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Looking for animal encounters in the following cities....

Looking for animal encounters in the following cities....

Nov 28th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 890
Looking for animal encounters in the following cities....

We will be on a cruise in January with port stops as follows:
Bay of Islands, NZ
Auckland, NA
Picton, NZ
Lyttelton (Christchurch) NZ
Port Chalmers (Dunedin) NZ
Hobart, Tasmania, AU
Phillip Island, AU
Melbourne, AU
Sydney, AU
Hamilton Cove/Great Barrier Reef, AUS
Cairns, AU

As an animal lover, if possible I'd love to see (or even hold) a koala bear, see kangaroos, etc. as well as see an actual sheep farm and sheep dogs herding. Any recommendations for these activities in the above ports? Are these doable as independent travelers or should we look into day excursions?

Aside from my animal interest...other must do's in one day at any of these port stops for a first time visitor?

Thank you very much for any suggestions!

petlover is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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You could go dolphin swimming or watching in the Bay of Islands; I think you'd have to go farther inland to see a sheep farm in NZ, possibly around Hamilton or at the Agrodome in Rotorua.

There's been a recent thread about penguin watching near Dunedin; if you scroll down the page you'll find it.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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hi petlover, in some Australian states the holding or cuddling of koalas by the public(just to be pedantic they're not bears, but marsupials) is illegal. There are 2 parks in Cairns area which still allow it - Cairns Tropical Zoo and Koala Gardens in Kuranda - you could easily include the latter in a Skyrail/Kuranda Scenic train daytrip. Am sure you would be able to book this from your ship.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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Just noticed that counter did not work for above posting nor did it come to the top - just seeing if it works this time.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 28th, 2004, 09:21 PM
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For Melbourne you could visit the Melbourne Zoo which is a short tram ride from the city or Healesville Sanctuary which is quite a long way from the city (you could do it on an organised day trip or hire a car). Healesville specialises in Australian wildlife and has certain times for animal feeding, you could check on their website if you particularly wanted to see the koala feeding or platypus, etc.
At Phillip Island the big attraction is the fairy penguins which come out at dusk/night. There are usually hordes of tourists there. There are bus tours from the city, if you drive down yourself suggest you stay overnight, there's lots of accommodation. You can also see fairy penguins near St Kilda which is close to the city, there is a trip that leaves from Southbank. At Phillip Is there is also a Koala Conservation Park where we saw about 12 koalas. As far as I know, you can't touch them but some were very close for photos.
The only place I can think of for sheep dog herding would be the Royal Melbourne Show which is an agricultural show on every September. Maybe next time?
KayF is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Petlover,

This may sound like a crazy idea but, if you're reasonably confident of being able to see koalas elsewhere, e.g., Cairns, you might consider a camel ride outside of Melbourne.

You would need to get from Melbourne to Mansfield (2.5 hours' drive). You can do a camel ride of any length, but I would recommend 3.5 - 4 hours, as this would give you enough time to ride through some of the local countryside and stop somewhere to have a picnic lunch or "Billy Tea" with your guide.

We did this with Steve of High Country Camel Treks. Sure, I had a sore bottom afterwards, but the experience has been one of the highlights of my life.

Camels aren't indigenous to Australia, but on the other hand many of them have escaped from captivity and are living in the wild, as is the case with many other species. And, after all, sheep and sheep dogs are no more native to Australia than camels are.

If you're interested, here is Steve and Lise's website:


Unfortunately they don't have an e-mail address, and you would need to phone or fax them. If you're in North America, you'd need to dial


that is


Keep in mind that Melbourne is in Australia's Eastern Time Zone (presently on Daylight Savings). Hence it's 11 hours ahead of GMT.

I'm in the North American Mountain Time Zone, on Standard Time, so I'm 7 hours behind GMT.

That means Melbourne is 18 hours ahead of me. I find it easier to think in terms of the fact that Melbourne is 6 hours behind me, but on the next day.

If I want to call someone on Australia's east coast, I usually wait until, say, 3 pm. At this time of year that's 9 am in their time zone. Then I know I'm not waking them up in the middle of the night.

That info is just in case you're interested.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Not much use to you, petlover, because you're ship isn't docking there, but for others that may be interested The Australian Woolshed near Brisbane is a place to see sheep shearing and sheep dog work. There was also one near Cairns which is now defunct, I always wondered why it was ever put there as the tropics is not sheep country.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 30th, 2004, 06:19 AM
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Thank you for the great info!
petlover is offline  

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