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October 7, 2001
Your $35 tickets includes transfers from your hotel in Cairns, dinner, tours of the zoo, and entertainment afterwards. Book before 4:00pm, phone number 61 7 4055 3669. Tours are offered in English and Japanese!
You'll arrive at the zoo and your guide will bring you to the gate where you're greeted by another guide and a friendly cockatoo. They'll take you inside to the dining area which looks a bit like a camp style atmosphere with picnic tables.
The Aussie BBQ dinner is buffet style and includes: chicken, steak, fish, shrimp (prawns), sausages, salad, rolls, and dessert. Not to mention free drinks including beer and wine. (Take advantage of that, you won't see it much in Australia.)
At dinner, the guides were constantly wandering around refilling everyone's glasses. No one had an empty beer glass. I'm not a drinker and they gave me a bit of a hard time about that. However, they quickly brought me some orange juice and made sure to keep that glass filled as well.
After dinner, you grab a torch (flashlight) from the basket and follow the guides. You'll wander through the paths and they'll point out snakes, crocs, and possums in the woods to the side.
You'll go inside a house with koalas where the kids and adults can pat them. Then move onto the crocodile pit. One of the guides reminded me of the Crodile Hunter from TV as he grabbed the croc's foot with a metal hook which caused him to jump out of the water.
Next up, the reptile house with some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. You'll only have a short time in there because the lights automatically shut off to provide the correct habitat for the snakes.
They'll be short stop at tented area with lights where you will meet some other animals like an owl and possum.
Moving on you'll follow the dark path through the woods as the guide tells you about Austrlian bushmen (swaggies) and how they camp in the woods. Soon, we'll call out to see if there are any swaggies around...of course someone answers!
The swaggie takes us to the his campfire where he has cooked some damper cake (made of flour and beer) along with some billy tea. Kangaroos surround you as you enjoy the treat. You may be surprised when they too, want some damper cake. Fortunately, they bring out some kangaroo food that you can feed to them instead.
Soon, we walk back to the picnic area where the guides start playing traditional Australian music making everyone sing along. They teach some dancing as well. More drinks are available then.
This is a relaxing adventure, with friendly guides. Its great way to top off a day, or something to do if you arrive in the daytime and would like to go out that night.
From journal 12 Days in Oz - Cairns
April 11, 2005
The group was too big to get a decent view of much of anything, and it was so hot that the campfire was really not fun, just hotter than we already were. The music/dance at the end was cute, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. I was too hot to enjoy anything but the air-conditioned bus back to the hotel.
From journal 10 Days in Australia