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Zooboy28 in Australia

Discussion in 'Australia' started by zooboy28, 25 Mar 2013.

  1. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    I don't think private companies or organisations should be allowed arbitrarily to call themselves 'national'. It should be like 'Royal', I would make it in the gift of the Governor General or parliament. It's basically false advertising.
     
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I really liked the Snow Leopard enclosure, although it wasn't hard to spot the snow leopards.

    Perhaps the eland were in the house, or just out of sight behind the steep walls, when I visited. The sign for eland was on a paddock opposite the African primate exhibits, but this was filled with construction vehicles and builders...
     
  3. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I agree with this (and what Hix said). There is a similar problem in New Zealand, with the National Kiwi Centre and the National Aquarium, both of which are privately owned (and one of which definitely shouldn't be considered "national").
     
  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw the little holes in the viewing windows for feeding the lions and tigers. I think out of all those animals I would most like to feed an eland. :cool:
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I can picture it now, pineapple lumps and kiwifruit being hurled at the stage and cries of "Fush und chups! Fush und chups!" :D
     
  6. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha, I actually wrote "fush" on one of my slides :D
    There was nothing thrown though, if anything it would have been chocolate fish (although no-one here seems to know what they are!).
     
  7. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Day Two Hundred and Ninety-two – Part One

    20/12/2013. Flights from Australia to New Zealand are very expensive at Christmas, like three times the normal price. So we decided not to go home for the holidays this year, and instead went to Sydney (actually a bit north, place called Copacabana), where we stayed at my aunt’s house (who had gone to NZ). Our flight arrived in Australia’s biggest city at 7.20am, and we caught a train into the CBD, where we stashed our gear and went off to have breakfast and explore. This was my third trip to Sydney, so I know it OK, and getting around is very easy.

    Our first stop (post breakfast and Christmas frappuccinos from Starbucks) was Darling Harbour, which has many of the city’s tourist attractions, including WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, which is a fairly new indoor zoo built on the waterfront that was taken over and rebranded by Merlin a couple of years ago. Entry is expensive, but we bought a pass online that gave us entry to the five Merlin attractions in Sydney for $63, which was pretty good. This was my second visit to this collection, but my first since the Merlin takeover. The major changes are the loss of the ground floor exhibits (replaced with a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum) and a new entry area, which features a koala exhibit than anyone can view.

    I was actually mostly happy with the changes that Merlin have made, I think the zoo was looking better than my last visit, seemed to have more mammals and reptiles (although fewer birds) and had lots of presentations and great signage throughout (including many pre-recorded tales told at certain exhibits). They have also added an invertebrate exhibit, and cleverly display golden brushtail possums in the nocturnal section, making these animals stand out clearly - a much better display than a normal colour morph.

    Overall, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is quite a good little collection, with many iconic Australian animals exhibited, and generally in good enclosures. Highlights for me were the rufous bettong in the rainforest exhibit with pademelons, a cassowary and other birds, the nocturnal section and the crocodile exhibit, where the massive saltwater crocodile cruised up to the glass underwater viewing window, giving excellent views. While a very commercial zoo, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is well worth a visit if you are ever visiting Sydney.

    New Species: Cave Frog, Krefft’s River Turtle, Northern Water Dragon, Rufous Bettong.
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't remember if I ever put on here about the underlying reason why it is called the National Kiwi Centre (apart for the obvious tourist attraction reason). Jackie Grant owned the Moana Zoo and while there (s)he set up the National Kiwi Trust as a charity for raising funds. When she closed down the zoo in 2000 she moved the kiwi and all her reptiles to Hokitika and opened the National Kiwi Centre (using the same name but just changing Trust to Centre). A couple of years later she joined up with the Hokitika Water World which was up until then just an aquarium, became the manager and moved all the animals from her centre (closing it down) to the aquarium and the name moved with her. Hence the National Kiwi Centre. [Slight edit: the name of the aquarium changed to Jackie Grant's Eco-Centre -- it was after she was kicked out a few years later that the owners changed the name to the National Kiwi Centre]

    At some point I'm going to write an account of the Moana Zoo to go with my other "closed zoos" threads.
     
