Family reunion in New South Wales (part 2)

Monday morning (13 April) we headed out early to drive north to Port Stephens. Our destination was Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters. Sadly Hayley had to work so it was just the five of us. We arrived around 11am and got checked in.

Jamie, Jack and Adam got changed into their wetsuits and we went through into the facility. We were given a talk about the rays and sharks in the enclosure and the boys walked into the shallow water to get up close and personal.

Richard and I walked the perimeter but we also fed some rays and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Afterwards we headed to the local tavern for lunch which was nice.

After lunch we headed over to Birubi Beach, Anna Bay, which is a lovely place with sand dunes and even camel rides. It was pretty chilly and windy but we had fun anyway finishing up with ice creams before piling back into the car for the long drive back.

Back at the house we had a quiet evening in.

On Tuesday we remained local and headed out to Terrigal to buy some doughnuts which, according to Jack, were the best ever! Well, we were sceptical, but having made our purchase and sitting on the sea wall eating them, we had to agree with him LOL. We then moved up to the Haven and the boys enjoyed playing on the rocky shore.

Back at the house it was lovely that Hayley was now on holiday with us and. for the evening, we had a mezze-style selection for dinner before turning in.

Wednesday morning we headed out in the cars to drive north again to visit Hunter Valley Zoo. It was pretty busy as we queued up to enter. We picked up bags of feed and first to check out were the koalas. One was actually awake and eating which makes a change! We then headed into the aviary where we met some very friendly (and hungry) parrots.

We then had close up encounters with goats, sheep, deer and saw lots of other species including hand feeding some kangaroos. They even had white ones here, which was the first time we had seen them.

We then took a break at one of the BBQ areas and cooked our lunch. Afterwards we headed over to see the alligators, camels, more goats and the ostriches.

Then it was on to see the white lions. We assumed that they were probably albinos but, in fact, it is a specific genetic strain from a part of Africa where the sand is whiter and they are more camouflaged because of the colour of their coat. So many animals….but our favourite had to be the baby orphaned monkey who was abandoned at birth and was currently being hand reared.

Leaving the zoo we headed back in the cars to the house and enjoyed another relaxing evening in after another great family day out.

And that’s it for now….there are lots more adventures to report in Part 3. Take care everybody, hope you are enjoying the continued easing of restrictions at home, and please stay safe. And to make you smile this week is another picture of our best friend Budd who does like to squish us on a regular occasion LOL.