It is easy to find exotic animals in Australia. Just look around.
I don’t know why anyone would go to a zoo in Australia. The entire country seems to be one giant zoo … albeit one without cages.
Many of the wild, exotic, etc animals of this country — that you would normally attribute to being the stuff of exotic pet shops — are incredibly easy to spot. You just have to show up and look around. Many seem to have very little fear of humans — some even walk or fly right up to you. Perhaps they know that they live in a country of muesili eaters.
This was probably the thing about Australia that surprised me the most. Yeah, I know that the entire gamut of wild, colorful looking animals live on this continent but I didn’t know how close they got to human settlements. People and wildlife live together here.
This surprise exhibited itself from the start. Day one on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, a brazenly colored parrot took a seat next to me at a picnic table as I was eating my lunch.
I did the tourist thing, jumped up, cocked my camera, and let the photos fly. I then sheepishly looked around to see if anyone was watching me. Perhaps to my relief I saw some locals responding in the same way. I guess everybody appreciates parrots here.
There are also these huge monitor lizards that get remarkably close to the places where people live. In my scant few days here I’ve already seen two. They were around four and a half feet long a piece and are easy to spot: you just have to look for the birds freaking out. Monitors eat eggs; birds attack monitors.
There was also a cockatoo flying around Milton, beautifully colorful birds in the parking lot of Pebbly Beach, and mobs of kangaroos roving wherever they wish, hopping right into the centers of villages.
This is the reason why you travel to Australia. No, this is the reason why you travel anywhere: to experience places, situations, and things that you’ve never experienced before.