The Ultimate Wildlife Adventure with VIP Treatment
This photo was taken by our guide during our private Animal Extravaganza. This gorgeous male Koala and I had a treasured cuddle. 31 January 2015
I was stoked when I found out I was going to be going on my very own Australia Zoo Plantinum Adventure.
My partner and I had the most wonderful day at Australia Zoo on a VIP Platinum Zoo Adventure, which caters for true wildlife enthusiasts like the two of us. It was a dream come true for me, as you will see. I am a huge animal lover and care deeply about our wildlife.
The Platinum Zoo Adventure is about connecting with wildlife in a personal way through behind-the-scenes encounters. It is all about receiving extreme VIP treatment, guided tours, and most important, the undivided attention of the animal and their expert keepers. This VIP package also includes an exclusive Platinum Photography Package, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, smile and enjoy your very own personalised animal experience of a lifetime!
We arrived before 9am and met our lovely tour guide, Natasha. She was professional, bubbly and incredibly knowledgable. She made us feel welcome and at ease as she showed us to our own private buggy for our Platinum Zoo Adventure.
Photos taken by me at our Platinum Zoo Adventure. Here you will see images of Steve Irwin from the front of Australia Zoo, our buggy, the Wildlife Hospital and animals from the Wildlife Warriors Show in the Crocoseum. 31 January 2015
Our first stop was Australia Zoo's Wildlife Hospital. As VIPs we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the wildlife hospital, where we were able to view some of the wildlife that had been admitted for care. They look after all manner of wildlife with the help of carers and volunteers. They keep an extremely professional facility and pride themselves on the care they give to wildlife. I found out that when an animal is admitted, the staff attempt to find out the area that it was found so that once it has recovered, it can then be reintroduced to its natural environment.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital have areas for surgery, before and aftercare, quarantine areas and a display that visitors can view when they come to the zoo. Out the back, thanks to the VIP tour, we were allowed to see the koalas that were in stages of care and rehabilitation prior to reintroduction to their natural habitat.
They have a special nursery for koala joeys who have lost their mothers and the staff do everything they can to help these little koalas learn, grow and adapt to life, readying them for reintroduction to their natural habitat.
After the hospital tour, we had a delicious morning tea. We chose carrot cake and a coffee, but the options were numerous.
Then, it was time for our Private Animal Extravaganza experience. This was a fantastic opportunity to meet the keepers who care for each of the animals who represent their species. They provided us with education on the animals and allowed us to connect with each animal in a personal way.
We had one-to-one time with:
A male Koala - he had a natural eucalyptus smell which I enjoyed - we had a very special cuddle
A sweet Shingleback Lizard - I loved holding this little one
A laid back and sweet-potato-loving Wombat
A very relaxed and loving Dingo
A wide-eyed and alert Barking Owl
A corn-munching, sweet, wide-eyes Brush-tail Possum
An Echidna with a tongue that measures up to 18cms in length.
Here's a collage of some of the animals we had time with:
This is a collage of the photos taken by our tour guide, at my request, so I could also capture photos from our Private Animal Extravaganza experience. We also have many wonderful professional photos of this special experience. 31 January 2015
This time we spent with the animals was so special to me and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Until the Platinum Zoo Adventure, I had never held a koala, touched a dingo or fed a tortoise. This was a day of firsts and worth every cent, as I am huge lover of animals and conservation.
It was time to enter the VIP area of the Crocoseum and watch the Wildlife Warriors show. Here, we were introduced to birds of prey, a dingo exhibiting what we need to do if anyone were bitten by a snake, a condor, macaws, a snake and crocs!
Here are photos from the VIP area of the Crocoseum, taken by Selina Shapland, 31 January 2015
We had a fun Tortoise encounter with two gentle giants. I was told that when you rub their shell they can feel it. One of these big boys loved munching on watermelon and sweet potato and the other loved getting a scratch on his legs. During that leg scratch, the tortoise rose up to allow us more room to give him a better rub. It was a very special experience.
These images were taken by our guide so that I could get down and be with the Tortoise. We also had professional photos taken too. This is a great encounter and worth doing. 31 January 2015
My favourite one-to-one encounter of the day was the Echidna Encounter. We were taken into the enclosure and had professional photos taken with the echidna on a log while he ate his sticky food. I learned that to pat an echidna, you need to start at the front of the head area and sweep down toward their tail. Yes, they do have a tail!
I thoroughly enjoyed this encounter as the little guy snuggled up on my lap and licked the food off my fingers. His long tongue darting through my fingers to pick up the food - yummy (to him). This quiet time together gave me an opportunity to see his big ears, his small eyes with fine eyelashes and to feel his prickles. If you follow the keeper's instructions, this is an amazing experience. I know that I will never forget this special experience.
Photos of me with this gorgeous male echidna were taken by our guide at my request. We had fantastic professional photos taken too. 31 January 2015
Lunchtime was a feast to behold with options from seafood, to curry puffs, sandwiches with meat and vegetarian fillings, a fruit platter and some scrumptious caramel and lemon meringue pie.
Our fantastic meal, included in the Platinum Zoo Adventure. The food was delicious, however, if you have special dietary requirements, it is a good idea to advise them in advance. Photo taken by me, 31 January 2015
Then it was off to meet DJ the Rhino. He is over 2 tonne and a giant. We had time giving him a rub up high on his back while he munched. He was a beautiful boy and so relaxed around his adoring fans.
Here we are giving DJ the Rhino a special scratch. His skin was rough and covered with dried mud, just like all respectable Rhinos. Our tour guide was kind enough to take this photo for me. We also had a professional photographer taking shots too. 31 January 2015
After our trip out to meet DJ the Rhino, we came back in to the main zoo area and met up with the Dingo crew.
We had a private Dingo encounter and as you can see, both of us had a fabulous time with our native dingo friends. They were so good and beautifully soft to touch. This experience was a highlight for me.
Our private Dingo encounter. While the professional photographer was taking shots, I asked our tour guide to snap a couple too. Here we are surrounded by very well behaved dingos. 31 January 2015
Our last animal encounter was with a beautiful female Tiger. I was not allowed to bring my bag or camera inside as this would have been a distraction for the tiger. The amazing zoo keepers provided me with a safe spot to leave my belongings and we went in to the small photo studio where she was waiting on the stage for us.
The keepers took us through the safety protocols and advised us to be deliberate in our movements; to only approach as instructed, with one of the keepers at all times. We each had an opportunity to come up and kneel down with this magnificent tiger. Both of us had time to firmly run our hands down her back; from just under the shoulder blades to the tail. Her body was sleek, powerful and lean. Her fur was soft and had stunning black stripes as well as some small black spots in the burnt orange. They gave her a milk and water treat which she happily licked while my partner and I had time with her and professional photos taken.
Here is one of our photos from this incredibly special animal encounter.
This photo was taken by the professional photographer from Australia Zoo, as we sat with this magnificent tiger. 31 January 2015
Our Platinum Zoo Adventure completed with a spot of shopping and picking up the stunning professional photos taken during our experiences.
This is a package that is action packed, filled with experiences that are unique and a platinum photography package too. If you are a true animal lover, a wildlife warrior and conservation carer, then this is a experience to save your pennies for and go on.
The staff are professional, friendly and caring of both you and the very special animals that they care for.
I had the most amazing time and I will treasure the experiences and the photos for the rest of my life.