"I Love Cuddly Koalas" Australia by Kakapo2

Australia Travel Guide: 48,998 reviews and 129,573 photos

Such and Such Animals

You know, I already live in paradise. New Zealand is a country without poisonous or dangerous animals. Well, apart from a tiny spider and all the dogs New Zealanders do not carry on a leash. Whereas all those tourists in Australia get eaten by crocodiles, mutilated by sharks or even killed by stingrays like Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, here the people get only mauled by dogs. (Actually it is on TV every day, and it is absolutely not funny.) I cannot say what is more horrible - probably the dog thing because we as supposed intelligent humans could avoid it. I have not experienced any of those unfortunate accidents, as you can surely imagine. Otherwise I would not be able to write about it here.

I am also horrified of snakes, probably more the short and thin ones because you do not spot them easily, if ever. Especially when travelling in Australia's Red Centre and in Western Australia I always jumped out of our bushcamper and trampled on the ground, so the sensitive snakes knew that I had arrived and kept away from me. This worked out very well. The only snakes I ever saw in Aussie were behind thick glass in zoos. So I never had to apply the emergency procedures I had learnt before the mountainbike race at the Olympic Games in Sydney. This had read that in case of a snake bite you should strangle it, put it in the boot of your car or wherever you could transport it to the nearest doctor and show him, so he would be able to treat you with the correct anti-venom. Thanks to my lucky stars this never happened.

Oh yes, I would love to live in Australia. There are many places I could imagine - and not. For the water shortages and the droughts, for the incredibly destructive cyclones. For the paralizing heat in some places and the hot humid air at certain times of the year in the tropics that makes you sweat if you only think of it.

I love the red deserts, the lush rain forest, the wonderful cities and those relaxed people. And I love all those exotic animals. Well, as you might imagine, not all of them. Not the above mentioned and some more of that kind. But I love the feathery and furry ones, the birds, the koalas, the kangaroos, the wombats and stranger companions like the echidna and the platypus.

I confess: I am crazy about koalas. My ultimate dream would be to live in one of those cat- and dog-free suburbs of Brisbane where the fences start high above the ground, so the koalas can walk free through the gardens. I think I would sit there day and night and watch them.

As I stay in New Zealand for the weather and the harmless animals, I travel to Australia quite often, as it is so close, and whenever I can make it possible I visit the koalas in wildlife parks, animal hospitals and in the wild, and every time I see them my heart melts away. Sometimes I succeed to travel back home without a new toy koala but be assured: I have quite a collection LOL

Just Some Glimpses into Travelling in Australia

As my most extensive trips to Australia took place before I had a digital camera it will take a long time until I will have scanned my favourite photos, and as Australia is such a huge country where you can only do some few things and visit some few places even in a month because the distances are so incredible, I will not even try to deliver a real travel guide. It will be more about my favourite places, favourite animals, wonderful wildflowers, strange encounters. Just some glimpses into the wonderworld of the Red Continent.

East, West, Centre, Tasmania: Places I Have Seen

My first visit to Australia was in 1992. We travelled to the following places:

- Sydney - Blue Mountains
- Alice Springs - 10 days in the Red Centre to Kings Canyon, Palm Valley, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Olgas
- Cairns - Kuranda - Daintree Rainforest - Great Barrier Reef
- Townsville - Airlie Beach - Whitsundays (Long Island)
- Brisbane - North Stradbroke Island
- Tasmania

In 2000 I was in Sydney, reporting about the Olympic Games. After that I made the following trip:

- Train journey to Melbourne
- Dandenongs - Phillip Island
- Great Ocean Road - back to Melbourne through the Hinterland
- Perth - Fremantle
- South West roundtrip (Margaret River, Denmark, wildflower and bird paradise)
- Up the West Coast to Broome and Derby

In 2002 I had a stopover in Sydney which I used for a visit to the Billich Gallery - no Sydney visit without this. Be prepared to read a tip about it in the not too far future ;-)

In 2004, 2005 and 2007 I was in Melbourne for business, reporting about the World Championships in Track Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming. It is just Australia's sports capital. I love Melbourne - especially for the authentic Italian food and my new favourite café, The Quarter - but would appreciate some change of location... ;-)

2005 I was also in Canberra for the Champions Trophy of the Hockey Ladies. I had time to visit all the museums, Parliament etc. and travelled to the nature reserve of Tidbinbilla where you can see a lot of kangaroos, emus and some koalas.

From Canberra I went to Sydney and spent 10 days there. Went to all the beaches, the zoo, the Billich Gallery LOL and took the ferry to Parramatta.

I have never been to Adelaide. It is on the top of my to do list.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Heat, Desert, Rain Forest, Koalas, Parrots, Loneliness, Friendly People
  • Cons:Heat LOL, Droughts, Cyclones, Scary Animals and Annoying Bush Flies
  • In a nutshell:The Most Incredible Colours I Have Ever Seen
  • Last visit to Australia: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated May 24, 2007
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Reviews (14)

Comments (4)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    You will have to come to Adelaide. Lots of beautiful countryside that the majority of tourists miss. Christchuch reminded us of Adelaide, with all its lovely parks and gardens.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2009 at 5:15 AM

    Sissi- an AMAZING bunch of information here. I will look at these animals with new eyes now. thanks so much. I have printed out info to re-read in bed tonight.

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2007 at 12:42 AM

    This is an excellent page, very informative. I've seen koalas in the zoo in Duisburg, a great experience. They're very difficult to keep in zoos, it seems, because of their diet.

  • el_ruso's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    this is really fascinating and well-written information. australia is such an exotic country, and I hope to see its national parks.

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