I was about to write a post about Girona, but the news about the Crocodile Hunter made me want to reminisce about another journey instead. For all his antics, it’s sad that such a presence, such energy, just stopped being.

Steve Irwin and park keepers at Australia Zoo

Three years ago, I lived in New Zealand with my children. While there, we spent heaps of time exploring Oceania and Australia, as well. Once, we went to the Sunshine Coast and visited Australia Zoo. Such a well-thought-out park, with the animals in focus. I remember some visitors from,… well, it doesn’t matter where, loudly complaining about not getting straws with their drinks. The park crew was adamant. Straws are devastating to the smaller animals, so no go.

My youngest daughter remembers getting scratched by a kangaroo. Probably tired of constant attention, it tried to push her aside and hit her forehead with its paw. It hurt a bit at the time, but hey, how many 2-year-olds can say they got scratched by Skippy, eh? Luckily, we have photos of her feeding another, more peaceful kangaroo, so she remembers that, too.

I remember thinking right there in that kangaroo field that this is a great place to be if you are passionate about wildlife. But also the surrounding area: the Glasshouse Mountains, lively Mooloolaba, in fact all the great little towns along the Sunshine Coast and the hinterland, Montville or Maleny….. I could settle down there for a while.

We also saw Steve Irwin, from a little distance, picking up a wounded animal – a wombat, I think it was. And I was struck by this big man being so gentle with that little animal.

A donation to Wildlife Warriors seems the right thing. Here’s to you, Steve!