We had to wake up pretty early to make breakfast (or as they call it here "brekkie"). breakfast was nice, we got dressed and went outside by the pond/waterfall thing they had and there was a buffet style meal. We had eggs, hash browns, sausage and juice. After we finished eating we had to get all of our stuff ready and out of our hotel rooms and loaded onto the bus. I was thankful that the leaders do nightly bed checks (where they come in between 9 and 10 every night to make sure we were in bed) because they also usually gave us a heads up about what we would be doing the next day. We boarded the bus and started driving. We drove through Townseville and soon arrived at the Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary around lunchtime. As we were walking through the Sanctuary we saw some wild kangaroos.
koala bear sleeping.. she actually had a baby with her.
They were so used to humans that we could just walk up to them and touch them and they were fine with it. For lunch we had these burger type things with fresh fruit. I didnt like the burgers because I guess it is normal in Australia to put beets on your burgers so I didnt like the taste of it. There were also these wild birds walking around us as we ate. they were huge! there was one that tried to get into the garbage bin and steal food. it was funny. After lunch we were taken to this area with benches where we were taught about animals native to Australia such as koala bears (which are not really bears), wombats, and kangaroos. Then we were able to hold a koala bear. I sat on the bench nervously awaiting my turn. Finally they called out my name and I shakily got up and went to give the lady my ticket.
worker holding the wombat
She told me how to hold it just like a baby with my hand under his bottom and my other hand on his back. He was surprisingly soft but his claws were sharp and as he clung to us his claws went into my jacket. After everyone was finished holding the koala we all had a chance to hold a wombat and a blackheaded python. I skipped out on holding the snake as I have a terrible fear of them and didnt want my first snake I held to be a python. He was creepy looking. When we were all finished we were led to another area where we got to see dingos and a crocodile. the crocodile was scary and tried attacking the man who had his food. After we were all finished at the sanctuary we boarded the bus again for a long bus ride to a place called Charters Towers.
worker guy trying to get the crocodile all crazy
When we arrived we were greeted by a man and his small son. I took a look around while we were still on the coach. All I could see for miles was nothing but outback. I kept asking myself the whole time "is this really where we will be staying for 2 nights and 3 days?" it was our Farm Stay. It was called the Wambiana Station and was 57,000 acres! that is very big. it was a cattle farm. The farm was run by our host family (Michael, his wife Michelle, and their 3 children Tomas (5), Connor (4), and little Sophia (1)). they were all so kind. Michelle invited us to supper. it was an amazing homecooked meal consiting of stew, rice, rolls, and fruit, and juice. The meal was fantastic! Afterwards we had some time to chat before we were led to our bunks for the next 2 nights and 3 days.
First they showed us the leaders bunk... a small guest home very cozy with 4 beds inside for the leader (our bus driver and manager slept in the guest rooms in the house with the family). then they showed us the restrooms. they were located next to the leaders bunkhouse. since there were only 4 toilets and 2 showers the boys and girls had designated times to use them. it wasnt very easy getting 35 students in and out of the showers that quickly and by the time I got a chance to use it the water was already cold. Then we were led to our bunk house which was actually the HUGE barn where they keep the equipment but they had it cleared out and had a billion bunkbeds in them. one side was the boys and the other was the girls. we got to pick our bunk and we only got a sleeping bag and pillow. After we got aquainted with our new surrounding we started a bonfire to just hang out and get to know eachother. We went exploring and found a small gecko that was clear looking. kinda cool. then it was time fore bed.... i climbed into my sleeping bag in my bottom bunk that was right near the door so i heard every little sound made by unknown creatures in the night and soon fell asleep.....