Sunday, May 17, 2009

Work function at Perth Zoo

Last Sunday we had a trip to the Zoo for a work family day BBQ, this involved tickets to the zoo and a fenced off area on the main lawn for lunch (11.30 - 2.30). We arrived at the zoo around 9am to do some sightseeing before the crowds arrived and I am really pleased that we did as nearer the middle of the day it got really busy.

Perth Zoo is based in the middle of South Perth, just 5 minutes from the CBD and it is really close to the Swan River. The zoo is really easy to get too and at times it is amusing to be looking at the orangutans, for example, and then seeing an apartment building overlooking the enclosure.

Perth Zoo is arranged in the following sections:
  • Australian Walkabout;
  • Australian wetlands;
  • Reptile enclosure;
  • Asian Rainforest;
  • African Savannah
  • South American Birds; and
  • Nocturnal house.
They had so many different animals to check out!!! Here I am at the start of the day just hanging with the kanga...

And here's Jason hanging with his brother... check out his face. He is really excited to be having this photo... not. Slightly reminiscent of the bear shots in Canada.We started in the Australian Wetlands and the penguins. They are pretty noisy and smelly actually, but they looked like they were having lots of fun playing around in the water.
Can't recall what this bird was called...but they were good for photos.
So were these birds.

We were still in the Australian wetlands, here are some Spoonbills:
We left the wetlands and moved into the Australian Bushwalk and walkabout. Hmmm the Aussies didn't appreciate the "Dingo stole my baby" calls. This fellow didn't even bat an eyelid though. P.s. there was also a thick layer of glass between us and him... lucky for a good camera, but Ken and Rona's polarising lens may have come in handy at times as well.An Emu in the walkabout area...
We were the only ones in the bird area, so I managed to get lots of photos of all the birds. We were in the cages with them as well so we could get some good photos without glass, perspex and wires. Here is a Kingfisher:
An amazingly pretty blue bird...I have hundreds of shots of these.
This little fellow is a thick knee wren, but actually the ankles are
Out of the bird cage and back into the Aussie Bush... and here were the Kangaroos... very docile
And happy to be approached.
Just some random monkeys up a tree in the middle of the pond... very playful.
What would a trip to the zoo be without some shots of pretty flowers...
Its been a while since I have been inspired to take shots of flowers so I was so pleased to see some pretty things while at the Zoo. I generally find Aussie pretty stark and hard to photograph so far so I was in my element until Jason told me people thought I looked like a dork taking photos of plants...
We visited the nocturnal house next, but no photos there as it was dark. It was fun trying to spot all the animals though. There were spiders, bats, snakes, frogs and many more...

Then we got to check out the lemurs.

Is it a monkey... is it a bird??? Not sure, but he sure is weird.
Another closer shot of the lemur.
Ohhhhh Mummy and Baby monkey hanging out. This was so cute to watch. Look at the baby monkeys hands... so cute.
And then on to my favourite part of the Zoo... the Orangutan enclosure. This was AMAZING!!! They had heaps of things for them to play on and it was an awesome place to hang out.

Ohhhhhh a little baby going up the climbing ropes...
Nearly there...
Hmmm do you think that the leaf helps him balance along the rope walk...
After the orangutans we really noticed how busy the Zoo was... so many people and it was pram city... families with kids everywhere. We figured that it was probably near the middle of the day so we headed off to the main lawn area for our work picnic.

We had an area fenced off just for the IMO which was great. A few comments about being animals in a Zoo as everyone was checking us out. The bbq was great, there was an entertainer for the kids, a great meal and good company. Our drinks cart held a great array of beer, wine and soft drinks, all on ice (which was good as it was still about 25 degrees... in the middle of May!!). Lucnh was beautiful fresh bread, steak, gourmet sausages, chicken, fish, potato wedges and some awesome salads. We topped lunch off with a great simple icecream.

The best thing was we were having lunch over the busy time of the day and by the time we had finished the zoo's visitor's population had diminished somewhat which was good.

After lunch we were off again.

Hehehe another flower shot.
I had to do it to Jason... he hates these shots, but I did manage to catch him smiling in this one.
It was hard to get good photos of the tigers... sorry for the reflection off the glass.
The elephant came out to play for us... our timing was great...
He's making short work of the piece of wood.
After the elephant we were onto the baboons... here they were picking lice from each other.
And then something so awesome... we managed to see the rhinocerous's squaring off against each other... running around at full speed (about 40kmh). I wouldn't want to be in the way, thats for sure.

The zebras.
The giraffe, just as it was heading back into a closed off part of the zoo.
and the galapogas turtle.... huge!!! Slow moving and check out the green goo around his mouth...
I had nearly 300 photos from the zoo so I couldn't put them all up here. Some of the other animals that I haven't put photos up were:

  • Cassowaries
  • Cheetahs
  • Cockatoos
  • Crocodiles ( a massive 8m crocodile!!!)
  • Echidnas
  • Frogs
  • Hyaenas
  • Koalas (pretty boring really.... just lazy balls of fluff)
  • Lions (apparantly out playing and really photogenic just before lunch but we missed our opportunity)
  • Meerkats (too many kids checking out the meerkats to get any good photos)
  • Numbats
  • Otters
  • Painted Dogs (similar looking to hyaenas)
  • Red Pandas
  • Reptiles (the reptile enclosure wasn't open when we went past early in the morning and we forgot to go back at the end of the day)
  • Sun Bears (again too busy to get any good photos)
  • Tasmanian Devils
  • Tree Kangaroo
  • Wallabies

So all in all a pretty amazing zoo really. I am not usually a fan of Zoos but this one is pretty awesome, lots of space for the animals and the enclosures are made to be very similar to their natural habitat so they all look at home, no really awful concrete enclosures here.