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    how can anybody not know what chocolate fish are? Philistines!

    Have you come across Golden Gaytimes yet? They are what we call Cookie Crumble (but I thought that was the same thing as Rocky Roads?)
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2014
  10. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Bizarrely, the only place I have seen chocolate fish for sale was at a supermarket in Alice Springs! :confused:

    No, I haven't come across that, but I have seen (and eaten) rocky road here.
     
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I just googled to make sure of what I was saying. In NZ they are called Cookie Crumbles apparently (I'm not sure what the difference is between those and Rocky Roads?) [note: Rocky Roads are not the same as rocky road]

    Anyway: Streets Golden Gaytime
     
  12. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yup, I remember eating them in NZ, but haven't had any here.
     
  13. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember these from my trip to Sydney.

    Interesting Idea though a gaytime you can suck who knew?:p
     
  14. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    I think we can all agree with that...
     
  15. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    :D:D:D:D:D
     
  16. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Day Two Hundred and Ninety-two – Part Two:

    20/12/2013. After lunch at Darling Harbour, we returned to the Sydney SEA LIFE Aquarium, which is located adjacent to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Entry was with the Merlin pass, and this was my first visit since their takeover, and third overall. There was a minimal queue for entry, maybe ten minutes (despite already having tickets) and then there was the obligatory photo opportunity, which we refused, but were still made to wait a minute for the visitors ahead to start moving through the aquarium. This is definitely the worst feature of the aquarium, it is such a popular attraction that it is always so busy, and the one way route means there are no quiet corners, just constant throngs of people.

    The first section of the aquarium is the freshwater section, which has a solid range of fish species, as well as a few reptiles and amphibians, and platypus. While the diversity is excellent here, it’s probably the most tired section, and most in need of renovation. Unfortunately, that’s likely to result in a loss of species, but in this cramped space it probably can’t be helped. The next few sections, with the exception of the garish Merlin-staple Bay of Rays, are all very nice and probably improved (or new) since the takeover, certainly seem better than previous visits. These include Sydney Harbour & Rocky Shores, Mangrove Swamps, South Coast Shipwreck and Claws.

    Next up was my favourite exhibit – Dugong Island. Although the “island” part is non-existent, so I can’t imagine why they called it that. The dugongs are viewed both from above and via underwater tunnels, which allows heaps of good views of them. They are definitely the highlight of the aquarium. Next up is a similar set up, with parallel underwater tunnels for viewing Shark Valley. This is the main shark and ray tank, but has been decorated up quite a bit – with a whale skeleton now dominating the tank. The final areas before the exit are for marine tropical species, including rockpools, and the Great Barrier Reef exhibits, which are all rather nice (especially the sawfish).

    I’m not a fish person (irony discussed previously), so I don’t know what the stand out species are, except that there are just nine species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, with only the dugong being a real highlight. Overall, the aquarium was looking better than previous visits, but still suffers from the problem many aquariums suffer – too cramped which spoils the experience. In fact, a few days later when I was back at Darling Harbour, there queues to get in (one for ticket-holders, one for ticket-buyers) were both over an hour long, meaning people had to stand out in the harsh summer sun for quite a while to get in. Obviously this is good for Merlin, and the aquarium, and hopefully they will continue to improve Australasia’s best aquarium into the future.
     
  17. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    This thread is currently 975 days behind :p which makes my current point of completion for my Bavarian trip report - writing about my trip to Alpenzoo 498 days ago - seem positively speedy!
     
  18. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Is that a hint?

    :p

    Hix
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    In part :p though in a much larger part it is a tongue-in-cheek way to note that jokes about how slow my trip reports are posted have a much more deserving target ;)
     
  20. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I think we can say this thread is abandoned now :eek:

    All my recent zoo visits have been detailed in the relevant zoo news threads.