I promise this post won’t be as long as the last one. Really. Promise.
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary is about an hour outside Melbourne and overall the day was good. I had charged up my camera batteries, prepared for a long day of staring at the animals through the camera display rather than my own eyes.
The koalas were my favourite, and we did well to save them til last as there were only a few people around. They were very cute, slumping over tree branches in the heat of the day (a nice, summer day in England will cool down by 4 or 5pm – not in Australia! 4 or 5pm heat still feels like 2pm heat). You couldn’t hold the koalas – apparently that can only be done in Queensland. Here, they were pretty far away in a kind of open enclosure.
I hate to say, and I don’t want to sound like an Aussie Wildlife Sanctuary snob, but I was a bit disappointed because I have some comparison with the place I went to a few years ago. It was outside Sydney when me and my dad went to visit my sister (who was living there with her now husband for a year) and the animals were a lot more up close and personal. Holding koalas was out of the question, but you could touch and stroke them. Kangaroos, wallabies and even emus were in the same area just hopping around you (apart from the emus… I’m aware emus don’t hop) and you could feed them with an ice cream cone full of seeds.
I’m not complaining too much, because I still had an amazing day and I saw some platypus, which I don’t think I saw in the place outside Sydney. The flight show was really good – it’s a shame that for some reason I don’t count birds as a very uniquely Australian thing so it could have been back in England if it wasn’t for the light glaze of sweat and dehydration of everyone around me. Oh, and I loved the dingoes. And the snake section – beware the inland Taipan, most dangerous Aussie snake!
On a last note, I find it amusing that Australians don’t seem to love the animals unique to them.
Koalas: smelly and fierce.
Kangaroos: a pest
Possums: make horrible noises
Emus: steal your sandwich (a story I have heard out here)
Yet when it comes to dangerous, venomous, poisonous animals: No worries, mate!
It’s amazing to me that these animals I rarely get to see and find unusual are so normal to Aussies. What an upside down country.