A great day and an awesome idea for a work function.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jason's parent's visit...

The day after the busso half ironman Jason and I went to the prizegiving... after a minor heart attack when I was accidently disqualified from the results I sorted it all out and I got my prize for second in my age group. After the prizegiving Jason, his parents and I headed off on a road trip through Margaret River, Augusta and Dunsborough. We started the day with lunch at Margaret River while we planned the day's winery stops.

First up was Xanadu Winery ( about 5 min from Margaret River.I decided that if I was to marry Jason again I would like to get married here. It was lovely and peaceful (and the wine was nice too). I especially liked the dessert wine and Jason and his dad got a couple of good reds. So first stop, and 4 bottles of wine bought.

After Xanadu, we headed off to the next stop... Watershed Wines.This was another great spot (even with the controlled burn offs happening all through the wine region. Check out the website: ( This was another venue that would be great for a wedding...

Time for another coffee... I was very proud to resist the numerous cakes, muffins, cookies and cheesecakes on offer.
A few wine purchases later and we were off again. We did a similar road trip to what Jason and I did late last year when we were down south for the Busselton Ironman. This day was a totally different day to the first time we experienced the trip. There was controlled burning everywhere so it was smoky and there was no real visibility.

We took the car off road again and I was just as scared as the first time... perhaps even more so... much to the amusement of the boys in the car.

Check out my feet... I love it... this reminds me of how my feet were everyday when I was growing up!! Always dirty!!!!
Here we are down at Augusta.
On the way back from Augusta (along Caves Rd) we stopped at the Flying Fish Cove winery, Jason's Parent's yacht is called Flying Fish so this stop was a must!!!
A few more tastings at the Flying Fish, a couple of bottles purchased and we were on our way home. All in all a great day.

The following day we headed home the long-ish and scenic way. We stopped in both Bunbury and Mandurah. What a stunning day we were treated to... especially after the smoke filled previous days.
Just another Autumn day in Perth :-) here we are heading to the coffee shop in Bunbury.
Bunbury is about 1.5 - 2 hours south of Perth and is situated on a peninsula, almost entirely surrounded by water. It was so nice in Bunbury, and I can see why people would choose to live there, although it was far too far to commute to Perth on a daily basis in my opinion.After the mandatory coffee stop we went up the tower in Bunbury to check the views out.

After Bunbury it was off to Mandurah for lunch...Mandurah is about 60 min south of Perth. Here we are in the car trip... I'm obviously getting sick of driving by now, hehehe.
After Mandurah we headed back to Perth as the Papps' rental car needed to go back and I had work on the Tuesday. Jason took the Tuesday off and introduced Ken and Rona to Perth, including lunch at Hillary's Marina, a trip to IKEA and a drive through some of our favourite suburbs.

That night we were treated to dinner at Coco's in South Perth mmmmmmm (

Wow, it was YUMMY!! For my main I had a free range corn fed whole baby chicken (boneless), marinated in garlic & olive oil, grilled with cumin roasted chick peas, honey & grain mustard dressing, served with fresh rocket leaves & lemon and dessert was a nectarine and blueberry pie, a great blend of katanning nectarines and plump blueberries baked in a sweetcrust case with golden peaks of meringue. Jason made the mistake of saying he didn't want any dessert... so I ate it ALL!!! He was then pretty disappointed that I didn't share with him.

Here we are at dinner:
And here's the Perth skyline from the South Perth side. This was essentially our view at dinner.
After a week at work we had a busy weekend planned. This is out of order on the blog but on the Sunday we went out to Rottnest Island. This sunday was the first overcast day for a while. Here's Jason on the ferry, just leaving the city.
The city scape.
The sky was doing great things.

After nearly 2 hours of travelling down the Swan River checking out how the rich poeple live we arrived on Rottnest Island. First stop was a coffee and a close up encounter with the Quokkas (a small marsupial about the size of a domestic cat).

We then decided to hire some local bikes in order to get round the island. The bikes are certainly not what we are used to at all... totally rusty, the gears were not great and they were heavy! But it was heaps of fun.

Here's our first stop.
The overcast day made for some great shots as well.

Here's the family on the bikes...

Jason's being a bit naughty not having his helmet done up. Mind you, other than island authorities there are no cars on the island so not too much chance of meeting a car. Although the bike traffic is very heavy and there is also the island bus as well.
Jason on the high quality bike :-) Just like the tri last weekend hehehe

We found a cool rock for some cool photos...Managed to get the self timer going properly as well!
Me and Jas up close.
Another of the many coves on the island.

This is where Rona and I had a swim. It was great, totally refreshing and the water was soooooo clear.
Jason and Ken at the very end of the Island. Rona and I had already started heading back and we were aiming to meet at Little Salmon Bay.
After a big day cycling round the island (which is most definitely not flat) and it was time for a well earned drink at the bar while we waited for our ferry to depart).

After we got back into Perth I got a few shots of the ferris wheel at night. Something I had been meaning to do for a while.

Sorry for the blog being out of order but here's the Saturday... we started with brunch at the Blue Duck in North Cottesloe Beach and a great walk down to Cottesloe. Here we are on the rock wall.
After the morning at the beach we took Rona and Ken round the bike course that we had been doing training for the Busso half. This drive included a stop at the Mundaring Weir, the town's main water supply...
Mmmmmm how long has it been since you have had a frosty boy!!!!

That's chocolate dipped flake cone for me thanks :-)

Mmmmm and its nearly gone.

All in all a pretty awesome week with Jason's parents.