Up in the mountains an hour north of Cairns, surrounded by rainforest is Kuranda Village. It’s a tourist town, but a lovely one. It’s quite charming. The attractions are deliciously fun too. Three of them are affliated and we bought the all access passes for $39 Australian.
Our first stop was Butterfly World. It’s a large enclosure with 2,000 or so butterflies buzzing around. One variety is bright blue and black. They’re the hardest to photograph, of course. The most amazing thing was that a buttefly landed on this guy’s backpack and started laying eggs. They collected them before he left.
The second stop was Birdworld. Boy was it fun. We bought a small bag of food an quickly had exotic birds all over us. The native Eclectus Parrots were very friendly, landing on us and even stealing Susan’s earring. I got it back out of his mouth. The non native Sun Conures were also agressively friendly. Many other birds also landed on us for a handout. My favorite Rainbow Lorikeets weren’t among the friendly though. They came close, but ignored us. The Red-tailed Balck Cockatoos finally came down for a bite to eat also. The one in the lobby was eager to have his head scratched as he sat on Susan’s shoulder.
Meat pies were on the menu for lunch, Howard’s first.
Large bats called flying foxes are all over Australia. We saw a big group hanging out in the trees at Billabong Sanctuary when we were there. In Kurada there is a rescue organization and they have a free exhibit. This was our next stop. The woman who runs it had just shut the gate, but opened back up as we arrived. She showed us three kinds of bats and to Susan’s disappointment didn’t let us touch them. They’re smarter than dogs and the ones she can’t rehabilitate, that are permenant residents, know their names. One of them was begging to come out of the large enclosure. She got her way.
Kuranda Koala Gardens was our final stop. As we stopped to look at the koalas a handler came in and one was particularly anxious to be choosen to be held. You could tell she was thinking “pick me, pick me.” Howard was reticent to hold her, as she had just pooped when the handler came to pick her up. Chibby was her name. I talked him into cuddling her for a picture and I’m sure he enjoyed it. Here they let you hold the koala a lot longer than elsewhere and Chibby was quite a bit bigger than the one we held at Billabong. After his offical shot they let us take our own pictures and then join in for a group shot. Chibby was happy as a clam to be held. We were encouraged to pet her after the pictures, the whole time Howard holding her.
We took the long way home through the Tablelands. It’s a high plateau with lots of farmland, with sugarcane, corn and other stuff growing.
It was a terrific day.