When I was a kid, I grew up idolizing Steve Irwin. I watched all of his TV shows, read everything about him. He was truly one of my heros as a kid. When he was tragically killed, I remember watching the funeral on TV and bawling my eyes out. So, when we made the decision to go to Australia, visiting his zoo in Beerawah was a no-brainer. I have this image of Jim Carey as Ace Ventura at Ray Finkle’s house tearfully saying “This is my Graceland, sir.” Couple that with my love of all things first class and high end and you end up with the Platinum Adventure.
I like to use a car service (was not about to try driving in a foreign country when I can barely parallel park in USA- think Cher in clueless), which picked me up at 5am. We drove about 2 hours, and the drive was beautiful, and the driver was incredibly friendly and personable. *Sidenote* The people in Australia were some of the loveliest and nicest people I have ever met. They could not do enough for you, everyone wanted to make to sure we had a great time and wanted to talk about how much they loved their country and ensure we had a great experience too. – Just wonderful people everywhere.
Whether you drive, or ride, the route through the Glasshouse mountains is spectacular. On the way back at the end of the day I recommend stopping in Noosa. Noosa is famous for having the worlds largest pineapple. Fabulous photo op!
The tour begins after you meet your guide (I absolutely loved Phil, mine to pieces) and professional photographer to take you to your first activity- a cheetah walk. We actually walked a full grown male cheetah named Echo on a leash, who was gorgeous and so sweet! I had never walked a full grown big cat on a leash around like a puppy before, but he seemed to love it and relish the attention.
From open to close of the zoo was a series of private one on one encounters with amazing animals that was each completely incredible. Next was a one on one training session with the elephant herd, the dingos (which were very friendly), the Aldabra tortoises, koalas, kangaroos, and naughty little wombats. Of course we got to see the famed salt water crocs. I was lucky to be about to get some decent pictures of the Tasmanian devils. One of my favorite were actually the echidnas! They were all crawling in my lap and eating out of my hands and just charmingly clumsy and adorable.
It was an unexpectedly moving and emotional day, I was holding back tears at Steve’s memorial. Thousands left khaki shirts with messages about how much the Wildlife Warrior had meant to them. I thought about everything that Steve missed out on, and how much the zoo had changed, their brand new veterinary hospital was open. He would have been so happy.
For the croc show, I sat where Terri sat for Steve’s funeral. I thought about what a strong and incredible person she is and how Bindi and Robert and so beautiful and strong as well like her.
The exhibits at Austrilia Zoo are the best I’ve ever seen, right down to the tortoises. You can see how happy every animal there, that is the best legacy Steve left, and I think the one, outside his family, he would be most proud of.
This was by far my favorite thing I did in Australia. This is an adventure for any age, any person, for the whole family or solo. Go and see what a zoo is supposed to be, you can book By clicking here.
Other posts about Australia: