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Location: Townsville

We started off the day making a delicious breakfast of pancakes and scrambled eggs. This was the perfect start to an amazing day. After a short bit of waiting around the hostel, we got in a taxi and headed to the “Billabong Animal Sanctuary”. After buying some feed to give to the animals and acquainting ourselves with the tour guide, we headed off into the sanctuary. We started off seeing a wallaby, which although fast asleep was still unbelievably adorable. After petting it, taking some pictures with it, and taking a short break to feed some of the nearby ducks, we headed off to the highlight of the sanctuary. Approaching the pen, everyone let out a gasp of surprise at seeing a koala. While the tour guide taught us about the intriguing nature of koalas, we proceeded to crowd around it, completely absorbed in the fluffy ball of fur that is a koala. Then, some of us chose to visit a section of the park where we could hold one and take a picture with it. Afterward, we sat down on some nearby benches, as the guide let us touch and hold a baby estuarine crocodile and a coastal carpet python before departing off to another tour. Even though the tour guide had to leave, we still had plenty of time to explore the rest of the sanctuary. We walked around, passing my numerous turtles, cassowaries, emus, pademelons (similar to a kangaroo but smaller), a variety of birds, some very large crocodiles and even some baby kangaroos. Even though we had already seen kangaroos before, here we could walk up, pet them, and feed them if they wanted to eat. After eating lunch, we headed back to the hostel, making a quick stop at an art installation in a park, comprised of painted shipping containers. We hung around the hostel but a little while as we cooked and ate dinner. After dinner, we are going to go to the Townsville Show – the big town fair that happens to be going on this weekend. Tomorrow morning we have a long travel day up to the rainforest in Kuranda where we will be working with a group called Kuranda Envirocare with some reforestation projects for the next few days.