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Chapter 4--The Only Park I Know that Has a Sheep-Shearing Demonstration: Dreamworld

 

After getting soaked at Wet 'n' Wild, the soaking continued in the form of rain at our next park: Dreamworld. This attraction was the brainchild of John Longhurst, who had been inspired by Disneyland in California and started building the park in 1974. It opened in 1981.

 

The Disney influence is pretty obvious, thanks to the "Main Street" style entrance--there's even a sternwheeler paddle boat and a "homage" to Frontierland. But Dreamworld also has extensive, and well-done, animal exhibits, including not only the usual assortment of Aussie critters, but tigers, as well.

 

This is the best park we visited, and despite the rain, the staff made us feel welcome and ensured that we'd have a great day. Although the rain delayed the opening of some attractions, there was plenty to keep everyone occupied until they opened. The coaster lineup doesn't stand out, but there are at least two unique rides.

 

Tower of Terror 2--This backwards Intamin launched shuttle was Escape from Krypton before there was, well, Escape from Krypton. The launch isn't as fast as its cousin's in Valencia, and it doesn't climb as high up the spike; but it makes up for this with a great tunnel section with light effects.

 

Mick Doohan's Motocoaster--I liked this Intamin tire-propelled coaster with motorcycle trains (the course is fun); the restraints are a bit awkward and uncomfortable, though.

 

Cyclone--This is the old Arrow loopscrew that used to be at Luna Park Sydney. It's fairly rough (more so than Sea Viper at Sea World), but it's hardly the worst Arrow ride anywhere. The theming--some sort of experimental "cyclone generator"--is interesting, at least.

 

Runaway Reptar--A kiddle Vekoma SLC with OTSRs. 'Nuff said on that.

 

There's a fun laser tag arena (Alien v. Predator v. You), a good assortment of flats and kids rides, a surprisingly dry rapids ride (toned down for the rainy day, perhaps), and solid theming throughout (again, a good "Old West" section). We didn't hit the water park, but our guide described it as a "Pro Slide showroom."

 

And let's not forget The Big Drop--the tallest drop ride in the world! Oh, and the sheep-shearing demo, which we, unfortunately, missed.

 

All in all, another solid park that treated us very well.

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Hmm . . . this entrance looks vaguely familiar . . . can't quite place where I've seen this before, though.

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"I was hoping for a heartier breakfast."

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"Ah, that's more like it! Now bring me some coffee to wash this guy down."

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Our guide this morning was the head honcho of attractions maintenance, Bob Tan. Really nice guy, very informative. He has a slightly different take on who came up first with the idea to run their "Superman" ride backward. ;)

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Backstage at the water park, telling us about the park's water-recycling system.

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"Sarah Connor?"

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For a brief time, we were "authorised"--to do what, I'm not sure.

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Under the Tower of Terror 2's train. Now there's a tongue twister.

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This helps the ride "Vroom" out of the station. "Vroom" is a very important technical-type term, you know. Never confuse "zoom" for "vroom."

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One of these wheels could easily crush your foot, or be used by a crazed squirrel as a weapon. The little rodent just stuffs it in a nylon stocking and starts twirling it around.

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OK, this is the "back" of the train. But since the train goes backward, wouldn't it sort of be the "front"? Yet you have to go the the "front" to go back. God, these tours are confusing.

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I think this is where the crew makes cappucinos and lattes. Maybe a mocha, if you're nice to them.

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Although the restraints look like they were designed by Hannibal Lecter, they're not all that uncomfortable.

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I think the tunnel is what really makes this ride.

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"Vroom," not "zoom," up the tower.

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This was my first "Laser Tag" experience. TPR members are really quite bloodthirsty.

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Go Blue Team!

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"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"

"SPNONGEBOB FLYPANTS!"

"Yellow, rectangular, and perverted is he!"

"SPNONGEBOB FLYPANTS!"

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We learned many interesting things about tigers here.

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For example, tigers love Sno-Kones. Their favorite flavors are zebra, gazelle, and poacher blood.

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I'm not sure I'd let a tiger this close to my groin, but different strokes . . .

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter!

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"Hot potato, hot potato . . ." AGHH! GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I'LL TALK! I'LL TALK! I'LL TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW!

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Hey, I hope there are some hot-potato dishes at the buffet . . . AGHH! HAVE YOU NO PITY?

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I had to crawl through this shark's guts to get that song out of my head. It's an old Australian remedy.

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Next up, the ride formerly known as the Big Dipper at Luna Park Sydney.

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This was one of the weirdest queues I've ever been in. It was like walking up the side of an "ultra moderne" apartment house that was built in 1950s Hollywood.

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This is called "theming." It reminds me of Tennessee Tornado a bit.

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Looks like Robb's been here.

