When I travel abroad I tend to eschew from most truly touristy things but everyone once and awhile I can’t resist. The Sydney WILD Life exhibit where I could meet a koala was one of them. It didn’t hurt that was also a mere 10 minute walk from my hotel. There was a light drizzle as I left the hotel which quickly started to turn into actual rain. While I knew it was a pretty short trip, I also didn’t know how long it would continue so I bought a cheap umbrella at a local quick mart. The rain soon picked up even more making me glad I made that decision.
It was still raining when I got there but fortunately most of the exhibits were indoors. The good news was that the rain seemed to have kept the masses away as I made my way through a series of ramps that on a busy day I’m sure would be rammed with people. When I finally got to the top, there was a small outdoor area where 2 Tasmanian devils were huddled up to escape the rain and this rather impressive Souther Cassowary, which didn’t seem pleased about being wet.
Next up was a nocturnal creatures section with one of my favorite little guys I met – the bilby. Unlike the snoozing devils, the bilby was constantly hopping around and even going up to the glass to inspect what was going on there. Adorable.
Next to the bilby, was a large tank and enclosure for their platypuses. I was surprised how small they were but also just how damn fast they were in the water, which made trying to snap a pic of them challenging. The Japanese tourist with an impressive camera set up even gave up trying to get a great shot. This is the best I could do.
The next major section had all number of reptiles, small to enormous. It was feeing time for the bearded lizards so I watched them nibble away and also saw some geckos, other lizards and a very large python. They also had a new section for their fresh water crocodiles with two impressive ones chilling on a rocky shoreline.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Aussie zoo without two of their most well-known residents – kangaroos and wallabies. The pack of kangaroos were mostly just chilling in their area and getting some snacks – not a ton of hopping around at that moment. The wallabies had their own rocky enclave and were a lot more active, tons of hopping around on the various rock shelves, including the one pictured above who had hopped up there to relax for a bit. Oh and the final little guy is called a Numbat.
Finally, it was time for my closeup with Jasper the koala. I had paid extra to be able to spend 10 minutes with him and his keeper, including a picture. And uh, well, Jasper wasn’t quite up for that. Koalas sleep up to 20 hours per day, including during my visit with him. It was interesting though being able to see up close how slowly he was breathing (koalas have one of the slowest resting heart rates for mammals. I tried to kill time by asking a ton of questions about koalas. I’m now pretty much an expert so feel free to ask me anything about them. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be and soon I said my goodbyes to the snoozing Jasper.
Also snoozing was Ringo the wombat, although I did get to see him briefly in the Wallaby section rummaging about before retreating to his cave, where he was catching some Zzzs. The pictures don’t really connote just how big he was – like a large dog.
No longer raining, I did a quick stroll through the kangaroo area where now there was a whole pack enjoying the sun which was just starting to peek out. On the way out, I noticed a strange creature that actively crossing tree branches upside down. This was a glider although it wasn’t high enough for him to take off. He instead went over to the feeder for a snack. And speaking of, it was my own feeding time so I said my final goodbyes to this fascinating assortment of critters and walked back to the harbor to grab some lunch. More of that in part 2 of my epic day in Sydney, coming soon.