Kangaroos: cute, cuddley, and tasty too

Kangaroo is good for you

How about you? Could you chew on a 'roo?

Kangaroos are versatile animals. While at Australia Zoo we spent many happy moments feeding the ‘roos, stroking their soft fur and laughing at how human they look when standing up on their hind legs. The fur behind their ears is especially soft and seeing a mother kangaroo with a joey peeping out of its pouch is enough to make your heart melt. In fact the mummy ‘roos at the zoo are so cute that, like Hollywood stars, they need a personal minder, to keep the hoarding masses away.

Once a threatened species, kangaroos and their smaller cousins, wallabies, now number over 20 million beasts. Today, there may even be as many as 40 million of them bouncing around Australia. In fact, the effort to conserve kangaroos has been so successful that they are now culled in order to reduce their numbers and maintain ample grazing for domestic animals like sheep.

The Eco-friendly Choice for Meat Lovers

Australian farmers have been culling kangaroos for years, often selling their hides but doing nothing with the meat. Now there is a campaign under way to change this and get people to eat kangaroo meat for reasons of both conservation and sustainability. The marketing campaign extols the virtues of the meat which is ecologically sounds when compared to other red meat sources since kangaroos eat only native grasses, and don’t need food supplements, medicine or chemicals.

A Tasty Treat for Foodies

What’s more, kangaroo meat is not only tasty but healthy too because it is low in cholesterol and fat but high in iron, zinc and omega three. Apparently kangaroo meat is more popular with Germans and Belgians than it is with Australians and it is becoming better known in the UK too. But wait, there’s more: it’s cheaper than beef and lamb too.

Sorry Skippy, it just makes sense

It sounds great doesn’t it? So good that tonight, in a selfless effort to save the planet I will be eating a kangaroo steak instead of my usual iron-boosting favourite, the lamb chop.

How about you? Could you chew on a ‘roo?

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!

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Sunshine Coast Tourist Guide

Galahs waiting to perform at the Crocoseum Show, Australian Zoo. Avoid being a laughing stock as I was and pronounce Galah with the emphasis on the last syllable.

Galahs waiting to perform at the Crocoseum Show, Australian Zoo. Tip: To avoid being a laughing stock pronounce Galah with the emphasis on the last syllable.

This update is overdue as my three little loves were on their school holidays and I also had family visiting from England giving me a grand total of four adults and six kids, aged from two to ten, to entertain. And that includes me. Phew!

A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all but I had to take a week off after the rellies left and my kids went back to school to recover from all the excitement and readjust back into my old friendless and beerless existence.

So, here’s a quick run down of kid friendly stuff to do during a two week holiday on the Sunshine Coast or in the Noosa area. This is the list of things I thought we should do that I emailed my brother, to which he added drinking beer and having a barbecue. Good on him – an Australian holiday would not be complete without beer and barbies.

Anyway, here’s my list and a picture from our trip of Australia Zoo. Can you guess what I’ll be writing about next time?

Cameron the Crocodile: not real

Cameron the Crocodile: not real


Things to do with kids on the Sunshine Coast

Climb Mount Tinbeerwah
Surf and/or boogey board
Walk Noosa National Park
Go on a koala hunt
Have a kangaroo hunt
Eat fish and chips at Gympie Terrace
Visit the Noosa Spit and go with the flow in the Noosa River
Swim at Noosa Main Beach
Visit Australia Zoo
Have an Easter Egg hunt
Make a big lamb roast and sticky chocolate pudding
Visit Cooloola National Park, or Fraser Island if we have time
Cruise the Eumundi Market on a Wednesday or Saturday
Visit the Maroochy Botanical Gardens
Check out the Bellingham Mazes
Look for turtles in Noosa Botanical Gardens
Eat icecream
Window shop on Hastings Street
Dine by the sea
Drive to the hinterland towns of Kennilworth and Maleny
Swim at the local pool at the weekend when they blow up the inflatables for the kids
Enjoy Underwater World in Mooloolaba and the seal show
Learn about reptiles with the Go Bush program
Trash your rental house

The last one was only a joke!

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!

More About Life and Activities on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

If you haven’t already read these stories about things to do on the Sunshine Coast check out:

Culture Shock for New Immigrants to Australia

Sunshine Coast Tourist Guide: Australia Zoo

Where should I visit in Australia? Part One

I’m not an expert on everywhere in Australia yet, but, by popular request, here’s what I like of the parts of it I’ve seen so far.

If anyone wants a detailed itinerary for a visit to Costa Rica or New Zealand I can definitely oblige!

Sydney        
 
You city slickers will doubtless love Sydney, especially if you have a fat wallet to match the souped up city prices. Cool people, perfect harbor, fabulous beaches and eclectic architecture all add up to a fun place to hang out, except in the ocean where there are way too many man-hungry sharks. Could do with being a bit hotter.
 
