with Crocodilia Crocodylidae?  Gen and I thought it impossible, but, my skeptical friends, not only is it possible, its so popular it warrants naming it after the very country that hosts it, giving it a nationalistic status rivaling that of its late spokesperson:

An hour or so on a double decker bus, and you'll be dropped off close enough to spit on the crocs.  The pomp of American zoos, theme/amusement parks is missing; the animals, quite literally, speak for themselves.  The entrance to the zoo is nothing more than a few open ticket counters and some turnstiles.  There's no light show, no music, no ostentatious display forcing you to surrender to your happiness and spend $75 dollars on a t-shirt.  The only indication that you've been snagged in a sightseer’s snare is the small television just past the front gates playing and selling Bindi Sue Irwin's work out tapes for kids.  Incidentally, in true Steve Irwin fashion, Bindi Sue's unique name is a combination between Steve's favorite croc at the zoo ("Bindi") and the family dog ("Sue"). 

But unlike their daughter's name, Steve and Terri Irwin's zoo is all its own!  Every guest, upon entering the zoo, is handed a map of the zoo that, when opened, makes the thought of trekking through the outback to see these animals seem easier than seeing the zoo in one day.   But what you thought would take you fifteen minutes to walk has only taken you 15 steps and you're already on the other side of the park.  But, as they say, big things come in small packages, and this was no exception.    

The founder of the zoo, Robert Irwin, Steve's father, was a visionary that saw a future where animals could be captive and actually still feel free.  None of the minimalist, a puddle and rotted log simulating the wild, bare bones cages exists here.  Spend a day in the zoo and you'll feed a roaming elephant, cuddle a koala, baby croc, snake, echidna, or even a tiger if you've got the funds!  The zoo offers large open arenas for all its animals, and there are regular live shows showcasing the talents of each.  We even caught a croc show at the world famous Crocoseum, where we were lucky enough to catch one of the rare shows where Terri Irwin, Steve's wife, hosts the show with Wes Manion, the director of the zoo, and Steve's best friend.


And, true to her, we could not leave the zoo before Gen had the opportunity to cuddle something, anything.  And if you're a cuddler looking to cuddle, this is truly the zoo to do it:


Tags: Sightseeing



Can you bring back a koala for me?

  Bryn May 23, 2007 12:08 AM

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