It was time to check-out of my Airbnb in Noosa, Queensland. As I loaded up my car, the owner stopped by. I had messaged her apologizing and offering to pay for a dish that I accidentally broke. She told me not to worry about it because she buys inexpensive items.
It was sweltering and humid outside, and it was only 10:00 am. Lugging my bags to the car made me sweat, and the host explained that it’s not usually that hot in early September. The woman told me about the Eumundi Markets which were going on that day.
I took her advice and drove 20 minutes to the outdoor markets. It was much larger than the other markets I had been to in Australia. There were booths everywhere selling all sorts of handmade products.
I found one vendor selling pages from old books that had a quote written on top in bold letters. I loved reading all of the inspiration and bought a few for Christmas gifts back home. I also bought a few for myself. One read, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” There were some funny ones too, like this one: “Life is not a fairytale. If you lose your shoe at midnight… you’re drunk.”
In the courtyard, there were two guys in a band called The Crikeys, playing music. It was a beautiful day, and their music helped create a pleasant atmosphere. I bought some pork tacos and talked with my friend Debbie while I ate.
On my way south, I stopped at the Australian Zoo – Home of The Crocodile Hunter (Steve Irwin). It was already 2:00 pm, and they closed at 5:00 pm. Thankfully, it wasn’t crowded at all, so I didn’t have to push through crowds.
I looked at the various reptiles in cages first. There were lots of gigantic snakes! One sign explained the Death Adder, “The Death Adder is the master of camouflage, hiding beneath leaf litter and debris in order to ambush his prey. Due to its cryptic nature, this species usually goes unnoticed, however, if harassed this bloke can hit like a tonne of bricks. He doesn’t muck around either – with a lightning fast strike this bloke rarely misses.”
The sign explained that there are several different species of Death Adder. When I was hiking in the Kimberly Region on the adventure tour, there was a sign warning that a Death Adder had recently been spotted.
There was even a King Cobra behind the glass. The sign read, “The King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake. They use their distinctive hood to appear larger to scare away potential threats. In this position, an adult King Cobra stands almost two metres tall!”
I left the snakes and walked around outside. I came across some wombats, and the zookeeper was starting to feed them. Wombats are stocky and look like two-foot rodents. They wobbled their way to their dishes that had grains, veggies, and fruit.
Next up, a show was about to start in one of the many crocodile cages. A young zookeeper in khaki shorts was inside the large enclosure. The crocodile hung out in the manmade lake. Several of us stood outside of the fenced-in area.
The man told us how he would lure the crocodile out of the water with some food – a large dead bird. He assured us that the crocodile loses speed when on land, so he wouldn’t get eaten.
I patiently watched, hoping that I wasn’t going to witness a tragic accident of a “man eaten by a crocodile.” The zookeeper kept slapping the bird in the water to get the attention of the croc. When the croc would get near, he’d move around the lake. The croc followed, hunting his prey.
Once the croc was close to us, the man waited for him to lunge out of the water, and lunge, he did. The massive crocodile leaped towards the zookeeper as the man backed up towards us. The croc jumped up a couple of feet in his attempt to eat the prey. He was much slower on land, and thankfully, the croc didn’t eat the zookeeper.
The crocodile got inches away from the zookeeper, and it was one of the most enormous breasts I’ve ever seen. He must have been 15 feet long and three feet wide. He was definitely well-fed. Hopefully, he wouldn’t meet me in my dreams.
Once the show was finished, I made my way to the kangaroos. They were large and lazy. They lounged on the grass without a care in the world. One laid back and scratched his belly.
After the kangaroos, it was time to visit the koalas. One was perched on top of his tree, just chillin’. He decided to scratch his belly using his foot.
As I made my way to the African section, I saw a cheetah on a leash! The animal was majestic and powerful. She walked on a leash, following a zookeeper. Her mouth was slightly open, making it look like she was looking for prey.
I continued following the path, and it led me to a treehouse on an island. I climbed up and found a snake resting in a cage.
When I got to the African section, I was delighted to find giraffes and zebras eating food from containers high up on trees.
Next to them, there were tons of meerkats! They were hilariously running around their pens. A few were standing straight up inquisitively. Another one was lying on the ground with his arms and legs stretched out like he just couldn’t walk anymore.
The park was going to close soon, so I walked briskly to see more exhibitions. In a large enclosure, there was a baby tiger! He was so adorable, and a zookeeper was sitting inside the cage while the baby played with her. The adult tiger was next door and looked menacing.
I couldn’t believe how empty the park was. There were just a handful of people still there. As I walked along the concrete path, wild reptiles scavenged the ground for food scrapes. A large reptile stood still until I approached, and then he scurried away in a hilarious scuttle. It was crazy to see wildlife that wasn’t in cages. One sign even warned, “Wild snakes live here too.”
I found a beautiful, tree-lined path taking me to see the birds. I even got to see a cassowary! His bright blue neck was beautiful! But I could see why he is the world’s most dangerous bird – his body was huge! He must have been a few feet tall and wide. The beak was intense and dangerous.
The sign read, “The cassowary is Australia’s largest land animal – the largest cassowary on record was 85 kg (187 lbs) although most weigh between 35 and 60kg (77-132 lbs).
The final stop was watching dingos play with zookeepers inside their enclosure. They look like large, playful dogs, and it was hard to think of them as dangerous.
I walked through the exit path and laughed at all of the signs that started with “crikey,” Steve Irwin’s famous catchphrase. Even a broken vending machine had a sign that said, “crikey, out of order.” His family still runs and operates the park, so it was nice seeing his picture everywhere.
I left the park right at closing time and sat in my car because I didn’t have a hotel booked for the night. I found a great deal on Orbitz for a four-star hotel in Brisbane. However, I had to check out on Saturday before the price skyrocketed.
I drove an hour and a half and ran into traffic. Brisbane is a large city – 2.28 million people. It was the largest city that I had been to in more than two months when I was in Perth. It was challenging to navigate the large highway in the dark.
I checked-in to the hotel and used the elevator to get to my room in the high-rise building. I loved my room! It was a beautiful, comfortable, clean, and modern hotel. I was so happy to get that room for a few days. I plopped on the bed and thought about how much I really want a 4-star life.
I ordered room service and searched for things to do in the area while watching the Australian bachelor. I was completely hooked on the trash show. As usual, there was a conniving woman who was a top contender. The bachelor was clueless about her selfishness. These shows really know how to create heroes and villains. The reality is that most people aren’t all hero or all villain. We’re all somewhere in between.
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