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Old 01-11-2013, 03:49 PM   #211
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That's a great spot you got to. Seems like to see the platypus in the wild was worth the trip for you....but I wonder if you'd do all that driving again.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:22 AM   #212
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Glad you found your way even if by different routes and had a nice meal in what looked like a typical little place. Also pleased you found Perry. They are almost impossible to photo-much like the wombats in Tasmania are-but at least it reminds you that you saw them.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
That's a great spot you got to. Seems like to see the platypus in the wild was worth the trip for you....but I wonder if you'd do all that driving again.
Honestly, if we ever get back to Australia (a pretty big if at this stage) I don't think we would do that part again. We may return to Cairns to stay, but might not even do that. We really felt we short-changed the Brisbane area (which I haven't gotten to) and I would want to add Uluru, Adelaide/Great Ocean Road, and probably New Zealand to another trip, and I think that whole NE section would fall by the wayside.

That said, it was still well worth the trip and we were very glad we did it.

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Glad you found your way even if by different routes and had a nice meal in what looked like a typical little place. Also pleased you found Perry. They are almost impossible to photo-much like the wombats in Tasmania are-but at least it reminds you that you saw them.
Yeah, unlike PrincessInOz and Shuttergirl, I don't much go in for quality camera rigs. I actually used to have a pretty set of camera/lenses back in the days of real film, but I lost interest somewhere along the way. I don't have the patience for it is what I think it is. I just want to get the snap and move on. (Probably why i have so many blurry pictures! )Now I tend to take more video than pictures, but have beefed that up a bit for the Trip Reports. I "only" took about 1300 pictures during the four weeks.

However, while I was here watching the Platypi (pusses) I was really wishing I had my old camera and a tripod. I spent a good hour sitting there while the sun was setting trying to get a decent shot. There was a few times on this trip when photographing wildlife I wished I had a better camera, but usually I am pretty satisfied with mine.

I was considering getting a better camera for the upcoming ABD trip, but then it occurred to me that there will likely be several people on that trip who share there photos with the group, and at least one of them will have way better photography skills than me so I'll just let someone else do it. (I do think I am very, very good at photographic composition...ie selecting and setting up the shot...when I take the time, but that skill has become less important with photo-editing software, as you often just take a wide shot and compose the picture later.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:57 AM   #214
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What a beautiful beach!

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We saw a tree the same as (or at least similar to) this one in Hawaii! I remember I couldn't believe how huge it was. Not that I'm a big tree enthusiast, but I love the vines/branches/whatever they are that wrap around the trunk. So cool looking!

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Old 01-17-2013, 05:49 AM   #215
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Most likely what Pete saw was a young Strangler Fig. Tiny seeds lodge in the branches of a tree, after a time they send down their roots to the ground snaking around the host tree. Eventually they totally surround the host tree and as well as taking all the nutrients from the ground, also squeeze the trunk of the host tree which restricts movement of nutrients-hence the name "strangler". Eventually all of this kills the host tree (takes a very long time) and as the host dies away you are left with a hollow inside the tree. There are some spectacular examples around Qld of huge hollow strangler figs and its great to go inside at the base and look right up inside the trunk and see the sky out the top. I believe they are also found in most tropical and sub tropical places hence also in Hawaii. Khertz pic is definitely also another "young" one.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Wendy View Post
Most likely what Pete saw was a young Strangler Fig. Tiny seeds lodge in the branches of a tree, after a time they send down their roots to the ground snaking around the host tree. Eventually they totally surround the host tree and as well as taking all the nutrients from the ground, also squeeze the trunk of the host tree which restricts movement of nutrients-hence the name "strangler". Eventually all of this kills the host tree (takes a very long time) and as the host dies away you are left with a hollow inside the tree. There are some spectacular examples around Qld of huge hollow strangler figs and its great to go inside at the base and look right up inside the trunk and see the sky out the top. I believe they are also found in most tropical and sub tropical places hence also in Hawaii. Khertz pic is definitely also another "young" one.
Wow, that is kind of sad that they kill the tree! But it really does look cool. Thanks for the info, very interesting.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
We saw a tree the same as (or at least similar to) this one in Hawaii! I remember I couldn't believe how huge it was. Not that I'm a big tree enthusiast, but I love the vines/branches/whatever they are that wrap around the trunk. So cool looking!
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Most likely what Pete saw was a young Strangler Fig.
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Wow, that is kind of sad that they kill the tree! But it really does look cool. Thanks for the info, very interesting.

