Sunday, 8 June 2008

Brisbane and Australia Zoo

We are coming to the end of a really pleasant week staying with Emily's Uncle (Ross) and Auntie (Bridgette) plus 5 year old Sam and the new golden retriever puppy Rupert!  It's been a really comfortable stay at their place in Brisbane's west and they made us feel very welcome.  But the time has come to move on, and Fraser Island is the next destination so it should be a good-un.

We have had time to take in a few of the local sights at Brisbane including; CBD, South Bank, Mt Coot-Tha (the picture of me and Em below is from the lookout there), Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo (about 100kms North), the famous Queensland Castlemaine Perkins XXXX beer brewery, and various other short trips around the area.  Check out my full album uploaded here.  We've also serviced the cars so they are running nice and smooth for the sandy 4wd'ing coming up! 

Brisbane seems like a nice place to live, however it is winter now so daytime temperatures have only been 23-26C (only) and humidity reasonable, but the summer's are a lot more uncomfortable because of the humidity.  P1060596Still, me & Em wouldn't rule it out as a place to live and work when we run out of money as it is very easy to get around and seems like there are a few good things to do - although its only a quarter the size (or population at least) of Melbourne so, being such city slickers as we are/were, we may get bored easily....we'll see I guess.  

Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo was a good day trip, about one and a half hours drive north of Brisbane.  It's very weird seeing his face everywhere though.  He still presents the videos before the croc displays.  Even the road was renamed from Glass Mountain Road to Steve Irwin Way after he died.  All very weird.  Anyway it was good fun and very interesting.  The bird demo (them flying around inside the crocoseum) was cool.  We also got to watch the Steve Irwin movie for the first time, as it's one of Emily's cousin Sam's favourites!  P1060474 The only problem we have now, is that I am not sure if I am looking forward to seeing one of these prehistoric predators (to the left) in the wild in FNQ or Northern Territory or not!  Some facts for you:  Relatively unchanged in the last 60 million years, they have outlived dinosaurs, forms of the species have been on the planet a total of 250 million years.  They have sensors in their throats that pick up vibrations, they have reactions faster than a humans, 3000psi of pressure in their jaws (human head = melon), a strike range half their length of their body (some are easily 15 foot long so even 7.5 feet away from the water's edge you are still potential prey!), even the pointy bits (not sure what they are called) on their backs are there so when they submerge the water hardly leaves a ripple....impressive huh? 

This monster was called "Agro".  He was about 15 ft long and 600kg.  Apparently he never forgave Steve for capturing him (taking him away from being hunted in Queensland), and always had a go at eating him at feeding time...he ate/destroyed 4 lawnmowers as they annoyed him so much:


The Castlemaine XXXX brewery was also good fun, although their beers aren't exactly my favourites it was still worth the tour and to try out 4 pots of their different beers at the end.  They did one "sparkling ale" which is an old recipe (129 years apparently) which was basically a chilled real ale; it would have been better warm I reckon.  But Australian's wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else. 

Tomorrow we head off up the coast to Fraser Island via Noosa and some other strangely named towns that I don't remember.  Everyone is looking forward to Fraser Island and we are all hoping we get a good week weather-wise as last week the main campground and the main Lake exit road were closed due to storm damage!  Oh the tent is now patched up with a bike puncture repair patch, so fingers crossed for us that it has sealed the hole if it does rain please.  A good internet weather site is Weatherzone if people want to know what it is like wherever we are.  The link above is set to Fraser Island already.

On a final note me & Em are thinking about doing some harvest work.  There is a government initiative to get "itinerant travellers, grey nomads and backpackers" in touch with fruit and vegetable suppliers at the right time in the right place for a workforce to be supplied to pick/pack/harvest crops.  We might sign up for a few weeks (if we can) and see how it goes.  It's hard work for little money, but it might be a good laugh too!  There are even jobs for old people like me who don't like to bend too much.


Anonymous said...

Hi Em,
Its nice to read the descriptive info of your travel....Good luck with the fruit picking...

SJ said...

Chaz, i'm concerned you might be losing weight. How many pizzas and currys are you managing?

casa said...

interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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