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The Tour Specialists Tour Blog

Oct 04
2008

Breakfast at the Cairns Tropical Zoo


Posted on October 4, 2008 by

Bright and early, (but not too early), on Saturday morning, I and my companions headed for Breakfast at the Cairns Tropical Zoo. Breakfast starts at 8-30 am and is a truly wonderful experience for people of all ages. To all the parents out there, the Zoo caters for any fussy eater with a fantastic choice of cereals, breads, muffins, pancakes, cooked breakfasts, juices and tea and coffee.
While breakfasting you are surrounded by an enclosure of funny, cute little cotton top tamarin monkeys skittering about. Next to them are some sleepy Koalas hugging their trees, and there is a lake behind us where dozens of little heads pop up out of the water to greet you. They are beautiful little tortoises that are hoping a few scraps might fall their way.
The staff at the Zoo are full of great information, friendly and very accommodating and you can tell they love their jobs and the animals.
In the restaurant is also a glass cage with a very healthy looking python and a Stumpy tailed Lizard. The young man that introduced these creatures was asked very politely by me to skip that introduction, given that I am not a reptile friendly person. We were able to pat a furry little koala however, which is much more to my liking.
Breakfast finished, we had just enough time to catch the Red Pandas at feeding time. These incredible and very pretty creatures look like a cross between a cat and a bear. Here we learn that the Red Panda lives in the forests of South Asia and are considered endangered, as the forests are being destroyed. With their habitat dwindling, so is their population. Then it was off to feed the wallabies and Kangaroos in the walk through enclosure. Lucky we thought to buy them some food at the gate as they were very interested in our bags and pockets.
The Zoo is beautifully maintained with lush greenery along every path, seats you can stop and have a rest on, and easy paths to negotiate with great signage. We still got lost, though others probably won’t! There are bird enclosures that house birds of prey, birds of the rainforest and flightless birds. Yes Cassowaries- our own endangered species.
We saw the crocodiles, both fresh and saltwater, alligators, visited the koala nursery to see the new additions, walked through the bird enclosures and found the ring tailed Lemurs whilst my companions were fascinated by the biggest snake; it looked more like an Anaconda than a python.
There is a gorgeous little Chapel at the Zoo where they are now holding weddings, and I did in fact spy a cute Japanese couple in their wedding finery holding a koala for their wedding photos. The chapel holds about 50 people and can be booked for any time. The Chapel sits on the edge of a lake with butterflies everywhere, beautiful flowers and a little bridge and tiny gate.
Not far from there is where the Free Flight Bird Show is held. This was fascinating. We sat on a small grandstand and the birds were flying over us to their handler and back again so close you could feel the wave of cool air as they missed us by that much!! We saw cheeky cockys, macaws, magpies, and the crown jewel, the Wedge tailed Eagle.
The children in the audience were enthralled when the eagle took off into the sky way above us and yet could see the handler hold out the food. She swooped down so fast and yet lighted on the tree with so much grace. Truly amazing.
From there we visited with the waterbirds, the dingoes and??? What, no elephants!!! Well, they seemed to have everything else! Yes, I did avoid the snake show, the reptile house but sent my companions in for a report. They loved it and it must have been good as they spent so much time in there. Personally, I was fascinated with the birds of prey. I was in the enclosure and it was almost impossible to spot the owls, their camouflage is just so incredible that I nearly missed the one sitting right above me. I know, never stand underneath a bird!
This zoo is able to keep any child (or child at heart) amused. It teaches them so many things, and introduces people to wildlife they might otherwise never see, appreciate or even understand why they are so important to the ecosystem.
Come on parents-what a fun way to educate yourself and your children. Also, they can ask the wildlife carers any where, why, how question that used to be directed at you! This zoo is so well worth a visit and congratulations to all the staff for the happy, energetic and knowledgeable environment they preserve. A beautiful day was had by all.
Sharon Vogel
The Tour Specialists Cairns Tropical Zoo Information & Bookings

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