Well, I can't say I knew what the vine was, I just thought it was a cool image. I sort of figured it wasn't good for the tree though.

A lot of people have mentioned that picture to me, and about what a big tree it was, but it wasn't nearly as big as the one in khertz picture. I used the Disney trick of "forced perspective" to make it look bigger, with the guy that is walking behind the tree is actually probably 150 feet behind the tree, but also uphill from the tree. The tree itself was actually probably less than 2 feet in diameter, the i think it looks bigger than that.

Still trying to find the time to work on Day 24!
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #218
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Well hello Pete, I just stubled across your TR here because I want to start planing a DL trip after many many to WDW. I wanted to start reading a TR that I would most relate with, well I saw yours was a first time trip to DL like me (check) you have a 9 your old and my DD will be 9 next month (check) and then I noticed that you are from Buffalo, I'm in Niagara Falls so for a WNYer (check check double check) well here I am hopping aboard your TR, haven't even finished your first post so I got some reading to do! I may have lots of questions can wait to hear all about DL!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #219
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Well hello Pete, I just stubled across your TR here because I want to start planing a DL trip after many many to WDW. I wanted to start reading a TR that I would most relate with, well I saw yours was a first time trip to DL like me (check) you have a 9 your old and my DD will be 9 next month (check) and then I noticed that you are from Buffalo, I'm in Niagara Falls so for a WNYer (check check double check) well here I am hopping aboard your TR, haven't even finished your first post so I got some reading to do! I may have lots of questions can wait to hear all about DL!
Hey Danny! We actually live in Wheatfield, so even closer to you than you think! DLR was great fun. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about going there. It's really a different (but great) experience.

Go Sabres!
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July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #220
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Day 24 – More travel


I was hoping to get a multi-day update, but I've been sick all week, so I thought I would post what I managed to write.

We woke up in the morning absolutely FREEZING. The place we were staying at was a cabin and as such only had a fireplace for heat. Well, I apparently didn’t get the fire going well enough the night before and it went out. The main room wasn’t too bad, but the bedroom and bathroom were positively frigid. (It was cold enough out that there was frost on the car.) We packed up the car and had some breakfast in our room, and headed out for the 90-minute drive to Mackay. We had like a10:15 flight to Brisbane, so we wanted to be there by 9 AM. No worries, though and we got there with plenty of time. IT was a very small airport, and breezed right though to the plane. We were in Brisbane by noon and out of the airport traveling North for our last Australia destination, the Glasshouse Mountain region and the Australia Zoo. We stopped for lunch, but struggled a bit to find a place to eat, and finally settled on eating at Red Rooster again (chicken fast food). We got back on the highway (it was actually the same route we took from Cairns to Mackay, just in the other direction) and after only about 45 minutes we were off on the Steve Irwin Way – possibly the only major highway in the world named after a zookeeper. We got into the region, and after a stop at the local tourist information center, went to the place we were staying.

So, this was a bit of an odd circumstance. This area doesn’t have a lot of regular hotels, more bed and breakfasts. I had found one on the internet back about 6 months before our trip and booked a room. A couple months before our trip, the owner wrote me and said that they couldn’t provide the room, but were going to transfer me over to place called “Crookneck Retreat”. I went on line and looked it up, and it seemed nice, and though the price at the new place was higher, they were not asking us to pay more, so I told him OK.

Well, we were very happy with the transfer, because the place was extremely nice. The owners had an old macadamia nut orchard and they had built a couple of individual cabins spread out in the orchard.



Each one was set up with a living area/kitchen/bedroom with also a Jacuzzi tub.









I would have to say it would have been an almost ideal location for a romantic getaway, but not quite as ideal with a 9-year old! However, if any readers are looking for a getaway outside Brisbane, I would highly recommend it. (And make sure to mention you got your recommendation from America! They'll get a kick out of that one.

Crookneck retreat is named for one of the Glasshouse mountains. These mountains are made up of old volcanic cores that have eroded away the outsides while leaving the harder inner rock in place. They were named by Captain Cook on his round-the-world voyage after glass making buildings in England. We only had a few hours left of daylight, so we went to a nearby ridge where you could get some views of the region. This is the actual Crookneck:


And here’s a few of the other mountains around:





We took a small path around the mountain we were on, it probably took about 45 minutes to walk, with DD whining pretty much the whole way. (She was getting extremely ornery by this point in the trip.) However, we did get her to take our picture at one point.





