Australian Adventure (Saturday, June 22, 2013)

40 Days Down Under (Day 9)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Today we started the day by driving through the colorful Byron Bay. We stopped at Cape Byron to get a look at Tallows Beach before heading to see the Byron Bay Lighthouse.

Our next stop was the town center of Coolangatta. Coolangatta has a near perfect beach with an incredible backdrop of Brisbane. Many surfers were out, and there were picnic tables and a children's playground.


We wandered around the breakwater in Coolangatta watching surfers and parachuters before heading down the road.

Since it was on the way, we decided to stop at the Brisbane JUCY location to try to get water tank fixed. We gotten air in the line. Michael at the Brisbane office fixed us right up and gave us the part of our hose that was missing.

Never tired of zoos, we next stopped at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has the largest collection of koalas of any facility in Australia (which probably means anywhere). They were all very well taken care of.

They had an adorable koala riding on the back of her mother when we got her. She eventually fell off and tried chasing after mom, but I guess she'd had enough. The baby was left to find his or her own branch.

Mom and baby koala

We did witness a few koalas get into a spat while vying for a branch. Not that there weren't plenty. They just both wanted that branch. Goodness! Koalas can be feisty and boy can they growl.

She went in for the bite...

but still lost the fight.  The other one wasn't budging.

It's here where I will say that I always thought it was a bucket list item of mine to cuddle a koala. And, while I'd love to hold a koala who wanted to be held, when presented with the opportunity at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, I passed. The truth is that the koalas don't really want to be passed from person to person to pose for a photo. They want to be eating or sleeping. They don't seem to mind being pet (as they just keep eating or sleeping), but, while a few of them seemed completely content to have the zookeepers hold them, they didn't look comfortable when being placed on people's chests for photographs.

The zoos do it as humanely as possible - making sure that each koala only has to pose for 30 minutes every three days. Regardless, I'm content with having pet a koala.

The kangaroos, in contrast, were extra friendly at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. They know people often buy food to give them at the park, so that definitely attracts them, but some of them just seemed to want a good petting.

This cutie pie just kept staring up at me.

We saw a momma with a tiny roo in the pouch. It was such a cute joey too.

Love the joey peeking out of the pouch!

Some kangaroos can get really tall.

We got a good look at a couple of platypus (platypi? platypuses?) in the platypusery. Unfortunately, it's pretty impossible to get a good photo.

We also got to see a less active Tasmanian Devil. (They are really quick movers and often pace, so it has been tricky getting a good photo.) They are pretty crazy critters. They will hunt if they need to, but they will also clean up anything already dead. They will consume the entire animal - bones and all.

Tasmanian Devil

Lions, tigers, and bears were nowhere to be seen, but we did see birds, wombats, dingoes, reptiles, and more.

Tawny frogmouth

Cute wombat

Kris even got into a staring match with an emu.

I just got confused by the bathroom symbols.

Needing a place to rest, we found the Beachmere Caravan Park. We made it just in time for a lovely sunset on the beach a minutes walk from the park.

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