Aussie Wildlife

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As a Canadian, finally seeing a kangaroo in the flesh was mind-blowing. I’m sure everyone at the park thought I was insane… I was shocked (and thrilled) to see how calm and friendly these kangaroos were! This is a joey (a baby).

I finally ventured out of the comfort of my suburb this weekend. First, I have to explain the concept of suburb here. The city is “hyper local”…so it’s made up of small neighbourhoods that are fully set up so you basically never have to leave. I just happen to live in (in my opinion) the nicest one! I’ve seen about 5 so far, all within about an hour’s walk. Mine is called Prahran, which is next to Toorak, where the homes are all “Spanish style mini-mansions” (The Californians reference).

I left Melbourne entirely and went to an inland town called Ballarat, where my friend Nicole lives. The drive there was somewhat terrifying, as I am not used to being on the left side of an expressway. It didn’t bother me coming home from the airport (Ativan still in the system?) but I was on edge for the hour drive. The landscape was shockingly beautiful.  It’s very hilly, with farms and interesting trees I’ve never seen. The cows also look different. (I actually didn’t know they were cows!)…they are jet black and silky.

We got to Ballarat, and in typical jetlag fashion, I passed out while Nicole prepped for her housewarming party. The party was great—Aussies are super friendly (which we already knew) and everyone went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I managed to stay awake until 5 am, about 10 hours past my usual bedtime. I also found out that Dickinson is a common last name! I met two brothers that I shared the name with. The ID came out and lots of excitement ensued. The downside is, there’s bound to be other Emily Dickinsons.

The sun came out on Sunday, and despite our exhaustion, we took to the town. Ballarat reminds me of Stouffville. It’s pretty rural, with a main street and lots of residential areas. There’s a man-made lake in the middle. Lakes (especially man-made ones) aren’t overly exciting for me, but I was shocked to see BLACK SWANS!

A black swan!

A black swan!

As if the swans and cows weren’t enough, Nicole suggested that we check out the wildlife park. Since it has a huge reptile area, I wasn’t too keen. They lured me in by telling me I could pet kangaroos. I don’t know one non-Australian who could turn that down.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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This emu was actually hilarious. It was just walking around the kangaroos like it owned the place. Their faces are so ugly. Love them.

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Koalas! Sadly they were behind a fence so I couldn’t hold one. They were super cute, but they’re nocturnal animals so they’re pretty chill during the day.

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Tasmanian devil.

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Hey, Joey.

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A wombat. I wished they weren’t behind fences! I actually said “Excuse me can you come over here?” and he did…then he walked away after I took the picture.

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Time for kangaroos to relax.

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Straight up exhausting life.

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I loved how loving they were to one another.

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These two started play fighting pretty gently…

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…and then the one on the bottom got really mad.

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Even Aussies love seeing wild Australian animals.

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Cute little wallaby…looks like a mini kangaroo. Apparently there’s a place in Melbourne where they hang out. I will be searching high and low.

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He’s over 200 kilos! His name is Hugo, and he likes to eat green and red things.

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Charlie Fisher has no fear! He’s apparently famous in Aus because he does a bunch of crazy stuff with animals (ie. hold snakes). His brother is the manager at the wildlife park.

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Hugo eating some spinach. He’s over 80 years old!

2 thoughts on “Aussie Wildlife

  1. Really cool shots of the kangaroos….Now we just need to get you in the outback on a camping trip to see the real Wild!
    TRacy

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