So today, my lovely wife and I got to visit Steve Irwinâ€™s Australia Zoo. We were looking forward to this and were not disappointed. It is located about an hour north of Brisbane. You canâ€™t miss it as there are signs every few miles, and all the roads leading up to it have been renamed in Steveâ€™s honor.
The park is pretty interesting. 10 years ago it was not at all that big, but the past 10 years have seen in grow rapidly. It is now like the Disneyland of Zoos. Remember I love Disneyland, but I also say this with the knowledge that some of you think Disneyland is a little tacky. Australia Zoo is great, but you canâ€™t help feeling it is all a little polished. There is non of the rough edges found at the other places we have visited so far. But thatâ€™s ok: It has a Crocoseum that seats 5000 people.
We were both glad we had visited the other zoos so the animals were not such a novelty anymore. Otherwise we would have been a little overwhelmed, taking in both the Steve Irwin experience and the animals.
Everywhere we turned we saw places we had seen on Animal Planet at one time or another.
The day after we visited the zoo was Robert Irwinâ€™s (Steveâ€™s son) 4th birthday, so the decorations were going up everywhere. The park was fairly quiet so we got to enjoy all of the attractions easily. I suppose it was a little sad for us, as there are memorials to Steve all over the place. The whole place is a memorial in many ways, and it really is a testament to the guys vision and conservatism.
The animals are very well looked after. There are no forced performances of cruel tricks or small enclosures for the animals. The Crocoseum show was pretty special, but the animals are only brought out to exhibit their natural behaviors, and for short periods at that.
All in all it was a fun yet surreal day. We both left glad with both happy and sad feelings. We miss the Crocodile Hunter, he was â€œa good mateâ€.