Tuesday, September 14

A day at leisure in Cairns

Maybe do another trip today, or take a didgeridoo lesson, or shop, or just sit by the pool and chill out...   Besides, tomorrow we go to Sydney and see Jen!

Today we took a half-day trip to the Cairns Tropical Zoo.  It's a specialised zoo about 20 minutes north of Cairns that focuses on animals found in northern Australia. 

It's not a huge zoo, but a nice size- you can see it all in 2-3 hours.  Here's some highlights of what we saw:

Here's a wallaby that bit me.

These are a pair of kookaburras.  When you get them talking they're very loud and can be heard far away.  Their call sounds like "kookaburra".

This is a kind of kingfisher bird that found me very interesting.

Here's the national animal - a kangaroo.  He didn't do very much.

A kind of pink cockatoo that had a very funny personality.  He danced from side to side and squawked if you didn't pay him attention.

This is a red panda, very endangered.  This zoo is part of a worldwide breeding program.

A cassowary, a large flightless bird.

These were a type of black parrot that had very bright red, orange and yellow tail feathers.

I don't remember what kind of bird this was but it had unusually long legs for wading through streams.

Some other local birds, with a green parrot being silly in the background.

They had a lot of australian crocodiles, some were up to 4.5 meters long, and had been captured when they were found eating things in their native habitats.  One was caught after eating 30 cattle!

A wombat.

One of the specialties of the Tropical Zoo is their koalas.  They have quite a few, enough so that they can rotate them when being shown so that individuals don't get stressed. 

And one other difference about this zoo is in Queensland, people can HOLD a koala.  So here's Mom fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams - cuddling a koala.

A large pelican drying off after swimming.

The afternoon we spent in town doing some more shopping, and picking up photos we had left for developing.  Here's the center square of Cairns.

Here's a few photos of the place where we stayed.  It was a tropical resort, not a hotel, so it had banks of bungalow-style rooms around the property, with several pools, bars and restaurants.  It was pretty nice.  Here's the lobby:

And some of the plants that decorated the property.

One of the pools, with the main reception building behind it.

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