Friday, February 27, 2015

A Day at the Zoo - Part 2

On our recent trip to Melbourne over the Christmas/New Year period, we were fortunate to visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

It is often said, "It's not what you know, but who you know.", and my husband Michael & I feel incredibly blessed to know one of the zoo keepers of Werribee Open Range Zoo, Paul Rushworth, and his lovely wife Chareen.

We were treated to a private tour and personal up close encounters with some of the fascinating animals that call the zoo 'home'.

Continuing from my previous post, here are some more of the beautiful animals we encountered:

The Zebra - A Plains Zebra has rather broad stripes, especially towards its rump, with colour ranging from black to dark brown. While Plains Zebra are common in Africa, they are vulnerable to loss of habitat and, like many species, to hunting.
Absolutely incredible markings, don't you think?



The Giraffe - Another of nature's beautiful and wonderful creatures.
The giraffe lives in the African savannah and is the world's tallest land animal. There are nine subspecies of giraffe, and all have a characteristic walk, moving the legs on the same side of the body simultaneously. The subspecies are distinguished from each other by their coat patterns and geographical locations.



The Meerkat - Meerkats live in southern Africa, which is dominated by the Kalahari Desert. Finding safety in numbers, meerkats live in groups of 10–30, with a female in charge of each smaller family unit. Meerkats are omnivores and spend most of the day foraging for food.



Kulinda, the Cheetah. 
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals on Earth, reaching speeds up to 112km/hour, although the average speed of a chase is around 64km/hour. Cheetahs formerly ranged in Asia, Western Iran and throughout Africa except for the true desert areas. They can now be found in the eastern and southern regions of Africa. Their main habitats are open country, from semi-desert to dry savannah, including light woodland.

The Servals.
Morili, on the left, and Nanki, on the right.
These slender and extremely agile cats are one of Africa's most successful hunters. Servals are at risk mainly from habitat loss and degradation. They rely on wetlands, a favoured home of rodents, which comprise the main part of the Serval’s diet.

Meet Morili

Meet Nanki

We felt very privileged to get this behind the scenes opportunity.


And finally, here is Paul (our zoo keeper friend) feeding one of his Serval charges, Morili. We are incredibly grateful for his hospitality.


Linking up with the following memes:

http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com.au/            http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com.au/

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Day at the Zoo - Part 1

On our recent trip to Melbourne over the Christmas/New Year period, we were fortunate to visit the Werribee Open Range Zoo.

It is often said, "It's not what you know, but who you know.", and my husband Michael & I feel incredibly blessed to know one of the zoo keepers of Werribee Open Range Zoo, Paul Rushworth, and his lovely wife Chareen.
We were treated to a private tour and personal up close encounters with some of the fascinating animals that call the zoo 'home'.

The majority of the animals at the zoo are from Africa but there are a some Australian animals too.

You can't have a zoo without a Koala. This is Bella.


The Cape Barren Goose is found on the south-eastern coast of Australia, the southern coast of Western Australia and in south-eastern Victoria. It was named for Cape Barren Island, where specimens were first sighted by European explorers.

The Ostrich is the fastest flightless bird and can reach sprinting speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour. The ostrich also uses its wings for displays of courtship and dominance. Ostriches are found widespread across central and southern Africa.


The Addax, also known as the White Antelope, is listed as a critically endangered species and lives in the desert area of Niger. Due to relentless hunting, it is believed there are only 300 Addax in the wild in a very reduced area.


The Shimitar-horned Oryx is classed as 'extinct in the wild'. There have been no confirmed sightings in the wild for over 20 years. There are around 9000 Shimitar-horned Oryx in zoos around the world. Werribee Open Range Zoo is part of a world wide breeding program to avoid extinction.


The Common Waterbuck is a large antelope found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. Waterbuck tend to inhabit savannah grasslands, forests and woodlands that are close to water if possible. They are very sedentary in nature.
This is Hide, the dominant male of the group.

The Common Eland is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. Its numbers are declining but it is considered "least concern". The Common Eland is the slowest antelope, with a peak speed of 40 kilometres per hour that tires them quickly.

The Camel is an even-toed ungulate, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back. The Camels at Werribee are 'dromedary', or one-humped camels, which inhabit the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The Horn region alone has the largest concentration of camels in the world.



Linking up with these memes:

http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com.au/          http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com.au/

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Fences by the Sea

Taken on a wild windy day at Safety Beach on the Mornington Peninsula during our recent visit to Melbourne, Victoria to spend 2 weeks with my parents.


Linking with Theresa's meme:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Rural Skies

I love exploring the rural areas of Brisbane, South-east Queensland and Northern NSW.

This particular day, we headed out to a rural area in the greater Brisbane area called Alberton, known for it's many Sugar Cane farms. It was a perfect day - the sky was blue and filled with wispy clouds...






These aren't hay bales, but sugar cane mulch. I absolutely love the mountain backdrop when looking west in this area.

Linking with this meme:

http://skyley.blogspot.com.au/

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Killarney Glen

In April last year, my husband and I took a drive out to the Beechmont/Canungra area in search of some waterfalls I had seen in a photo. I had heard they were a "secret" and didn't have anything to go by except the photo (not even a name). An Instagram friend & fellow photographer, Paul Fleming, from Tasmania assisted me with finding out the name of the location. (Thanks Paul)
Once I had a name, I researched the area, the history of the falls and scoured Google Earth to find the exact location.


If you speak to the locals, which we had the pleasure of doing at the Canungra Visitor Info Centre and on the actual property, it is very clear that this spot is not a secret at all. It is actually a recommended "must see" in the area.

The track down begins relatively easy but becomes very rugged, narrow and steep. There is an alternative wider track used by the caretaker's vehicles which is even steeper. It is well worth the walk down though.




The falls are located on a property called Killarney Glen, owned by the Fitzgerald family since the late 1800's. Pat Fitzgerald (Snr) originally purchased Killarney Glen from his uncle's estate. 
Part of his plans were to use it as a site for recreation & education; the Glen had a long history of visitation & recreation dating back to the early 1900's, with Killarney Falls & 6 other falls on Back Creek identified on tourist maps long before Binna Burra was established.



At the end of the Vietnam War (1971), the compulsory acquisition of Killarney Glen & adjacent properties was made by the Commonwealth. In 1977, with the support of the local community & media, Killarney Glen was listed by the Australian Heritage Commission. Although the area is owned by the Defence Department, the Fitzgeralds won a long battle to keep this unique property open to the public

Pat Fitzgerald Jnr, along with his neighbour & friend, George Lea, continue to maintain the property for visitor access. 
We felt blessed to converse with George for about 40 mins while we were there. He is a lovely down to earth man & a mine of local information.








We will head back for another visit and to explore more of the falls along Back Creek once I am walking much better.

Linking with these memes:


http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com.au/          http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com.au/          http://www.kissess4u.com/
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