Yesterday (Sunday) we went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, about a 25 minute bus ride from our motel. They had a student discount (yay!) and lots of native Australian animals to look at! It’s pretty small, but it had everything I wanted – kangaroos, wombats, and koalas.
Hanging out with an emu:
The kangaroos were pretty friendly because they’re used to being fed. WE didn’t buy any food, but we arrived around 9 AM as the park opened and ran into a nice ranger who gave us a bucket of kangaroo food. We fed them for over half an hour because they were so cute and soft. A good number of the kangaroos had joeys, and we actually saw joeys jumping in and out of their mothers’ pouches. It was crazy!!
Soooo many kangaroos!
A photo of a joey only partly inside the pouch:
The cutest little boy was feeding the "jumperoo":
I'm not sure if you can see this, but the joey's head and feet are sticking out of its mom's pouch. It was crazy!!
We also got to hold koalas and take photos - here's me and my date! He asked for my number after I put him down, but unfortunately I'll be leaving Brisbane tomorrow so I had to turn him down. He was quite a cutie though!
We also saw a sheepdog show. Julia, you would've loved it! They used two gorgeous border collies!
After Lone Pine, we went to the mall next to the motel and ran some last errands before we start classes and leave for Cairns on Tuesday morning. I’m going to use my sneakers in both the mangroves and the coral reefs since I don’t have water shoes and I can’t find any comfortable ones here. It shouldn’t be a problem, and I know they have reef booties at Heron Island so I shouldn’t have to wear my sneakers too much. We also got some bug spray and a Subway sandwich for lunch. So tasty!
We headed to the library at UQ for most of the afternoon. Since the internet situation is going to be pretty sketchy in Cairns, we’re all trying to find some basic research before we leave and maybe check out a book or two. We’ll have minimal access to libraries for the next month so I’ll have to do my data collection without the benefits of a huge library on site, but I’m sure it’ll be fine! For dinner, we went to the grocery store and I had soup, cottage cheese, chips, and carrots. I know it sounds like a strange combination, but it was really tasty. And of course I got TimTams for dessert!! They’re an Australian cookie and they are SO GOOD. The caramel flavored ones taste like Twix, and the double-coated chocolate flavor are deadly delicious. I’m in danger of getting addicted, and I like it!
Today we have 6 hours of class and then the rest of the day to pack, run last minute errands, and finish researching on campus. Tomorrow we leave bright and early for the airport so we can fly to Cairns and start our field work. We have 8 days of class and then our first final of the quarter – that’s ridiculous. We’ll have final exams every 2 weeks or so as we finish each ecosystem class. It still hasn’t quite hit me that we’re going to be tested on this, it still feels like vacation, but I’m exited and I’ll post again when I get the chance!