We’re spending the last four days of my visit at a resort (Twin Waters) on the Sunshine Coast (north of Brisbane). On the way up, we stopped for a couple hours at the Australia Zoo, run by Steve and Terry Irwin. You’re probably more familiar with these folks than am I. Linda tells me that Steve—The Crocodile Hunter—became famous in the States first, and only afterward in Australia. Therefore, television must be involved somehow. Steve has built a large amphitheater called the Croc-e-seum, where they do a few shows each day, and we happened to catch one that Terry (his American wife) and Steve were doing personally.

Aussies are very proud of this couple and what they’re doing. On the surface, it’s a commercial exploitation of Things Natural (wildlife), but the fact is that wildlife is threatened no less in Australia than it is anywhere else in the world, and Steve puts most of his earnings from this commercial activity into wildlife preservation. In many senses, much of Australia seems to be part of this effort. Feeding lorikeets and other parrots can seem as commercial and "unnatural" as anything, but it both raises awareness of "wild animals" in the pubic consciousness (as well as conscience), and also allows those animals that can do so to adapt themselves to the environment we are creating around them. I think they’re going to be successful, and much more so than Africa, which does not appear to share the public will that pervades Australia. Of course, the extreme poverty of much of Africa precludes that.

Twin Waters is considered a resort, and we must have these in the States but I’m not aware of it. You stay in a hotel room or cabin, I suppose, and partake of various services around the complex. For example, for dinner last night we ordered from the take-away restaurant, where you pick up your previously ordered meal, then go find some place to eat it. Our choice was by the swimming pool. You also have a choice of various kinds of restaurants, or you can deal with such things entirely on your own. In other words, it’s a place to just hang out for a few days, but which provides you with as much entertainment as you care to indulge. The reason I’m unaware of such things in the States, I’m sure, is that I don’t have a family, and these seem designed for family situations. The Bird family came as children, and now they bring their children here, Some touring and boating are in the works for the rest of the day...