. within a few minutes of being there we had gotten chance to touch a snake and a baby crocodile, which were fantastic!! We headed over to the first stop of the day, the elephant feeding. Now back at the home that would probably mean that you get to watch the keepers feeding the elephants... but not here! We got to feed the elephants chunks of watermellon ourselves, even if we did get brown slobber all over our hands. After this we went to the Crocoseum (what a great name!) for a special tribute show to Steve Irwin. The show went on for ages and included Steve's wife Terri and their two kids Bindi and Robert. I know that back in the UK not many people know about the Irwin family, but in Oz they are like royalty. People practically worship his daughter Bindi; she has her own clothing line, a fitness DVD (she's about 13 by the way) and you can even tuck into a Bindi Burger in the zoo cafe. I can't help but think she is slightly bizarre and wouldn't be surprised if she was headed down the Lindsay Lohan route; we even saw her walking around the zoo with an entourage to rival any megastar! The little boy Robert, I think he's about 6, was really cute and funny but it was obvious that they have both been primed for the spotlight. During the tribute show they bought out an actor called Beau Bridges, he was in Bindi's new film and he chatted away for god knows how long about the fact that even though he had never meet Steve he feels like he if part of his family... it was so cringeworthy and very 'Hollywood'.
After all the chatting they finally brought some animals out and fed the crocodiles. The animal show was fantastic and a bit of a close shave; one of the keepers got cornered by the croc and let out some very colourful language over the speaker system for all the little kiddies to hear! After the show we went wandering around the park and saw loads of brilliant Australian animals such as Dingos, Lizards, Tazmanian Devils, Wombats and giant Tortoises. And of course we saw plenty of koalas and kangaroos.... in fact we got to pet them too! During the course of the day we petted about 5 different koalas (they feel like really thick curly wool) and Tom got to stroke a kangaroo! We also got to see some other non-Australian animals like Tigers, Elephants and Red Pandas, which were soooo cute! I don't think I have mentioned it since we have been in Oz so far, but the further north we go the more tropical our surroundings get and the bigger the lizards are becoming. While we were in Sydney we saw a few small geckos wandering around, however now that we have got to Noosa we are seeing huge Iguanas and Water Dragons just roaming around the streets, some of the bigger ones are about 3 foot long. It was really funny at the zoo because we kept on thinking that the animals had esaped from their enclosures, when in actual fact they were just wild Iguanas complete with spikey heads, jowls and spiny tails going for a little walk around the park. Just before we had to catch our bus back to the hostel we went to see the Crocodiles being fed in their pens and it turned out to be a highlight of the day. The croc in question was a huge male that hadn't been fed for a day or two and was getting a big meal of strips of raw meat and a lovely drippy pig's heads, complete with brains and juices! It turned out to be another close shave as the croc lunged at the keeper and almost took his arm off, the sound of the crocs jaw snapping together scared the living daylights out of everyone! The kids on the front row didn't help matters because they let out a earth shattering scream when a wild Iguana ran across their toes! Back at the hostel later that night we were both exhausted and decided that we will stay in Noosa for a few extra days to relax and catch up on some missed sleep... prepare the sun loungers and get the sun-cream ready!
We were up with the lark today to catch our shuttle bus to the Australia Zoo. The bus station was really busy and considering that today is such a special day here in Oz (all the radio stations and tv stations keep on talking about it) we expected the zoo to be packed to the rafters. Three huge yellow coaches covered in photos of Steve Irwin soon arrived and we settled down for the hour long drive to the zoo; Tom was very happy because he got to watch a couple of episodes of the Crocodile Hunter during the trip. We were really impressed that the zoo offered a free shuttle bus for such a long journey and started to resent the fact that the theme parks in Surfers Paradise hadn't done something similar... we spent $130 (£81) on the buses back and to from the theme parks! We arrived at the zoo and were given a special programme of events for the day. We had been told that the ethos of the zoo is to allow people the chance to interact with the animals as a way of getting them to care about conservation and we saw that in action as soon as we walked through the gate..