Guest post by Sydney Zeldes, Foster Undergraduate who participated in an exchange with the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.
Australia is far, far away from everything else, or so it seems sometimes. The animals here are particularly strange, and certainly a big draw for tourists.
Most importantly, there are marsupials. I believe that the marsupials warrant their own blog post, for being adorable and original. Wallabies are the cutest animals in the country. Wallabies, though a different species, look like tiny kangaroos.
Over spring break, we took a camper van inland from Carins, stopping the camp at Granite Gorge. 25 years ago, my parents visited Granite Gorge and met the owner of the campsite, who had been training a colony of wild rock wallabies to eat oatmeal out of his hand. The wallabies were shy, but liked the food and realized that humans were friendly.
25 years later, the wallabies were still a wild colony, and the campground had a front office and some trails through the rock for a scenic walk surrounded by wallabies.
We took handfuls of oatmeal and walked out to the rocks where the wallabies lived. They came and ate oatmeal out my hand, not seeming to mind being petted, and climbing into my lap. We even saw mom wallabies with baby wallabies still in the pouches. I fell in love and decided one needed to come home with me. While it is very illegal to take home a wallaby, I do have many pictures (see above, below).
If you are ever down under, don’t miss the marsupials.