Our third and final day of our 3 Day Hunter Valley Escape wasn’t as jam packed as the previous 2, however that didn’t stop us making the most of our time in the Hunter Valley.
While it was only a 3 day break, our little holiday was the perfect way to spend some quality time as a family of 3 before things get a whole lot busier When 3 become 4. . . It also happened to line up with the 2nd birthday of our little guy so it was a great way to celebrate it as a family.
If you can’t tell by the title this is actually the third and final part of our adventure. I encourage you to check out our experiences on Day 1 Our Quick Escape – Part 1 , as well as our adventures with Snow (in this part of the country?) on Day 2 Our Quick Escape – Part 2.
All caught up now? Here we go. . .
After being so excited the day before that we got up at 2am (can you feel the enthusiasm?) , Day 3 started a little slower. We knew we had until 11am to be out of the hotel (thank you late checkout), but we also didn’t want to start our day too late.
After our little guy felt the need to open the door to the balcony and proclaim to everyone “ooo its cold” over and over it wasn’t long before we were out of bed. After packing our bags, double checking under the beds, triple checking the cupboards, and quadruple checking the bathroom (I know it was only 2 days but when you have a toddler you will find things in the most surprising of places), we decided we needed breakfast.
We had avoided breakfast at the hotel buffet so far as the price was a little steep for us, but being the last day we also thought it would be convenient. Walking past the buffet and seeing the lineup snake its way throughout the lobby of the hotel cemented our decision to find food elsewhere.
If you read Our Quick Escape – Part 1 you will know that on the first day we found a great little cafe that did All Day Breakfast – not that it was late, just we already knew they did good breakfasts.
Breakfast was fairly uneventful, the real run began when we got to the Zoo
Hunter Valley Zoo
The Zoo had been one of our main reasons for coming to the Hunter Valley. Our little guy had always been fascinated by different animals in books and on the TV, so we thought he would be impressed to see them up close.
A short drive away, a handy voucher giving us discounted entry, and we were ready to go.
After we paid our entry fee and purchased our bag of ‘animal food’, we headed in. We immediately heard over the PA system that there was going to be a ‘Lion Talk’ starting in 10 minutes. Anyone with a toddler knows their attention spans can be short, and standing in a crowd listening to someone talk through a speaker is not going to bode well.
It also meant that the walk-in area where you can feed to kangaroos had next to no one in it so it made for the perfect first stop.
While I understand why they do it, its safe to say just about everyone who comes to the Zoo buys some animal food as the kangaroos were pretty well fed. Upon realising this the little guy decided that the ducks on the other side of the fence were more deserving of his attention, as well as his food.
After getting bored of feeding the kangaroos, ducks, and the odd Llama, we decided to keep moving. Next stop were the Monkeys. Kangaroos, ducks, and even Llamas were something Ollie had seen outside before, so the Monkeys were the first animals he had only ever seen in a book. You could tell he was impressed, until we moved on the only words out of his mouth were “Eee Eee Eee” – in case you couldn’t tell that’s the sound a Monkey makes.
As we continued through the first half of the Zoo, the animals were more suited to older kids. What do I mean by that? A toddler isn’t exactly interested in birds, or any animal that’s smaller then they are, especially when they aren’t moving much.
We then moved towards the larger animal enclosures, walking past a number of Crocodiles. Again no matter how much enthusiasm Mum and Dad showed towards them, Ollie wasn’t interested unless they were moving.
Beyond the Crocodiles were the Lions – thankfully by the time we got there the crowd had already dispersed. Unfortunately that also meant the Lions were using this time to rest and weren’t being overly active.
note, I’m not 100% sure if the Lions were actually more active during the talk, however with never seeing a Lion in the wild, I’m not sure how active they are.
As we checked out the other large enclosures we noticed an Emu had come over to the fence and a couple of people were feeding it. I used this opportunity to get rid of the last of our animal food that we had been carrying around and allow Ollie to see it up close. That was were it wrong. . .
Now just to clarify nothing bad as such happened here and no one was ever in danger
With child in one arm and food in the other I reached out to the emu – with the food, not the child (I shouldn’t feel the need to clarify that), and the Emu promptly snatched the food out of my hand. While some of us thought this was funny, the look on the little guy’s face was one of shock and horror.
Let’s just say we moved away from the Emu pretty quickly. Fortunately the scare from the Emu was quickly forgotten about when the Lions decided to use that time to be more active.
To paint a picture for you there are two Lion enclosures with a high wall between them, they each hold a different type of Lion, a male and female of each.
When the first one decided to open its lungs and Roar, the other 3 did the same. What followed was a ten minute symphony of loud roars that would have woken anyone up.
The rest of the visit was rather uneventful compared to the Emu’s and Lions.
Time to head Home
While no one was ready to hop back in the car, all good things must come to an end.
As I mentioned in Our Quick Escape – Part 1 we were lucky that our Destination in the Hunter Valley was only a short drive from our home of Newcastle . While it was only a short drive, 3 big days had obviously warn the little guy out as he was fast asleep as soon as we pulled out of the driveway from the Zoo.
That marked the End of Our Hunter Valley Escape. However the busy week didn’t finish there, Day 3 of our Holiday was also the day Ollie turned 2, you can read more about it in 2 Years of Parenthood .