If it weren't for the Great Ocean Road Tour from Autopia Tours I would have never had the experience of feeding kangaroos and watching Native Australian Animals at probably the closest range possible at Maru Koala and Animal Park. The visit to the zoo was peanuts in front of this.
Australian Native Animals
There are a number of Similar Animal Parks all over Melbourne. I am not sure how good they are but this one is pretty darn good. You can buy Feed for the animals at the reception and other souvenirs too. I bought a box of the feed and It was more than enough for feeding all the animals. Since there are other people doing the same, a little bit feed per animal is enough. There were Emu's, Sheep, Alpaca, Mule that I could feed through a fence.
Needless to say I fed the kangaroos too. Kangaroos and wallaby's were roaming freely in a rather large enclosure and people were feeding them. I spotted this Kangaroo with a baby in its pouch. I was able to get very close to them and I noticed their claws. Those looked very dangerous. But they seemed very peaceful. Watching a bunch of kangaroos run was a delight. It is so unique, I have seen that on TV but nothing can match the real thing. And there was this albino kangaroo which was the center of attraction.
While Kangaroos are cool Koalas are absolutely cute. The pictures just don't do justice. Watching them eat or sleep makes you realize why children love them. Here you can go up close to the Koala's and feed them. Koala's are very interesting animals actually. They are extremely laid back in their movement. Koala's are very finicky about their diet. There are around 700 varieties of Eucalyptus Trees in Australia and Koala's eat only the leaves of 3 of them. And that's all they eat. They do not even drink water. The word Koala in the Australian Aboriginal language means - No Water. As if this wasn't enough Koala's sleep for 20 hours a day and eat during the rest. What a life isn't it. When a baby Koala is born it stays in mothers pouch for 6-9 months and then when its too big Mother Koala carries the baby on her back. Initially the baby Koala only drinks the milk of the Mother Koala and then eventually eats Eucalyptus leaves that the mother has chewed . Eucalyptus leaves are actually poisonous and this is how the Koala gets used to digesting the poisonous leaves. Another peculiar behavious of Koalas is that they climb on to a tree and keep eating the leaves till all the leaves are gone and the tree is dead. This results in a patch of forest where you see dead Eucalyptus trees. All done by the Koala's. These in summer catch fire and burn down. And new trees come up.
I have seen Peacocks dancing in India a number of times so this wasn't a big deal that way. But the biggest difference was that this time there was no fence. I could have touched the dancing peacock if i stretched my arms. But of course I didn't want to scare the poor bird.
These were just the nice and cute animals, but there are other not so cuddly ones. When I saw the Tasmanian Devil having his lunch, I totally got why its called the Devil. There were Wolves and some lizards as well.