When we awoke yesterday morning, the ship was being piloted into the harbor at Port Adelaide. It was a perfect summer day in the capital city of the state of South Australia. We were excited to leave the ship and head out to Cleland Wildlife Park. This park opened in 1967 and allows visitors to get close to the animals in large enclosures. Some of these areas are so large that it seems that the animals are totally in the wild. Australia has such a diverse menagerie of wildlife and we were thrilled to get the chance to spend the morning with some of these exotic creatures, many of whom are only found in Australia. Strange as it may sound, as we age and as we travel more, we find that we have a stronger attraction to nature and wildlife and are less attracted to museums and city tours.
We loved seeing kangaroos. Below is a picture of one of the many in the park, and below that is a picture of one just chilling.
The koalas were absolutely adorable! Normally, for an extra fee, park visitors are allowed to hold one of the koalas for a photo. Unfortunately, right now they have a rash due to the summer heat, so they are rather cranky and drowsy, so no holding was allowed. There guys live about fifteen years in the park and about ten years in the wild. They sleep an average of eighteen hours a day, almost as much as your basic house cat!
We saw emus and wallabys, too. What fun it was to see a Tasmanian Devil and a dingo. The Tasmanian Devil was in a small enclosure and we had no desire to climb the fence for a closer look. The dingo is Australia’s wild dog. Many people are very afraid of them, but apparently they will not attack people. I don’t know if the devil will attack and wasn’t about to test him.
The park has several unique aviaries. Our favorite was the swamp aviary. We were blown away by the size of the Australian pelican (below). There was a plethora of exotic birds and I will include some of our favorite pictures. Today we will be heading out to an adventure called “Wine and Wildlife.” What’s not to love about that?