. Next the biggest Crocodile I have ever seen slid silently into the arena, it was absolutely massive. Again the host told us all about them and we watched as it's extremely large jaw and teeth devoured lumps of raw meat (not human), at one point one guy was dangling raw meat from above and the Croc jumped out of the water and snatched it from its grasp, they are one scary beast. After all that excitement we went for lunch and then to a Koala talk where we learnt all about the habits of the Koala and got to stroke one, they are one of the cutest animals ever. We then wandered around the rest of the zoo passing wombats being taken out for their daily stroll. Afterwards we queued for a photo with the Koala which are actually rather heavy to hold, had a quick wander around the gift shop and stopped to watch what looked like a trainee keeper feed the rather large croc (he looked more nervous than we did) before we headed back to Jeffs for more home brew, this time his dark ale (compliments to the brewer) and also met Cynthia.
The next day we went and watched Isikeli play rugby this turned into a bit of a drama as one of our team was injured and they had to call out the ambo (ambulance). Naturally Isikelis team won (well thrashed them 43 - 0). We drove up to Mount Coot-tha for a great view over Brisbane. Then it was back to the house for a big Sunday tea as Christina and family came over
. We took some photos and had a chat, they are all really lovely.
For our final day in Brisbane we were flying solo with the aid of Jeffs hand drawn map. We ventured alone and unaided into Brisbane city. After negotiating our way out of the train station we arrived at the Anzac Memorial in a park with strange trees which had large barrel shaped bottoms. We wandered past the shops to their main square where we had comedy pictures with large ball shaped sculptures. We crossed the river to the trendy southbank area also it was rumoured that it had a beach naturally as it was winter it was a building site. However there was a pagoda and we hadn't seen one of those for awhile, it was also covered in beautiful wooden carvings. We caught a seacat along the river to look at Brisbanes iconic bridge. Once we got off we wandered towards the train station stopping off for an emergency chocolate bar. Sarah managed to buy the longest four fingered Kitkat in the world, naturally we took a picture of it against Sarah's finger to demonstrate its length. Next stop was the 'Australians won't give a Castelmaine XXXX for anything else' brewary. Once inside the brewary we had a butchers at the shop while we waited for our tour to start. Our tour guide was a guy called Alf, first we learnt about the history of the brewary through the power of a moving platform and talking statues. We then wandered around the brewary to see the large tanks where the beer is made in, also I got to turn a large wheel which started off the lights on a diagram of how the beer is made, I'll admit it was a bit of a stretch but there was no need for a random woman to comment thus, tsk!!!
! Next was the bottle line, finally after our disappointment at the Fosters brewary the bottle line was working, there were hundreads of bottles whizzing about then being seperated and wrapped in cellophane and then carboard boxes positioned around them, fascinating stuff. Next was the best bit of the whole tour - free beer ;-) We got 4 pots of beer, the first was a brew unchanged since 1894 (or something like that), naturally we had a pic with each beer plus the XXXX maneqin (hottie) in the shop before finally at the train station when we were a little tipsy we had a comedy (well we thought it was) picture with the XXXX bag strap over our heads. We managed to make our way back to Jeffs where there was a lovely roast dinner with yorkshire puds awaiting us - thanks Jeff. After a few beers and a yarn it was off to bed as it was another early start the next day to get the bus to Surfers baby.
On Friday the 13th, we greyhounded it down to Brisbane, passing The Big Pineapple! We met Jeff (Aimee's Mum's cousin) at the bus station and caught the train back to Bald Hills. We met Mwanna, Emma & Isiklei (some of Jeff's children) and settled down with a tankard of home brew. Next day, Jeff took us to Australia Zoo (more commonly know as Steve Irwin Zoo) and as soon as we had walked in we saw a koala (yeay! as we had not seen one yet!). We strolled past the alligators making our way to the Croceseum for the infamous crocodile show. As we were early we stopped at the petting zoo to stroke a goat before taking our seats. Soon our Ozzie hosts in their trade mark Steve Irwin style shirts were taking centre stage. First they introduced us to a couple of elephants, then a whole loads of colourful birds were let into the arena, brightly colured parrots flew all around and right over our heads. Next one of our least favourite animals the snake was introduced. A box load of them were bought in and laid on the grass and round the snake teams shoulders while the host told us all and any would be wildlife warriors about the snake and the problems they face