Day 35: Further North to Hervey Bay

The drive from Glass House Mountains to Hervey Bay is only a short drive, clocking in at about 3 hours or 240 kilometres. We need to be at Hervey Bay by tomorrow morning very early to catch the ferry to Fraser Island, and that is why we spend the night over there.

As the drive is not too long, and we have to spend our day anyway, we opted to go to Australia Zoo today, the Zoo set up by the late Steve Irwin! His family runs it now, but is is the same as it started a long time ago, although it has grown quite a bit over the last few years. It is home to many native Australian animals, like the Dingo, Wombat, Koala, Kangaroo, Wallaby, Echidna, Emu, Cassowary, kookaburra and of course Estuarine Crocodiles. The zoo also houses many more animals like a whole host of Parrots, some birds of Prey and even Zebra, Giraffe and Rhinoceros!

The Zoo is best known of course for the Crocodiles and Koalas. At lunchtime every day, a show is performed with a lot of animals in the zoo, where the importance of conservation and humans acting correctly around wildlife are conveyed to the spectators in a huge arena. There also is a place where you can pat Koalas, and even have your pictures taken with them! The zoo is really hands on, and all animals are very accustomed to human handling, whether is is a Wombat on a leash, a Koala in a low tree ready to be patted or the zoo keepers giving a presentation inside the enclosure of a Sumatran Tiger with the Tiger present, it is clear the animals are on display and have been taught to act that way too. This way of running a zoo is completely unfamiliar to me, as we (back home) are used to seeing a very hands-off approach where animals are mostly left alone in their enclosures and encouraged to act ‘naturally’.

But, it seems to work for Australia Zoo! People are flocking to it, but even though it was on a Sunday, the park never felt crowded. We have been inside the Zoo from 9 to about 2 in the afternoon, and then had to leave to make the journey to Hervey Bay.

Tomorrow morning, we will be briefed for our trip to Fraser Island, and we’ll get another car (4×4!) as our Camry is completely unsuitable to be driven off road. I highly doubt there will be Internet Access on the island, so I’ll be gone for a day or two.