Off to see the animals in Adelaide

It was Sunday when we arrived in Adelaide, Australia for a very brief visit, having to be back on board by 1 PM to make our date in Sydney. So the four of us opted for the Cleland Wildlife Center on the outskirts of Adelaide for our few hours on shore.

Cleland is a wonderful animal reserve, located in the foothills, with plenty of natural habitat for the animals to enjoy. Many of the paddocks were 10 to 40 acres large, so they had more than enough room to roam about as they liked. The slide show below gives a good sampling of what we saw and how easy it was to interact with the animals on a one to one basis. I can honestly say it is quite a thrill to walk up to a baby kangaroo, feed it, and scratch it behind his ears and then be able to give it a closer look to see how all its unusual parts fit together so well. Quite a unique creature that God created for us to enjoy.

You will see in the slide show a picture of a kangaroo hanging on to Carolyn’s hand with its long sharp toenails. Earlier in the day, Carolyn had entered a paddock with a number of kangaroos and no other people in sight. One of the kangaroos got up as she approached and started hopping toward her in a very determined way. Because the guide had warned that kangaroos can be very dangerous, Carolyn turned and walked quickly in the opposite direction . . . but it kept coming after her. Realizing there was no escape, she turned around to face this gentle soul who only wanted to eat a few kibbles from her pocket.

Koalas are so loveable. We were told firmly that we should not call them koala “bears” because they are no relation to the bear family. They are marsupials and the females raise their young in a pouch. But we do think of them as overgrown “teddy bears” because they are so cuddly.

Koalas sleep 18 to 20 hours per day in order to save energy. They live on eucalyptus leaves, but they are very discriminating. There are approximately 800 different varieties of eucalyptus leaves in Australia, but in southern Australia, there are only 6 or 7 species that the koalas will eat, and without a healthy eucalyptus habitat, the koalas would die.

In the early 1900’s the koalas were hunted for their thick, soft fur. Millions of koalas were killed and their pelts exported overseas. By the 1920’s, concerned people realized koalas were in danger of becoming extinct and lobbied for their protection.

Returning to the Ship

As we rode on the bus back to the Queen Mary and neared the harbor, we noticed that there were police officers at every intersection and that the left hand lane of the double lane divided roadway was bumper to bumper cars inching along. The other lane was empty of vehicles, and our bus whizzed on through to the harbor. Then we saw a huge sign that said only passengers and crew members were allowed in the “fast” lane. So who were in all those other cars? It appears the news broadcasters had put it out that the Queen Mary was in the harbor, so the townspeople came out in vast numbers to see the ship and wish us well. All the areas around the harbor were filled with parked cars and people running up to the fence to get a good look at the ship. They had picnic baskets and some people were making “sausage sizzlers”. It was all very reminiscent of a tail gating party back in America. As we sailed out of the harbor, people lined the harbor edges, waving and cheering us on, as well as many little power boats and sailing sloops escorting us on our way. A very royal send off.

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4 Responses to “Off to see the animals in Adelaide”

  1. Wonderful pictures! We are enjoying traveling vicariously “with” you!
    See you in HH. J&S

  2. Hi, thanks again for all the photos! That Tasmanian Devil looks even worse than I thought. Hope they are not as mean as they look. You are getting some great photos for us armchair travelers. How are all of you doing? How are the shipboard activities? Please do keep us posted.

  3. Thank you so much for your updates! I feel a teeny bit like I’m there. I’m just loving your postings!! thanks so much! Are you doing your yoga and playing bridge?

  4. Betty Schnatterly February 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Oh My Goodness!!! How Wonderful, Caroly n sure is brave!!!

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