Ballarat was probably one of the cutest little towns I’ve ever been to. Even though we were only there for an afternoon it kind of reminded me of a ghost town because it was just so quiet – even the buses made hardly any noise. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t seem to have many (or any) main roads, so it’s just all little quiet streets with no traffic and not many people around. It’s so different to Auckland in that sense.
We walked from the train station and got the bus to a ‘wildlife park’ which I think is just a fancy name for Ballarat zoo. I really wanted to go to see what kind of animals they had and how it would be different to Auckland zoo which I’ve been to so many times in my life I know all the areas off by heart pretty much.
We got off the bus in the middle of nowhere…like no joke, it was out in the rural whop whops and despite there being a few houses across the road, the whole thing just felt so barren and sparse. The actual wildlife park was up a hill, tucked away from the road itself.
It was so cold in Melbourne when we left to get the train to Ballarat that I wore a leather jacket, jeans and leather ankle boots with a decent heel on them. Seriously, how is it possible for it to be 12 degrees leaving Melbourne and 30 degrees when we get to Ballarat?! It was seriously so hot, but unfortunately I had no choice but to make do in my stifling clothes.
After clambering up the dusty hill in my heels, we make it through and the first thing I see are a group of kangaroos sprawled out on the grass by the entrance. They stare at me as I walk by while a few strays hop across the footpath to join the rest. I found it cute how they were all scattered about the zoo, so no matter where you walked there would always be one or two near by.
Then there was the reptiles. At first I couldn’t really see the snakes as most of them were camouflaged, but then all of a sudden a huge rattle snake appeared by the window and it gave me such a fright. I was thankful for the glass – it looked like it was ready to attack.
Then I turned around and saw a huge yellow thing. At first I thought it was like a big toy for one of the snakes or something, but then I saw a head moving at the other side of the enclosure and I realised that it was actually a massive python. Apparently they can be up to 75kg – I suddenly felt very small and light as a feather at only 40kg. Are pythons the snakes that people sometimes have wrapped around their shoulders? If so, how do they carry all that weight so easily?
There was also some other rather interesting animals like alpacas, dingoes, eagles, koalas and of course more kangaroos. After feeling very tired of walking around in my heels, we decided to get the bus back to the train station to go back to Melbourne. Of course the bus stop was just a single wooden bench across the road from the zoo – no shelter or shady trees to sit under or anything. The bus was late by about 15 minutes but it honestly feels like hours when you’re sitting under the scorching sun in leather boots, a leather jacket and jeans.
Overall, Ballarat was a very interesting experience and it was a cute little place to visit – I’m really not used to being in quiet little towns so it was nice to see a change of scenery.
Lucy Rebecca x