After the walk, we needed to find a place to eat, and wanted to pick up the tickets for the zoo at the tourist spot (they were slightly discounted if you pre-bought them). We let DD get an ice cream at the store…



…and climb around in a playground near the info center, in which they had small-scale replicas of the local mountains.



We ate dinner at the local tavern that I didn’t write down the name. The food was very uninspiring, though, so I don’t think I need to recommend it. (This was NOT the Beerwah tavern, which we ate at the next night, and found to be quite good.) Afterwards we went back to our room. We tried to stoke the fire, but couldn’t get the heat up. We ended up freezing tonight too, though the next morning we realized that there actually was a heating unit. (D’OH!) We also watch some TV, watching the Australian version of “The Amazing Race”. This is of our favorite shows in the US, so it was neat to see it in another country.

Next up, Australia Zoo!
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
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July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:11 AM   #221
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Hope you're feeling better.


Great pictures of the Glasshouse Mountains. Your accommodation is fantastic. If I''m up that way, I'll take a look at it for a possible stay.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:08 PM   #222
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hey Pete

sorry to hear you havent been feeling well - hope you are better now as I really enjoy your trip report.

Take care
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:13 AM   #223
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Hope you're feeling better.


Great pictures of the Glasshouse Mountains. Your accommodation is fantastic. If I''m up that way, I'll take a look at it for a possible stay.
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hey Pete

sorry to hear you havent been feeling well - hope you are better now as I really enjoy your trip report.

Take care
Thanks all. Starting to feel better now. Way behind at work, though, so I am not sure how quickly I will get to the next update. Doing my best though. Only really about 5 days to go on the trip. I'll get there!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #224
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That mountain scenery looks so beautiful! That is pretty great about the "upgrade" too. I'm sure after all of your travels it was nice to have some room to spread out.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:14 AM   #225
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Day 25 – Australia Zoo

Again, apologies for the slow rate at which I am wrapping this up. To make it up to you, dear readers, here's three posts in one day!

Today was our day to go to the Australia Zoo. For the Americans that might not know, Australia Zoo is the zoo owned and operated by Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter and his family. It is still supposedly run by his wife Terri and the “face” of the park is his daughter Bindi, now a teenager. She is apparently famous enough that she is known by name here in the states. That aspect of the zoo is sort of weird. There is still a ton of pictures of Steve around the zoo, and ALL the marketing revolves around him and the family. Bindi sells DVDs, books, clothing, a TV show, just about everything. It’s a little bit creepy from my point of view.

But as a zoo, we thought the facility was fantastic. It is very large and constantly growing, but the exhibits are well designed in that they are both spacious and still give an opportunity to get up-close to many of the animals. They have places where you can feed some of the animals, but they also have an place where you can sign-up to actually interact with the animals – for a fee of course. The variety of animals was huge, though some were very expensive. (The elephant was around $150 per person, while the Tiger (yup, tiger) was close to that. However, many of the animals were under $40 – and we allowed our DD to pick two animals from the reasonable cost list that she could get up close with, she picked the Possum and the Koala. I signed up for the Koala as well. More on that in the pictures below. Also, the zoo was quite large, but not so large that you couldn’t see it all in a day. We pretty much covered the whole thing.



Lizards near the entrance.



DD also knew Steve Irwin from a Wiggles video. They performed one of their songs on/around this giant crocodile:



Our first koala spotting:


And first Croc spotting:


A keeper was trying to keep this one Echinda away from the other’s food. She kept picking it up and moving it away, but it would just run right back.



Feeding the Kangaroos.


I like this picture because for whatever reason, the Kangaroo was sticking out its tongue.




My DW liked this spotted Roo:




This is a Jabaru:


They had some “free” animal feedings throughout the day. This one allowed you to feed the elephants. They had people queued up, you got one piece of fruit and had to hold it out. DW and DD both did it, but they made it so you couldn’t really get a good picture of it. Instead, their “photopass” people took the pictures and made you by it. Grrrr.



The tiger enclosure was huge:


Shortly before lunch, we had our first animal encounter. DD was the only one that had signed up for the Possum. I think she had picked this because we had heard them in the trees outside our room the night before. She got a good 20 minutes of time with Georgia (the possum’s name). Meanwhile there was a keeper there and a photographer to take pictures. I was timid about taking pictures because of that, but snuck some with my videocamera. The possums are much like there American cousins in that they are nocturnal, only they are not nearly as ugly. DD got to feed Georgia and pose with her. She had to wear a blanket because the thing had a tendancy to poop a lot. Fortunately hard like rabbit poop, but we were glad for the blanket.






Continued in next post...
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
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