Early in the morning I arrived at Brisbane Airport, and after my suitcase got x-rayed and examined - contact lenses look really suspicious! - we headed for the Glasshouse Mountains. The mountains are listed as World Heritage. Standing up to 300m high and ethereally shaped, the Aborigines traditionally believe these peaks to be a family of mountain spirits, they are surrounded by national parks and little rivers. The Aboriginal legend about this family and how the rivers were born is quite sad.
But let's talk about more happy things as my experiences in Queensland have only been happy ones so far. The Tourism Queensland booked a cottage for me with an amazing view of the Glasshouse Mountains. I have never seen anything like it in my life! I seriously had tears in my eyes, it was so beautiful! I am not kidding you. The cottages were just perfect, very simple, very Bauhaus, but very modern and luxurious while and at the same time sustainable. Is there possibly more you could ask for?! The floor-to-ceiling glass walls and large open decks overlooked kangaroos grazing in front of the cottages, behind them the lush woods of the Hinterland and in the distance the two grandest Glasshouse Mountains: Mount Beerwah and Mount Coonowrin! Check it out on: www.glassonglasshouse.com.au
More excitement was in store though! We visited the Australian Zoo. What a great legacy Steve Irwin left! I had the best time ever in a zoo and let me tell you, I usually really don't like zoos. I haven't been to one in ten years, because they are so upsetting. But in the Australian Zoo the enclosures are really big and well kept, the birds truly have space to fly and the zoo gets really involved with protecting the animals in the wild. If you want to help as well, support them by checking out www.savestevesplace.com and sign their online petition. In the picture I am holding an one year old alligator! Surprisingly cute and fragile! Here Wayne Poole, an expert guide of the Australian Zoo, is explaining to me how alligators are more romantic lovers than koalas. They blow bubbles underneath the female's belly for weeks before mating. That is why they are my favourites and deserved a picture in my blog! Even though I also petted koalas, kangaroos, a wombat and echidnas (not really petted them! But they licked an insect cocktail off my hands!). What a great first day in Australia that was! I really thought it couldn't get any better.