The kids were very excited that the pool at this caravan park was open (the one in Griffith had been closed for the winter) so after a jump on the jumping pillow they went for a swim. The water had been heated to 20 degrees so it wasn’t freezing and they enjoyed it.
Once dry and dressed we headed out to Western Plains Zoo. The first thing we saw, in the free area where you buy tickets, were ring-tailed lemurs on an island – an excellent start to the day especially for LiAM. From there we drove our car around the zoo, getting out to walk to a few exhibits at a time then driving to the next section. I have always loved this zoo with its large open range type exhibits, and sharing it with the kids was very exciting. (The areas are large for each animal, and set up so that you can’t really see the fences or moats between you and the animals, so it feels almost like you are there with them). We saw black rhino, meerkats (including a baby), wombats (Tony’s favourite), African wild dogs, giraffes, simiangs (they were very entertaining, the baby only moved by somersaulting or spinning, and kept climbing up the rope then jumping on his mum), hippos, bongos, lions, elephants, white rhino, cheetahs, zebras (Millie’s favourite, including a baby having a feed from his mum), tigers, blackbuck (Caitlin’s favourite – a large herd, with a couple of beautiful dark males who stood out against the lighter females), buffalo, bison, onagers, przewalski horses, otters, greater one-horned rhino, dingos, emus, koalas, wallabies, ostriches, various antelope and deer, Galapagos turtles (including a baby, who was surprisingly small, the size of a small puppy maybe), spider monkeys and black and white ruffed lemurs. The highlight for me was definitely the cheetahs – there was a mum with dark stripes down her back and large, dark spots on her sides, and three cubs – they raced around and chased each other and wrestled together and jumped in and out of the tree, it was very exciting and amusing to watch. We made it around the zoo in time for the kids to have a play in the playground and watch the lemurs a bit more, then came back to the cabin, exhausted. LiAM said it was the best zoo day he’s had. The map had a list of 30 featured animals and LiAM was ticking them off as we saw those animals, he was thrilled that we got to them all.
|mother and cheetah cubs|
|mother and baby meerkat|
Once back here the boys swept up the leaves around the cabin so we could stop trekking them all over our floor, and the girls went for another swim which Caitlin found was a perfect antidote to being so tired. I had a bath in the tiny bath in the amenities block which I did find relaxing – I haven’t gotten all of the bindi from my foot yet so I was walking tenderly and my whole body was aching by the end of the day. A relaxing evening in the cabin and then a relatively early night for most of us.