Day 72

Location:  

Port Douglas

Weather:  

Calendar:  

Where We Went:

What We Did:

Australia and tropical north Queensland has some pretty vivid wildlife, and surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest, the entire place is pretty vivid too. Wildlife Habitat is a bird and wildlife sanctuary in Port Douglas, and we popped over to have Breakfast with the Birds. It’s the second time Raquel’s had a bird on her head, the first time was way back when in Albany, WA. Her corkscrew curls clearly make a pretty good nest. After a buffet breakfast surrounded by the chirps of 75 species of bird, we met up with the zookeeper (and superhero Mom of five) Bec who showed us around the Woodland, Wetland, Savannah and Rainforest sections of the habitat. Clearly, the place is staffed by people who love these animals. We saw our first tree kangaroo; (the habitat is one of only two facilities you can see the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo which looked like a bandit scoping a bank. With some roo feed in hand we met Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Agile, Swamp and Northern Nail-tail Wallabies, lots of ducks, emus, one big crocodile waiting to pounce on a bird and some pushy magpie geese. We hadn’t seen a spotted quoll (the apex marsupial carnivore) since Tasmania, and the pythons were pretty happy to see us too. We finally saw our first cassowary outside of a road warning sign, and these emu-like birds look positively prehistoric. Of course, we can’t let the grandparents go back to Canada without some koala action. Out came a koala for a cuddle, and damn if they aren’t as cute, soft and cuddly as they look in the pictures. They also smell like eucalyptus, proving perhaps that you are what you eat. Bec also brought out a large friendly black headed python, and a baby saltwater crocodile which proved some baby animals are not that cute…especially when they grow to be 7-metre-long man-eating monsters! It was a fun morning and super convenient around the corner from our apartment at the Oaks Lagoons. We went back to the hotel, swam in the pools and enjoyed the tropical heat, catching up with family, and enjoying one last dinner before bidding farewell to our special visitors.

What We Ate:

Breakfast: With the birds! A buffet of eggs and fruits and pastries, making sure no cheeky birds nabbed our goodies!

Lunch: Spaghetti with tomato sauce, mamma mia!

Dinner: Since establishing that the kids will eat butter chicken and also establishing that they may not eat anything else (not even pizza), we ordered delivery of butter chicken, chicken jogan rosh, lamb jalfrezi and eggplant masala. The kids ate the butter chicken.

Where We Ate:

Breakfast: Wildlife Habitat

Lunch: In our furnished apartment at the Oaks.

Dinner: Takeout from Sabi’s Kitchen in Port Douglas. –

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

We’re going to miss the Oaks Lagoons. Our apartment was large and spacious, the pool steps away, the palm trees relaxing and the birds and bats chirped “exotic tropical holiday!” More than anything else, it’s the place where Raquel finally transformed from a kid who kinda doesn’t mind swimming to the kid you can’t get out of the water. Today she insisted on learning how to dive , even though she can’t swim. Of course she managed to do it, along with cannonballs and pencil drops, all without arm bands (but an adult very close nearby).

We Learned:

A trove of information about birds, reptiles and animals. We learned that pelican mouths are soft as silk, as are there feathers. We learned that magpie geese are not immune to ripping roo feed out your hand. We learned about different wallabies and kangaroos, and that tree kangaroos blend into the branches. We learned that koalas are cuddly and a little smelly. We learned that Raquel is fearless with animals. We learned that an owl might be a frogmouth, and that a python’s shed skin is a third longer than the length of the python. We learned that it’s not a wise idea for wild birds to fly into a crocodile pen. We learned that it’s possible to be a mother of five kids and hundreds of birds and animals at the same time.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

The hands-on experience with the koala, python and baby crocodile.

The Worst Part:

Saying our sad farewell to the grandparents, Bobba Cheryl and Zeida Joe.

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Bec
  • Favourite Place: The Daintree Forest
  • I Love Travel Because: I want to learn new things about animals and give the opportunity to our children to learn too
  • My Advice for Kids: Don't grow up too soon

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

When they first met, zookeeper Bec asked Raquel what her favourite experience of the journey has been so far. Without dropping a beat, Raquel replied: “Well let’s see how fun this is and then I’ll tell you.” Cheeky bugger, although she did tell Bec at the end that today was the best.day.ever. Without having to worry about deadlines, logistics, cooking, packing, driving, emails, social media, and five year olds waking her up at night, who can blame Raquel for having a best.day.ever every single day on this trip?¬† It’s been a real treat having Bobba read stories and sing Raquel to sleep every night, and Zeida swimming with Gali and reading him stories¬† We were all sad to say goodbye. It was a reminder how great it is to be with family, and how we miss home. Wipe away the tears, chin up, case packed, for the magical Whitsundays await!

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