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Our intrepid band of cyclone chasers.

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Not the worst old Arrow ride I've ever been on.

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Sheesh! There's more theming in the exit queue than in the entrance. It's driving Jimmy and Bob mad!

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"Dropped your wallet, mate? Sure, it might be down here. Just take a look . . . a little lower now . . ." More to come from Dreamworld.

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Prepare yourselves for adorable animal pictures. Remember--you have been warned!

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We're waiting for the Motocoaster to open.

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This is why we're waiting. Daredevil stunt riders will take curves at high speeds and leap over 30 buses and through hoops of fire, but they can't abide rain.

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"Born to be Wild!"

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The ride is fun, but the restraints aren't.

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This is the best restroom sign next to those at Mitsui Greenland. Maybe we should devote part of the TPR Park Index to particularly good toilet signage.

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OK, how many parks in the U.S. would let a guy ride around in the back of an open truck bed through the middle of park full of people with a tiger?

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Darn! Missed it.

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But at least we didn't miss these cute lil wallabies. There is no "wallaby-shearing" demo, by the way.

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Anyone who doubts that birds evolved from dinosaurs needs to see a cassowary.

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"Welcome to Jurassic Park!"

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"Oops! Is my little joey showing? I'm so dreadfully embarrassed!"

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The roos are lining up for Cassie's alfalfa pellets--they're magic!

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Is that a joey's tail in your pouch, or are you just happy to see someone?

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The ever-so-imperious-looking koala. Really, he has that "who just farted?" look on his face.

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Fleeing from the New South Wales tyranny, I exercise my God-given right to hold a koala.

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"I am King Koala! Kangaroos bow to my will! Fetch me a churro with gum-leaf jelly, knave!"

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"Yo, King Koala! why don't you come down here and try to lord over us!"

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So, this is where the croc-feeding show is held.

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Bilby porn!

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Something you can't do at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

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Greg is a big boy now! He can drive his own car!

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Lizard powers activate!

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These dingos aren't as lazy as the ones at Featherdale Wildlife Park.

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More of the Old American West--Aussie style.

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Hmm--I don't recall John Wayne or Clint Eastwood doing a lot of "fossikin."

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What was once a ride is now theming. This was a "wild mouse in a box" that was shutdown due to safety concerns years ago.

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Yup--I'm one bad hombre. Once shot a man just for snorin'.

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Did I mention that Dreamworld has the tallest drop tower in the world?

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Yeah, I probably did.

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I'm sure these folks know it by now.

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You know, if you order this is certain states, you could be arrested.

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Congratulations on your 30th anniversary, Dreamworld! And thanks for a great day!

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I really think I enjoyed the Dreamworld Animal area as much as the Australia Zoo. Plus that freakin 11 month old Koala is just possibly the cutest thing on Earth. Even though it's claws already look like they could rip your flesh off pretty good.

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What an awesome report! Amy doesn't talk too much (I know, huge surprise ) so it's nice to actually see everything! Incredible captions as well. So how was the world's tallest drop?

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That guy who spoke to you in the beginning of those photos is Bob Tan and he's also in charge of new rides coming to the park! Also the exit of the Cyclone use to be the entrance and what is now the entrance use to be the exit been like that for a couple of years now.

On another photo I saw another talking to your group and he was one of the guy out of the Dreamworld Insiders that upload videos onto the parks Facebook page about whats going on and coming to the park.

I gotta agree Motocoaster's restraints, do get uncomfortable especially when you put them really tight, but I also find the ride get's rather slow towards the end, rumours were it was going to have a second launch like JetRescue but it never happened.

I want to know what you guys thought of The Claw and Wipeout compared to other version especially bigger versions of The Claw in the US.

I agree I like DW but I do feel it had a better feeling to it some years ago, what I mean is main street had more subtle Aussie colours, rather than the bright colours now and where Motocoaster is the Avis Cars used to be there with proper themed station and paddle steamer next to wasn't painted the bright colours and you would travel around it to watch the Bushranger Show which was a great experience. Along with the Goldrush area really buzzing with the mine ride going, however rumours are the next thrill ride will be placed in Gold Rush which should see some life over towards that area of the park.

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I really liked Dreamworld. The little baby koala is so cute! I'm sad I missed seeing the tiger drive by in the back of the truck.

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What an awesome report! Amy doesn't talk too much (I know, huge surprise ) so it's nice to actually see everything! Incredible captions as well. So how was the world's tallest drop?

 

I liked it a lot; others preferred Blue Fall at Sea Paradise in Japan (another excellent drop ride). I think the only drop ride I dislike is SFA's (go figure). Big Drop was my favorite ride at Dreamworld.

