That’s K for koala and kangaroo, both of which I got to cuddle today. Once I’d bought some new sunglasses (I lost my other ones after rock climbing) and loading up with food and drinks from the supermarket (significantly cheaper than 7-11 and the like, which are actually dearer than London), I wandered off to get the bus on Adelaide Street.
After realising that the bus I needed to catch no longer stopped where the flyer told me, I walked down to tourist information who gave me a printed sheet with the new details on. I ran back to Adelaide Street and, while trying to locate the correct stop, watched the bus drive right past me. The next one was over half an hour later from George Street. Well, I’d decided I was going to see koalas, so I was going to see koalas. I found my alternative bus stop, parked my bottom on a bench and waited (and finished the book I was reading).
The bus finally appeared and whisked me through the 40-minute drive to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It’s $20 to get in, though backpackers get up to a 20% discount. As the name suggests, it’s mainly koala that you’ll find there, though they do also have many other Australian animals such as echidna, frilled lizards, dingo, kangaroos and so forth. There are various photo opportunities, and to get a piccy with a koala is another $15 upwards (depending on what gubbins you want – postcards, CDs etc). Like so many other things, though, I’m here and I probably won’t get another chance. So I coughed up my $15 and had my picture taken (and a couple more with my own camera).
The official picture can be seen at the Sanctuary’s website, though I’ll pinch the page and mirror it here soon so it doesn’t vanish in 60 days. What you can’t see on the picture is the little smudge of koala poo that our furry friend left on my t-shirt. I shall treasure it always.
A nice Danish couple took my picture as I fed some kangaroos as well. They’re fluffier than you’d expect (the kangaroos, not the Danes) and very docile. They’re also near-silent as they hop along and can really creep up on you.
I watched two “shows”, too. The sheep-herding was fascinating – more than I thought it would be. It included herding the sheep in the field and getting them to move from pen to pen through narrow channels. It’s common practise for the dogs to run over their backs and lie there! The shepherd, as I assume he’d be termed, had a good few stories and answered all the questions he was asked. One woman was worried that the dogs would bite the sheep. Well, yes they do – but they don’t break the skin. Just enough to make the sheep move. Apparently he had one dog which chose to grind its teeth on the sheep’s horn. “Now, I don’t know what sort of noise that makes inside a sheep’s head,” he told us, “but it drives them mad!”
The other show was a brief birds of prey demonstration with a hawk, an owl and two eagles. Gorgeous birds and they were all brought very close to the audience for us to get a great look at them.
By the time the bird show finished, I had to peg it to get the bus before I missed the last one for over an hour. Back in Brisbane, I popped into the library and pulled my Auckland trick – I sat and read comics for 90 minutes until Belinda finished work.