Byron Bay
 
I love Byron Bay and have never even seen a shark there, although I’m sure there are plenty as they love to hunt with dolphins and I did see plenty of those frolicking in the waves. Byron Bay was like the holy mecca for me. I am an obsessive planner and researcher (amongst other things) and when I lived in New Zealand, Byron Bay sounded like the ideal place to live. I was always looking for the perfect place to live and Byron Bay boasted a perfect sub-tropical climate, beautiful and artistic people plus sublime beaches. But when I finally got to my Mecca it was a huge downer. The town was just one long traffic jam lined with cheap backpacker tour offices flogging the latest adrenalin rushes. I was gutted. I hated it.
 
Also, because Byron Bay’s accommodation prices are highly over-inflated, I was staying in Berts’ Cottages. Bert was a once cool surfer from way back, now only a few weeks away from total senility and too short-sighted to notice that his cottages were filthy and the buildings themselves should be condemned. But after we had hacked through the cobwebs and managed to gain entry I got used to the place. It was reminiscent of other dives I’d stayed in in Africa and India ten years previously. Quite possibly Bert had modeled it on some of those crusty third world hovels.
 
But Byron Bay is special, though it’s hard to pinpoint why. Could it be that it’s “the most easterly point on the Australian mainland”? Is it the good vibes that get the hippies flocking there? Whatever it is there’s a certain magnetism about the place that somehow got to me too, even though I am an ex-hippie. It must be the rolling beaches and hypnotic waves, and the lighthouse that presides over the bay. You’ll have to go there and decide for yourself. For the mega rich a stay at Watego’s Beach is indispensable. For the rest of us, a day trip to Watego’s from Berts’ Cottages will just have to suffice.

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Stay tuned for Where should I visit in Australia? Part Two when I’ll be raving about Cape Tribulation, Noosa and The Sunshine Coast. Just subscribe to email updates from In the Hot Spot now to make sure you don’t miss out.

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Good luck with all your travel plans!

Why do so many people move to, or want to move to, Australia?

Sunshine Coast Hinterland: Run darling before a leech gets you

Sunshine Coast Hinterland: Run darling before a leech gets you

The Advantages of Living in Australia

I think most people move to Australia for the weather, especially Brits and Kiwis. Well, I did anyway!

I enjoy the healthy outdoorsy lifestyle. I think what’s great is the diversity here – you can choose to live in a big cosmopolitan city or out in the hippy hills depending on what suits you. Ditto the climate – there’s tropical north Queensland for hot weather fans, and plenty of places with a more temperate climate similar to the south of France. The food is great here too, both raw ingredients and restaurant meals, and the level of schooling for the kids seems to be good too.

The Disadvantages of Living in Australia

So what’s not to like? There aren’t enough black people here which is a shame and one of my British friends even calls Australia ‘the new land of apartheid’ which is a shocking and a grim thought.  Also, the sprawling suburbs could get you down along with the flies, snakes and leeches! But I just like to tell it like it is because nowhere is ideal. Australia’s not a perfect Utopian society and it’s sad to hear about people moving here unprepared and not liking it.

What it’s like to be sucked by a leech

I didn’t know about the leeches at all. I naively imagined they hung out in deserted swamps but no, you can find them in any bit of wet grass over here. We went for a walk in the hinterland at the weekend. Suddenly our oldest child started screaming and hopping around trying to brush a black wiggling thing off his foot. The entire valley was echoing with his shrieks which didn’t end even when the hubby finally pulled it off. I’ve been to some wet, slimy places in my time but never encountered a leech before. Large may never fully recover from his first leech encounter and sobbed for half an hour after wards.

“Hey, someone else might have one.” I mentioned, scanning my legs before I too started shrieking and begging the brave hubby to pull the leech off. Yuch!

Youngest child was quite traumatised too that she may have one or get one, but Middle child was highly disappointed and wants to go back so he can experience what it’s like to have a blood sucking leech attached to his leg. He’s an unusual child.

Anyway, if this hasn’t put you off totally, I’d love to hear why you’d like to move to Australia or why you already have!

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!

Word Press delighted to host In the Hot Spot

Thanks for visiting. This blog has been relocated from Blogger to Word Press. Thank you to all the lovely Word Press people who have made this possible! Please read on for the latest news and information on moving to and living in Australia.

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!

Real Estate and the First Home Owner Grant

Australian Property Market News and Information

All new expats to Australia should be eligible for the first home owners grant so that is a nice welcome. It is currently about $14,000 for an existing house and $21,000 for a new one. It does expire in June but most sources say the government will continue it after that date. On the down side, some pundits believe this grant is what is propping up the Australian housing market which is remaining resilient compared to the 20% drops in the US and UK housing markets. Hence, if you sell up in GB, USA or NZ your house money may not go as you would have hoped. Unless things drop here in the future of course. Time will tell.

Are you a bear or a bull?

See http://www.firsthome.gov.au/ for more information.
My husband, who is a real bear, says that $14,000 is nothing anyway if the value of your home goes on to drop by 20% and that it certainly true. It is definitely a case of buyer beware.

Thanks for reading, feel free to add your comments below.

Good luck with all your travel plans!