March 22nd, 2015 - Port Douglas, Australia - Day 218

Peter's POV

Today we did something different. We went to do the number one thing to do in Port Douglas (as ranked on TripAdvisor), The Wildlife Habitat.  The habitat is pretty much a zoo but instead of walking around the cages you walk through the cages.

When we got into the park we got our pictures taken holding a koala who is very soft.  

After we got our pictures taken we caught a tour and saw kangaroos and a giant crocodile that weighed as much as a small car.

After we were done with the tour we got to feed the kangaroos.   At that point we were all hot and hungry. We left the park and went to go eat lunch and hop in the pool. When we finished lunch we decided to relax for a little bit. When we woke up we hopped in the pool for again for  little while. When we got out we made dinner and played another game of Euchre. Another great day in Port Douglas.    

Big Pete's POV

The trip to the Wildlife Habitat was a very cool experience.  As Peter mentioned above there are no enclosures for the animals, other than a net so the birds don't fly away and an outside fence so the kangaroos and such don't wander off.  To be completely honest there is one enclosure, and that is for the crocodiles - we were all thankful for that.  Other than that there are four big areas that you wander through and you get to interact with the animals.  It is a really cool approach to wildlife management and does not make you feel bad like a zoo sometimes can.  

Being able to hold a Koala was pretty incredible.  After the koala pictures we hung around for a couple of presentations with one of the staff.  She introduced us to an Amethystine python, the largest python in the Queensland region, as well as a baby saltwater crocodile.  

She did a great job of filling us in on all of the details of each reptile and then we got to feel both critters.  The skin of the python is an iridescent green and blue - it looked like a rainbow - quite beautiful really.  

After the presentations we took a stroll around to see what else was going on.  We wandered into the "restaurant" and discovered just how much the animals really do rule this place (as you can see from the picture below).  

There we some really cute Owls in the restaurant area.  These guys are Lesser Sooty Owls and apparently the make a noise like a bomb dropping when they are hunting at night.  I just love their expression - so grumpy! (but cute grumpy)

Just as we were saying hello to the owls one of the workers at the habitat came though and announced that the savannah tour was starting.  So we decided to jump on the tour to learn some more.  The guide was great and gave us lots of facts about the animals.  Once we made it on to the savannah there were Kangaroos and Wallabies everywhere.  We learned that there are 60 MILLION kangaroos in Australia.  They are a prolific species and have to be culled to keep their numbers down.  However, here at the Habitat they are friendly and happy to come up and grab a snack from you.  The kids really enjoyed being able to feed and pet both the roos and the wallabies.  

Peter feeding a roo

Lea feeding a bee

A comparison of a roo and a bee

We were also introduced to their Saltwater Croc's who are impressive to say the least.  The guide informed us that we should assume croc's are in every body of water around here and to be very aware.   I would certainly not want to meet this guy out in the wild.  

We all agreed it was a great way to get to see some animals up close and personal. 

As Peter mentions above, the rest of the day was pretty standard, but it was nice to get out and see some of the local critters today.