Our long awaited trip to Western Plains Zoo started at 4am in the morning. With a 6 hour drive ahead of us we decided to make the most of the 2 days and one night (in the plush tent) by setting out at 5am in the morning. With printed directions in hand (we are yet to join the satellite navigation generation) and the children bundled into the car we set off. We were barely out of the driveway when Leo piped up with "watch an animal movie" Leo loves David Attenbourgh documentaries, so we put on an animal movie, something soothing and tame for 5am, by that I mean "no lions hugging and kissing gazelles....!!!" After a quick breakfast at McDonalds and a fuel stop we were well and truly on our way. The drive to Dubbo is a little monotonous, sheep, cows and more sheep and cows, I was starting to tire of these domesticated animals and was longing to see some wild animals (surrounded by fences) after a few more hours of David Attenbourgh's soothing voice chatting away in the background, we found ourselves driving through the gates of Western Plains Zoo. With our map in hand and a very gusty hot Westerly wind blowing we headed straight for the Black Rhino, then the Hippo who was very lazy and just lay in the sun. After looking at the Gibbons and the funny Wombat we proceeded to our tent,and unpacked. A zebra striped minibus arrived and took us to meet the 3 boy giraffes, which was the highlight for me as they ate the carrots from our hands with their big long curly tongues. Then we were whisked off to see the tiger have his dinner, wow I'm glad I was on the other side of the cage, he wasn't very friendly. The zebra striped minibus took us back to our tent and for Leo this was probably the highlight of the zoo, he unfortunately didn't want to get off the bus (we quickly realised he had never been on a bus before) after a lot of convincing we finally got him off!
Day 2: A 6am "rise and shine" to a wonderful sound of animal calls got us off to a great start. We headed straight to the minibus (a full 20 minutes early, Leo just couldn't wait) and the first stop was hand feeding the black rhino, this was fantastic, then onto the Galapagos Tortoises, a little boring for me, well what can you expect from an animal that has a top speed of 3km per hour! Our final port of call was the Meercats, everyones favorite, then we were heading back to our tent for a quick breakfast, check out and a last cycle around the zoo before heading back home. A wonderful 2 days away, now my mind is swimming with ideas of a real safari in Tanzania.........I think we are a long way from this but who knows!