 

Original, thanks for the heads up about the Bob Tan's name. I'm good with faces, but terrible with names. I'm not a flat-ride person, but I did ride the Claw in the rain. A good, long cycle as I recall (definitely more than enough for me). I didn't ride Wipeout.

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^I think the tiger was chained to something, but you could walk right up to him. Don't think I'd wave a hamuburger in his face, though.

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Thanks for all the comments. Always good to know that somebody can glean at least some value from my occasional bursts of nonsense.

 

Moving right along . . .

 

Chapter 5--A Wild Mouse and Other Wild Things: Aussie World and the Australia Zoo

 

After Dreamworld came a two-park day--and much better weather. So, we loaded the bus and headed from Surfers Paradise to a place that many of our members only dream about: the magically named BEERwah! (Yes, Jimmy in particular was fond of this name.)

 

Aussie World is a nice family park that caters almost exclusively to its local audience, but it was very welcoming to us, with ERT not only on its particularly insane wooden Wild Mouse (even wilder than Luna Park's), but also its Rock 'n' Roll Rebel indoor flat ride and the only Disk-O in Australia--the brand, spankin' new Giant Redback! The park invited us to be the first to ride their newest attraction, and there was even a local TV news crew to document the occasion. Yes, I guess they were astounded that a bunch of crazy coaster enthusiasts from the U.S. and other countries would come all the way to Beerwah to ride a Wild Mouse and a Disk-O.

 

They don't know us very well, do they?

 

Here's a look at Aussie World. The Australia Zoo will come a bit later.

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An Australian park themed to Australia? Well, I guess it's no stranger than Disney California Adventure--in California.

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The park says that this is the "most photographed" pub in the world. And this is definitely another photograph of this pub. The name is Aboriginal for "place of good food and drink" and was inspired by a popular comic strip.

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This is what happens if you don't tip the valet-parking guy.

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Which one is Jimmy? The resemblance is uncanny!

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I wonder if they got this bench at a Beerwah yard sale?

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Jimmy says, "I want in! I want in now! The quicker we finish here, the quicker we get to BEERwah!"

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Well, it's better than out in the pasture or in the swamp.

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It's true! When I drove from Valencia to Anaheim after West Coast Bash, I passed right by this place!

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Time for ERT on the Wild, Drunken, Tough-as-Nails Mouse.

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The sign says it all.

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"OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD!"

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"Help me Jeebus!"

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"Only the power of prayer saved my life--and my pants!"

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"You like our ride, mate?"

"Yes, I swear I do--yes!"

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Yes, this old wooden mouse is a hidden gem.

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Hmm--he doesn't look like he feels so good.

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"I can sympathize with him."

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This is a pretty accurate portrayal of the airtime on this sucker.

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This gentleman helped build the park over 50 years ago--and he stayed on.

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We had a bit of surprise ERT on the park's indoor Himalaya.

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It rocked. It rolled. It rebelled.

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So sick on so many levels.

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Behold Giant Redback--the only Disk-O in Australia!

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These rides are fun, but I can only take them in small doses.

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We even ended up on local TV.

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I wonder if the reporter is wishing that she'd worn pants that day.

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She looks like she's praying to Buddha.

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"Riding Redback five times makes you feel like you've drunk a whole case of malt liquor--excellent!"

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Introducing the world's slowest go karts.

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They're about as fast as DCA's bumper cars.

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Well, they are meant for little kids--or mentally challenged adults.

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Aussie World is a nice, attractive family park.

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Hmm--think I'll pass on these. lest they make me pass something else.

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But maybe some beer would be nice.

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This guy makes pretty good squid and chips--for a bird. For a little extra, he'll chew your food for you and regurgitate it into your mouth.

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Why "fly-through restaurants" never caught on. Next up: the Australia Zoo and all sorts of critters.

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After a nice lunch at Bluey's in the Ettamogah Pub (I did have squid and chips and beer, by the way), we headed out to the Australia Zoo, the brainchild of the Steve Irwin, the late "Crocodile Hunter." He did a nice job, too, as this is an excellent zoo with a nice, knowledgable staff. Some of us signed up for a three-hour private tour, which enabled us to catch just about everything on this sprawling, critter-filled property.

 

Steve Irwin's shadow looms rather heavily over the place, and you can tell they miss him keenly. Our guide always referred to "Steve believed this" or "Steve said that." But I think the zoo is in very capable hands and will continue to thrive. It's a terrific showplace not only for Australian wildlife, but also for animals from other regions.

 

Get ready for the last set of animal pictures in this TR. You can be happy or sad about this. It's totally up to you.

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Next up, the zoo Steve Irwin built.

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Oops! I already blew this by eating pepper kangaroo pizza in Sydney! Please don't haunt me!

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"I'm a rhinocerous iguana. If I wasn't a vegetarian, I would so have eaten you by now."

