25 July 2010
By 8:30 this morning, we prepared the campervan for mobility once again after two nights of staying in one place. The kids and I meandered over to Reception to pay for our Bush Tucker Champagne Breakfast with the Koalas while Rob moved the campervan off the caravan park grounds (check out time was 10:00), so we needed to "check out".
He joined us just as we walked into the the area where the staff keep all the animals. It was a lovely set up with set tables and a buffet. We were greeted by a black cockatoo and the helpful wait staff with guavosas (champagne and guava juice) - just juice for the kiddos - and sat down. Then, we were invited to "toast" bread over an open campfire. Personally, I prefer marshmallows. My hair still smells like smoke and it's over 12 hours later as I write this. I just think marshmallows are worth the smoke smell and potential lung cancer. But, it was a unique and fun experience.
Guavosas (o.k., I made that up) and a black cockatoo
Making toast over an open campfire
Then, we ate "frog in the hole" (Aussie for what Americans call "egg in a box"), lamb chops with bush spices, sausages, bacon, pancakes, fruit salad and coffee. It was delightful. While we ate, one of the staff brought over a six-year-old salt water crocodile and a young bush (or "carpet") python for us to pat (and then very quickly run over to the sink and wash our hands before continuing to eat).
Would you like to pat a crocodile while eating your breakfast?
Devon pats "Amanda", the bush python
Tender moments make the trip all the more enjoyable
At precisely 9:30, we were invited to move over to where a koala named Barney was dozing away. The handler gave us some fascinating facts about endangered and extinct species. Did you know that koalas are no where near endangered? (Most likely because they stick to the eucalypt trees rather than playing chicken with cars on the highway like the kangaroos and wallabies). Did you also know that koalas actually only sleep 14-18 hours a day, not 20 as we previously thought? Everyone got an opportunity to pat Barney on the back (not the head - that was emphasized many times). He was very sweet.
Here's Barney the koala before he was "on"
Jenna and a cheeky koala, Barney "What's up, Dev?"
Sydney Rachel being coy with Barney Barney's sleepy roommate
We explored the areas where the other animals were kept and then moved on...walking down to Horseshoe Bay one last time. There was an outdoor market on with live drum music and many handicrafts. I bought a necklace and the kids had a play on the playground. I loved the warmth of the sun and the smell of the surf. It was a nice, relaxing way to pass the time before we had to catch the car ferry back to the mainland.
Y.M.C.A. at Horshoe Bay
At 11:40a.m., we were on the car ferry back to Townsville having had two glorious days at Bungalow Bay Koala Village. Despite complaints of hunger coming from the back ("We just ate a huge breakfast, how can you be hungry?"), we soldiered on down to Ayr, QLD where we ended up at the McDonald's for the Wi-Fi connection (longer story than I care to share here). Sydney won the free Shrek ears which we were all very excited about and then we were off again.
Fantasea depot on Magnetic Island Sydney the Little Ogre
This part of Queensland is blanketed with sugar cane fields and mango groves. The trees are softer and fluffier than their counterparts to the west. You can feel the humidity in the air. And, you can feel the city pace creeping back in.
We arrived at our next destination, Travellers Rest Caravan and Camping Park at Midge Point, at about 5:30p.m. Dinner was rotini pasta with pesto sauce in the campervan with salad and garlic toast followed by fresh pineapple that we bought at a road side fruit and veg stand on our way down the Bruce Highway.
Welcome to mango country!