My Big Gourmet Garden Aussie Adventure Day 5

The Aussie bloggers had gone home on Friday which left myself, Alberto and his lovely girlfriend Patricia. There was no lie in for us on Saturday as Gourmet Garden had kindly bought us tickets for Australia Zoo.

 Patricia and Alberto love a comedy photo pose.

Patricia and Alberto love a comedy photo pose.

I was beyond excited about visiting Australia Zoo, but until I got there I had no idea that it was owned by the late Steve Irwin and his family. I also had no idea about the huge amount of animal conservation work that goes on there.

 Steve is very much alive at Australia Zoo. I was keen to have my photo taken with him at every opportunity.

Steve is very much alive at Australia Zoo. I was keen to have my photo taken with him at every opportunity.

Australia Zoo is easily the best zoo I've ever been to. We were able to get really close to some of the animals which made it so special. We cuddled koalas, fed elephants and stroked kangaroos - what an incredible experience. The 'roos were my favourite but Patricia was just crazy about the koalas.

 Stroking kangaroos in Roo Heaven and the 'Roo Food' vending machine.

Stroking kangaroos in Roo Heaven and the 'Roo Food' vending machine.

Roo Heaven is a very large and open kangaroo enclosure where people can walk around and stroke the kangaroos and even feed them with 'roo food' from a nearby vending machine. I loved hanging out with the 'roos, they were so adorable and amazing jumpers!

 Koalas at Australia Zoo. The only place where you should give them a cuddle.

Koalas at Australia Zoo. The only place where you should give them a cuddle.

As well as kangaroos, I saw koalas for the first time who have a great life eating and sleeping. They are very cute and cuddly, but should only be cuddled at the zoo. Apparently some tourists try to cuddle the wild ones which are not so cute and definitely not up for cuddles. 

 Crocs and croc souvenirs at Australia Zoo. Crikey!

Crocs and croc souvenirs at Australia Zoo. Crikey!

Crocodiles - or crocs - are also really big at the zoo. We saw a fantastic show with crocs and birds of prey at the The Crocoseum. The brave zoo keepers dangle a fish in front of a hungry croc who would snap at it unexpectedly. Amazing, if a little tense, to watch live. I captured part of the show in my video below.

 More comedy photo opportunities with 'Cameron the Crocodile'

More comedy photo opportunities with 'Cameron the Crocodile'

Other highlights of our trip included seeing a variety of deadly snakes, watching Mika the Bengal Tiger drinking milk from a carton and feeding elephants. The whole day was amazing and unforgettable. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Australia Zoo then you must!

 Python, bengal tiger and elephant feeding at Australia Zoo.

Python, bengal tiger and elephant feeding at Australia Zoo.

The thing I loved most about Australia Zoo was learning about Steve Irwin. To many people he was a crazy guy who wrestled with crocs and said 'crikey' a lot. That's just not true at all. He loved animals, not the cute fluffy ones but the ugly dangerous ones that most people don't. He wrestled crocs when he was rescuing them from danger because he did not believe in doping animals with drugs. He genuinely cared for these animals and he made conservation exciting for people. The only thing he loved more than the animals was his family - wife Terri, daughter Bindi and son Robert. It's quite moving to see how today they are all (yep, the whole family) still living his dream, continuing the conservation work at Australia Zoo. Being at the zoo, you can't help but capture the heart of their vision, and how all the family are so much involved, which is so special.

 Crocs rule and Steve rules too.

Crocs rule and Steve rules too.

Often people with a dream sacrifice their family by living that dream. Not true for Steve who lived his dream with his family and made them part of it. He loved his family and he was passionate about his dream and he brought the two together. He and his wife Terri were a tremendous couple and very much a team. It's nothing short of a tragedy that he's not here anymore, but his spirit and his passion are very much alive at Australia Zoo. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know Steve better through Australia Zoo.

Here's a little video I made of my day at Australia Zoo. It's so much more amazing in real life of course, but it gives you an idea of the different animals you can see and a little taste of the incredible birds of prey and crocs show.