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"G'day! I'm one of the zoo's official host lizards. May I get you a refreshing beverage?"

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"Hey, I'm a 'host lizard,' too. And I got ice-cold beer! Just come over and get it."

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"That's it. Don't pay no attention to no stupid signs! I got beer!"

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So a pit bull would not mess with a Tasmanian devil?

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"I eat pit bulls for breakfast, mate!"

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Oh, come now--you're talkin' about birds, here! How dangerous could they be?

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Oh. That dangerous.

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"My name is Cass O'Wary. You did not kill my father. Prepare to die."

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What? Koalas aren't bears? My world has been shattered!

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Are you sick of koala photos yet? Well, here's a profile! Haven't seen a koala profile yet, have you?

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"We're not bears, you know."

"SHUT UP!"

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I think I hear some brass balls clanking.

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Anyone for some ERT with Steve Irwin's favorite croc?

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"I hated Steve Irwin's guts, yet he loved me. Call us, codependent."

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"Meh. I could take or leave him--unless he waved a piece of liver in my face."

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The famous Crocoseum. Yes, they actually have trained crocodiles, but we missed that day's show.

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"Hmm--maybe I'm one of the really poisonous snakes, or maybe I'm not. You a sporting man?"

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Here's part of a nice tribute to Steve Irwin.

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"Just you and me/And joey makes three/In our Roo Heaven."

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Don't touch joey's pouch! This makes him very mad!

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"Dimsdale?" (Am I the only one who gets this?)

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Masters of roo-fu.

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Careful, Brian--that one might go all "roo-fu" on you!

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"Darn! You saw me! My camouflage sucks!"

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"I'm an emu, not a cassowary. And I'm feeling rather fragile today. This is no guarantee that I won't kill you."

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And we wouldn't want that, would we?

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So, it's just a short walk from Beerwah, Australia to Southeast Asia? Like Aussie World, "it's on your way."

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"OK, kid. Hand over the watermelon, and no one gets hurt."

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"Hmm--the little girl or the big guy carrying her? They both look so delicious that I wish I were a carnivore."

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Tigers have temples, so they're Jewish? I've learned so much here.

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"Someone get me a frickin' sno kone!"

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"Hey, Dreamworld's tigers get sno kones. I'm just sayin'."

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I think this is a red panda . . .

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. . . and this is some sort of albino duck.

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"Uh-uh! I know what you're thinkin'. Is he a deadly snake, or not? Well, to tell you the truth, I sort of forgot myself in all this excitement. But being as this is Australia, the home of the deadliest snakes in the world, some of whom could kill you within seconds, you have to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

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Wombutt

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"OK, where's that big Yank in the Joy Wheel shirt? I'm feelin' pretty damn hungry, and I think he'll do just fine. If only I could find him . . ."

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Steve Irwin's shadow looms large--but he built an excellent zoo.

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"Before you leave, could I get you a Magnum Bar or something? Really, I'm here to serve."

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"Magnum bars? Er, yeah, I got a whole bunch of 'em, all for free. Just come on over and get you some . . ."

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"Yes, I am a kookaburra, and I do sit 'in the old gum tree.' No, I do not consider myself 'king of the bush.'" Happy now?" That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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I don't think that's Spiny Norman, he's a little too small to scare Dinsdale Piranha.

 

Do I get nerd points for that?

 

And was the squid 'n' chips as amazing as it sounds?

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Awesome stuff Chuck! You and I are now tied for slowest updates EVER. I mean, this trip was almost 2 months ago and we both haven't finished our updates. Great pictures and thank you for calling me a drunk...I'll drink to that!

 

Jimmy "Roo Heaven was Poo Heaven" Bo

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I really liked the zoo a lot, but I couldn't get over the sort of 'aura of sadness' that seemed to be there even five years after Steve's death.

 

He must have been a really great leader and friend as all the staff seemed to really know him personally.

 

In somewhat related news, flipping through the channels the other night I saw the Jon & Kate Plus 8 kids and Kate at the Australia Zoo and it was a train wreck!! I couldn't even watch the whole thing it bothered me so much!

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I don't think that's Spiny Norman, he's a little too small to scare Dinsdale Piranha.

 

Do I get nerd points for that?

 

And was the squid 'n' chips as amazing as it sounds?

 

Yep--Spiny Norman (at least he looked a lot like Spiny Norman). The squid and chips (that is, calamari and fries) were pretty good. These were on the buffet at Dreamworld, too.

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Awesome update and captions as always! Bum Hummers!?!? What the hell were those? The Australian zoo looks so awesome, I just hope I can visit sometime in the next ten years

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^I think the "Bum Hummers" were pickled onions--eww! I despise any food item that's been "pickled."

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