Sunday, November 24, 2013

Australia road trip - Day 16 - Ipswich and Mt Coot-tha

Here we were -- on the very last day of our road trip. We headed out of the city, planning to drive around all day before going to the airport for our flight back. 

Crossing the Albert bridge

Viv had left me to decide what we wanted to do, and I'd picked Queen's park in Ipswich as our first stop. Mainly because it had a mini-zoo and we really needed to keep Xena entertained. We started off with the Ipswich Nature Centre, or mini-zoo as it is more popularly known as. Functional since 1936 (wow!), it has several recreated habitats of Australian animals that visitors can wander through.

We were immediately greeted at the entrance by this very large chameleon. Yikes!

For a mini-zoo, I have to say it was pretty large. There was a boardwalk and you could see all sorts of animals along the way. 

Xena wants to know why the wallaby is sitting so far away. 

Solitary black swan

We saw animals we had never seen before! The spotted-tailed quoll was just one of them. 

Some kind of scary-looking iguana. Xena was fascinated to see such a 'big lizard'.

This southern hairy-nosed wombat was fast asleep. 

There was even a cave-like structure that housed rabbits in their natural homes.

Xena peeking to take a closer look at some rabbits hiding in their burrow

An eastern grey kangaroo just chillin' on the grass

Ooooh, an emu!

This black swan swam quite close to us!

Turtles on a rock

They even had a free flight aviary where birds flew freely and visitors were welcome to see them in their natural habitats. It was a lot harder to take pictures of them though, so we chucked the cameras and simply enjoyed watching them eat, fly, chirp and do other birdy things. 

There was a small nursery for farm animals, housing the world's cuddliest hens! Xena kept asking me if she could hug them. 

Next, we headed to the Nerima Gardens, a Japanese garden designed in the style of Ipswich's sister city Nerima.  

"More walking?" Xena can't believe it.

Thatsie to the rescue! 

The gardens were very beautiful, punctuated by these Japanese huts.

Mama and Baby pose with a giant tree before taking our leave. 

Next on the list was Robelle Domain in Springfield, a zero-depth water play area which is extremely popular with kids. Xena loves water play and I thought she'd enjoy it. 

I was wrong! She got scared and wouldn't even go anywhere near the jets!

So we had a fun time posing in the dry areas instead.

However, after a while she opened up to the idea of getting wet and even went and started playing by herself.

Drying off in the large grassy field outside the water play area

The weather was lovely and we decided to just relax on the grass for a while. Viv is of course always excited to see grassy fields. In his mind he's already playing cricket there!

Father and son walk to a cafe to fetch some drink and ice-cream.

Xena insists that it's sunny so Poppy should wear his sunglasses (though she refused to wear hers!)

Xena played all sorts of amusing games, such as running to her Poppy...

...covering his face with her hat...

...taking off the hat...

...and running off gleefully!
(PS: This is one of my favourite shots of the holiday.)

Next, we were on our way to Mount Coot-tha, which at 287 metres above sea level, has the highest peak in Brisbane. 

It's a very popular tourist destination and its lookout offers panoramic views of the city. 

We took turns to pose with Xena - Poppy first...

...then Mama...

...but Xena was happiest when it came to her Thatsie!

We lingered around, waiting to witness sunset...

...while Xena tried to find ways to entertain herself. 

She took multiple rounds of the place, insisting on walking alone!

Soon, the sky started turning dark...

...and within seconds, we witnessed a beautiful sunset. 

It was time. Time for the holiday to end and for us to return home. We drove to the airport, dropped off the car (Xena kept asking what happened to it) and checked in. 

We found this interesting kinetic sculpture by Jeffrey Zachmann at the airport. 

Xena was exhausted from the hectic day and was ready to sleep in no time at all. Check out her sleeping pose!

So there it was -- our Australia vacation. It was a first for many -- Xena's first road trip, our first vacation with Appa, Appa's first time at a cricket stadium, and Viv's first time watching a live Ashes match. May we always have time, money and good health for many more vacations!



  • great travelogue....makes me want to visit Australia now!

    By Blogger Divya, at 12:54 PM  

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