We’d decided to stay a few days in Denmark. As it was Labour Day weekend in Australia, the parks were predicted to be busy. We didn’t want to risk not being able to book into the next one so we thought we’d do a bit of exploring around the town as we’d seen a lot of touristy things to do on the drive in.
We decided the first thing we would do would be the Scotsdale Tourist Drive. Australia is a great place for tourist’s as they’ve plotted out drives for you to take which incorporate all the sites and places to visits. The first stop on the drive was the Alpaca Farm. As we entered the office to pay there was a list of all the animals that the farm homed and there was a lot more than just Alpaca’s. Barry was finally going to get to see a Koala – he’d never seen one in the flesh before! I’d also learnt that he didn’t even know what a dingo was – he thought it was some kind of mini kangaroo! But that’s another story, there were no dingos at the Alpaca farm…
Once we were in, we were given a couple of bags of food and told we could feed the animals. Flashbacks of me being bitten by a goose at the farm as a small child came back to haunt me – I wasn’t sure I would be able to do this! The first animal we came across were the koalas. There were two and they were very sleepy as they sleep for 18 hours a day and they only eat eucalyptus so there was no feeding to be done with these. Next stop was the goats and cows. There were signs warning you that the goats were greedy and would just grab for your food bag. Barry quickly saw this for himself as he put his hand out filled with grub and they all charged towards him to get a bite. The poor little cow didn’t stand a chance as this goat just kept head butting them all out the way. I wasn’t about to stick my hand in there!
We moved onto the rabbit and gerbil pen, where you could actually get into the cage with them all. This was a lot less scary than the crazy goats, so in we got and I was able to stroke the rabbits. Moving on, Barry not being content with having his hand mauled by goats, decided to get into a pen with some baby goats. There was a sign warning you that if you got in and sat down, the goats would climb on you so be prepared. This didn’t put him off; it was more of a challenge for him. In he climbed and sure enough one goat made a beeline for him and took a particular liking to his pocket, having a good old munch on it. We went onto see various other animals (including the alpaca’s) and I was brave enough to feed a horse (It was the most serious I have ever seen Stef during the whole trip – Barry).
The next stop on the drive was the Denmark Cheese Factory. I am a massive fan of cheese and having been starved of it in Asia, I made sure we bought a big kilogram size slab of Cheddar on our first supermarket trip. I was excited about visiting the factory as it meant I could get some posh cheese and that I did, picking myself up some cumin and clove flavoured cheese. But we didn’t stop at cheese, we kitted ourselves out with a whole host of lovely treats, including some Orange Liquor Pate, Kangaroo meat (Barry was a little distressed at buying this due to the kangaroo’s bouncing round our caravan park but given the things we’d eaten in Asia, we had to try it), two packets of fudge (Chocolate & Caramel and Apple Pie flavoured) – to please Barry’s sweet tooth and a bottle of Port.
We finished the Scotsdale drive and headed onto Denmark Dinosaur World. We’d read on the sign that they did reptile handling at 2pm so we wanted to make sure we were there in time for that. As we pulled up and jumped out the van, we could hear a load of birds squawking, little did we know at this point just how special these birds were! As we entered the building, we were met by the owner who turned out to be from Essex! We had a long conversation with him about how he and his wife ended up in Australia 25 years ago, how they’d set this place up 15 years ago but were looking to retire to Thailand next year. We could’ve talked for hours as he was such a lovely man, but I really wanted to get in and see the dinosaurs, so we finished up the conversation and in we walked to be greeted by a host of dinosaur replica bones all looming over us. There were details about each of the dinosaurs but these really weren’t the highlight, nor were the many reptiles surrounding them even though we got to hold a python, skink and dragon. The real highlight was the birds we’d heard squawking as we pulled up. As we left the building housing the dinosaurs and reptiles, we made our way outside and were surrounded by parrots and cockatoos. Firstly they were just making normal bird noises, then, we heard ‘hello darling’, followed by ‘do you want a cup of tea?’ from the other direction. The birds were talking to us. It was so bizarre as they really didn’t sound like birds. We were convinced that there was a tape recorder hidden somewhere, but no it was the birds. The owner came out and left us a big box of grapes to feed the birds. We had fun feeding them and watching them eat. He then gave me one of the birds to hold. He was very heavy and dug his claws in to keep his balance with one foot whilst he ate a grape with the other. It was truly fascinating and we could’ve spent hours there but we had to leave at some point.
I can’t remember what each of the animals were called, but Barry’s cousin Stephen is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to animals, so Stephen, you’re mission should you choose to accept it, is to name all the animals and birds featured in this blog!
On our way back, we stopped off at a Elephants Rock Cider Company. Where not only did they make cider, but they also specialised in toffee and sauces too. So we treated ourselves again, this time to some fancy flavoured ciders and a jar of chutney.
Needless to say we had some lovely lunches the next few days and Barry got fairly tipsy for the next few evenings, as the ciders were all 8% alcohol content!!