Currumbin was a place I had not visited on previous trips to Brisbane, and now I was armed with a camera and a new interest in animals and wildlife, I specifically wanted to visit. Even tho it was several hours drive away Dad made the arrangements, including picking up my half brother (who I hadn’t seen in several years, and he is LOTS taller than me) to come along for the trip. Despite long delays from roadworks and one toilet stop we got there in good time.
Currumbin reminds me a lot of Orana Park, there is clearly emphasis on a natural environment for the inhabitants, and the whole place feels like its been carved out of a patch of native bush, its well shaded. It also feels like its been there for some time and isn’t hugely commercial feeling. Very much a nice place to take the kids for an outing. We went on a Tuesday and it was certainly not crowded, but not empty either. Nice to not have to fight your way through the crowds. I did find it a bit difficult finding our way around, the signs weren’t as clear or as plentiful as they could have been.
There are lots of different animals there – it started out as a bird sanctuary and gradually evolved – list of animals here
What I was particularly keen on was the Free Flight Bird experience – hoping to get some good shots of some of the native raptors so we planned our afternoon around that and just wandered where the tracks too us. I took hundreds of photos of many many different critters, so will post all of them up on Flickr but the highlights will be blogged about here 🙂
There were lots of snakes but were all secured in glass front enclosures, which I was quite happy about, given many of them were on the “10 Most Poisonous Snake” list. The light in their area was very dim so I didn’t try to photograph them. Then into the Reptile section with some of the photos I posted yesterday – here are some more –
This fellow kindly posed for this shot showing the wonderful long tails the wild lizards had – twice as long as their bodies.
I believe this handsome fellow is a monitor lizard of some kind – he was certainly quite large, several feet long and had huge claws.
As well as wild lizards all over the place there were lots of birds as well. Some were kept in enclosures, and some were banded and free to fly around, and some were just there for the free food by the looks of things 🙂 Australian birds are a lot more colourful than our NZ counterparts, and come in a much wider range of sizes. The Emu and the Cassowary are huge, and Dad told tales of being paced driving at 100k in the outback by giant 7 foot tall emu. That would be an interesting experience as the zoo sized ones are 4-5ft tall and the Currumbin ones were very tame – they would happily hand feet and I saw small children grabbing them and the birds just tried to evade them, no pecking (even tho it was well deserved!)
I loved these birds, there were a lot of them free flying around and perching in the trees, watching us with their amazing bright orange eyes. Its the lovely iridescent feathers that caught my eye, so pretty!
I didn’t get a good shot of the Cassowary, it was too dark and they were moving to quickly – so this is my best shot from Currumbin. I have better shots from Australia Zoo showing how big they are, but the shot I did get shows the strange bony growth at the top of their head, that was the bit the made me think of dinosaurs!
They are HUGE birds, easily standing 5 feet tall with big strong legs, and big bodies covered in the most luxurious silky black feathers. Then the neck with the amazing colours and then the big sharp beak, crowned with the bony growth. Its an impressive site, and they are also quite aggressive, according to the signs.
And of course the animal made famous by the movie – the croc. I think these are the saltwater version, you can tell by the shape of the upper jaw and nose, apparently.
These were about 3-4 feet long – you expect them to be bigger (and there *are* bigger options around). And its amazing when they slide into the murky water with only the eyes and nostrils showing, how difficult they are to see.