What Is Australia Zoo Really Like ?
On this page I will share my opinions of Australia Zoo as well as giving locals and visitors the chance to share their opinions and experiences (good and bad) of "OUR" best known and most popular man made attraction.
As a kid growing up in the Wide Bay - Burnett area of Queensland the only two attractions worth seeing on the rare drive to Brisbane were "The Big Pineapple" and the Glass House Mountains.
I have not even heard of the Beerwah Reptile Park or as I think it was then called the Queensland Reptile Park. It was not until my sister did work experience there in 1988 or 1989 that I then learned about and visited what was to become the world renowned Australia Zoo.
At that time, in the late 80's Steve Irwin was mostly up in north Queensland playing with (and catching) crocodiles. Wes Mannion and Bob Irwin were looking after the running of the park/zoo.
About Steve and Terri Irwin
I do have to admit when Steve's croc catching shows started playing on TV I couldn't stand the half true, half fake, over the top antics but even then I had to admire his enthusiasm and dedication to all things crocodile related.
He then married this loud American, and I mean that in the nicest way in that America seems to have a lot of loud talkers but everyone could see that Terri Irwin was the "business brain" behind the future success of Australia Zoo.
Then, even though in the back of our minds it would probably happen the "unthinkable happened" Steve Irwin died.
September 4th 2006, Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while diving in North Queensland.
I remember exactly what I was doing at the time, I was working at the Beerwah Photo Lab, as my wife and I were considering buying it at the time. I remember walking outside to go next door to see if anyone else had heard or if it was real or not when I looked across and up the street a bit and saw the zoo billboard of The Crocodile Hunter wrestling a crocodile.
Like most people it was a shock and at the same time everyone sort of expected it.
About The Zoo
I can't quite remember when I first went to the zoo, apart from when it was the reptile park.
I remember when they built the first big car park and still remember thinking "they are kidding themselves, they will never see that car park full". Well I was proved wrong soon after and the same thing when they put in the huge car park in what was a strawberry field (I think) out the back of the other one which soon started getting near its capacity on busy weekends.
When we had kids it became part of our regular outings with my wife Kim taking the kids there regularly for outings and play dates with other kids whose family also had yearly passes.
Then Bindi Irwin became part of our lives with her Bindi The Jungle Girl TV show. Our kids though she really lived in a tree house in the jungle.
Now days I think the zoo is still a great place to visit and very educational and is one of the kid friendly places in the Glass House Mountains area.
Obviously the death of Steve was a huge setback for both the Irwin Family and for the zoo. While Terri was the reason the zoo became big, Steve provided the energy that drove everything.
It is good to see expansions like the African savannah still go ahead.
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