We ended up leaving at 5 AM because we couldn't sleep from the heat, so off we went. As soon as we left we saw our first "wild" Kangaroo jumping across the road...very cool! On our way we saw signs for another conservation park, where it looked like we could interact a little more with the animals. So we made a short stop at the Billabong Conservation park. It had just opened for the day so there was hardly anyone there. We went righ to the animals we wanted to see. First was the Koala, the guide took us into their enclosure and grabbed a Koala and gave him to me. Wow!!..I was actually holding a Koala Bear. They are very cuddly, their hair is more course than I thought it would be, and their claws were long and sharp at the end for their tree climbing. So when they are hanging on to you those claws kind of dig in.
..hurt a little, especially with our tender sun burnt skin...but WORTH it! Next we saw some tasmanian devils which you really dont want pet or hold...lol. Then the guide took us into the Wombat enclosure. These look like giant ground hogs or beavers with out the tail. But very nice docile animal, so the guide picked up a full grown one and handed him to me. This thing was solid, must have been close to 50lbs. The only other thing I wanted to do was hold a crocodile....small one obviously. By this time we were getting eaten alive by mosquitos so we were going to make this our last animal before we hit the road. The guide took us into the enclosure where the baby crocs were, they were about 2-3 feet long. The guide grabbed one and handed him to me, it had a small rubber band around his mouth so it wouldn't take off my finger or something.
Very cool holding a creature that would soon grow to 11 feet and 2000 lbs! The guide told me to kiss it on its head and as I did Karli took a pic..haha. Bats were everywhere flying around and hanging from the trees like big black pods. So, that was basically all I was looking to do there so we left bound for Cairns
. At one point enroute to Cairns we were in the middle of NOWHERE with not a gas station in sight. We literally had not seen a gas station for MILES and MILES! We were running on fumes and really thought that this was going to be out first hiccup on the trip by running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. We were pretty nervous and by the way the surroundings looked we were not going to make it.
Kissin a Croc!
All of a sudden like a beaming light glowing in the distance we saw a very small family owned store with literally a gas pump outside of their house...LOL! Saved!...we actually took a picture to show that we were in the middle of nowhere. After we filled up and drove on we didn't see anything else for miles and miles, so we would have been stuck if it weren't for that little shop. We finally rolled into Cairns around 2pm and it was very different from what I imagined. I was expecting to see a bigger city like Sydney or Brisbane with tall buildings but it was smaller that what I imagined. And no tall buildings or skyscrapers which gave it a small beach town feel. We walked around downtown and booked our excursions for the next couple of days, and also booked the next couple of nights at a nice 5 star Coconut Cairns campground and park. This time we had to go ahead and book a cabin with air conditioning as we knew we would not be able to handle sleeping out in the humdity and heat again. Very nice park with a swimming pool, so after checking in we hit the pool. We went to bed early as we had a big day of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef the next day!