Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brisbane, QLD - Nice Little Holiday Rental

We stayed in Brisbane for a couple of days before returning home. It was nice to have some time in the city to shop and eat Mexican food! This house we stayed in was awesome! It's the contemporary style I love, so tastefully decorated. Too bad I didn't get many photos of the inside.

I was trying to take a photo of Anna and was annoyed that it wouldn't snap the photo. That's because it was taking a video. DUH!

Sunshine Coast, QLD - Australia Zoo

The Sunshine Coast is north of Brisbane, whereas the Gold Coast is south of Brisbane. A big attraction at the Sunshine Coast is Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo.

They have a wetlands area that is pretty realistic. It looked a lot like the real thing, as we saw in Darwin last June-July. Here is a jabiru.

We've really enjoyed the Australia Zoo in the past, as they've gone to great lengths to make the environment very pleasing to the animals. This time was not quite the same, probably due to it being the hottest time of year. The animals were a bit lethargic, which is completely understandable. I was lethargic, too! Anna enjoyed the little farm animal petting zoo as much as anything!

They're all trying to get the best position, which cracked Anna up!

Aw, aren't the little piglets cute?

Gold Coast, QLD - Sea World

Another theme-park attraction at the Gold Coast is Sea World, similar to the ones in the states.

Anna got in the photo booth to get her pirate wanted poster made... I decided at the last minute to join her in the shot, so she looks appropriately mortified, lol!

What does everyone love at Sea World? The dolphins! Here are some doing somersaults in the air!

Wow, how would you like to be a dolphin trainer? Now, THAT's a cool job!

The dolphin show finale... very impressive!

This ride was fun. It went into an underground Bermuda Triangle kind of place that included aliens! Kind of a newer-themed haunted house sort of thing...

Sea World's version of the log ride. It was fun! You didn't really think I would show my screaming face on here, did you? C'mon... whaddaryou... kidden me?

Another favorite Sea World attraction, the Seal (or Sea Lion) show! It's amazing how they train these guys, eh?

Gold Coast, QLD - Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

A short drive from where we stayed was the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

I really like all the ferns and trees with the white bark.

These plants with the little red balls were pretty, very Christmassy-looking!

Here's a closer shot. They look like red wooden beads.

Mom, doesn't this look familiar? LOL!

Gold Coast, QLD - Australian Outback Adventure

The Australian Outback Spectacular is a dinner show that features cowboys, magnificent horses, cattle and camels. The audience is fed an aussie feast while watching the story of a competition between the stockmen and women from rival outback stations. There's a lot of audience participation, with each member supporting either Warrego Station or Bunya Downs. We had a fanstastic time! Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photos inside, as it might distract the horses and other animals. Just trust us... next time you're in Australia, this is a must-see!

They put a few horses out in the foyer each night before the show. It's hard to see, but this was a beautiful black stallion named "Ice". (They provide the hats for each guest.)

Anna with "Digger", one of the star cattle dogs in the show.

Gold Coast, QLD - Dreamworld

One of the big attractions at the Gold Coast is an amusement park called Dreamworld. Within the grounds, they have "Tiger Island", which is a better tiger display than most zoos have!

Here's a clip showing the tigers sitting up, as well as how big they really are!

This white tiger is a brother to the butterscotch colored one above. People get excited about white tigers - I guess because they are more rare. (We learned during the show that white tigers are *not* albino, contrary to popular belief.) Personally, I like the darker, more vibrantly colored ones!

Here's a clip of two tigers jumping high into the air! The handlers explained that they didn't realize the tigers would do this until one showed them this skill unexpectedly. They take the tigers on a walk around the park each day, on a leash, before the park opens. One morning they were on this routine walk when a peacock flew over the tiger. The tiger launched himself about 14 feet into the air to grab the peacock, lifting the trainer off the ground with him! (They are incredibly powerful animals.) The trainers were so impressed, they worked the behavior into the show. I suspect the peacock was less impressed.

Dreamworld has a cute little old west, outlaw area. Here's a wanted poster for a horse thief! I guess this one is "Crazy Kate".

Oh, looks like they got her! She's about to escape, though.

Uh-oh... looks like she's in trouble now...

Anna and Danny enjoyed this water rapids ride!

Here's another (professional) shot.

They had the usual dingos, roos, and emus. However, this was a really nice, natural environment for them. This looks like our area, here in the outback.

Hangin' out on the back porch

Check this out! We've never seen an emu sitting down before. I guess it just hadn't occurred to me that they might get tired, too!

This was very a very popular attraction, old Ford cars. Kids always like to drive, eh?

Ye old log ride, always a favorite!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gold Coast, QLD - Forbes Hall

This is the house we rented, at the base of Tamborine Mountain. It's called Forbes Hall and is huge and gorgeous! It's often rented for weddings. It has 5 bedrooms, but they gave us a deal since we only needed to use 2. It turned out they locked the other 3! I guess they didn't trust us. We weren't going to mess them up... I just wanted to see what they looked like.

The house has beautiful architecture. We loved the arched doorways, rounded walls, spiral staircase, etc.

We should have taken more still photos of the interior. (Anna did get a video, though... shown further down.)

This is the master bedroom, which looks out over the pool and a beautiful parcel of green, rainforest land. A kookaburra landed on the back fence one evening and made a heck of a racket! Of course, as soon as I got outside with the camcorder, it flew away. (BTW, you can see Anna's prized possessions on the bed. She reckoned this would be her room!)

Lovely buckskin horse next door.

This was the view looking out the front door. All that green and it never rained a day while we were there!

Here is a video Anna shot of the place. It's a bit wobbly, but it's fun to see and hear her perspective!

One morning, I looked out the window at the pool and noticed a bunch of little frogs trying to stay on a hose used by the auto-cleaning device! Danny got a bucket to help them get out. Later, after we got home, the owner called to thank us for staying, etc. Danny told her about the frogs and she said they were probably baby cane toads! But, I'm thinking, "So what? We're still not gonna let them drown!" Here's a little video clip of them. They're cute, don'cha think?