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Ageing Traveller Series

The Ageing Traveller series is written by Rose Howell, who has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club. Her passion for travel is documented on her website www.ageing-hipsters-travel.com.

Click here to find out more about Rose.

Monarto Zoo South Australia

Monarto Zoo
Monarto Zoo
Photo by Rose Howell

This month I want to share with you my volunteering experiences at Monarto Zoo in South Australia. I have been a volunteer at this zoo for just on 7 years. I began my volunteering as a tour guide, where I spoke to the public whilst travelling around the park on a bus. Sharing important facts and pointing out the different animals in each habitat.

Over the last 2 years I have swapped the microphone for a shovel, snips, rake etc. This group I now belong to at Monarto is called Mallee Minders. (Mallee is the type of bush you find in the area). Our job is to plant trees and bushes, get rid of weeds, water, propagate seedlings, make up the native animals food, build or repair fences, dig ditches and much more.


Volunteers watering young trees
Photo by Rose Howell


Monarto boasts the largest open range zoo in Australia and possibly the world and is home to over 500 animals roaming around in large open habitats.
The park consists of 1500 hectares but the public only see about 250. So as you can imagine it is very large and we still have ample room for more. The animals are in large enclosures. In fact sometimes it is hard to know who is locked in, us or them.

It is located 70 kilometres from Adelaide City Centre and is accessible by bus or car.

How it works in Monarto; the public can either walk around the park or take a bus from exhibit to exhibit. You can also pay for experiences such as ‘keeper for a day/morning’ or up close and personal with animals. Eg: ‘ Meerkat mingle’, ‘Giraffe safari’, ‘Lions at bedtime’, ‘Cheetah interactive’, ‘Meet the chimps’, ‘Devilish native experience’, ‘Rhino interactive’.


It consists of five major habitats;

  • Asian Steppes – Asian Grasslands – Arid North Afric – African Plains


Breeding projects have been successful with;


Australian native species;

  • Great Bilby – Tammar Wallaby – Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby – Eastern Barred Bandicoot – Tasmanian Devil – Mallee Fowl


Exotic Animals;

  • Scimitar Oryx – Przewalskis Horse – Addax – Barbary Sheep – South African Cheetah – Southern White Rhino – African Wild dog 

Other animals you will see;

  • Giraffe - Black Rhino – Chimpanzee – Zebra – Black Buck – Bongo – Eland – Ostriche – Mesopotamian Fallow Deer – Chital Deer – American Bison – Spotted Hyena – Lion – Meerkat– Kangaroos – Emus
Note: There are many more animals that are off limits and are part of Monartos’ breeding program such as the Mallee Fowl.

Przewalskis Horse
Przewalskis Horse

Southern White Rhino
Southern White Rhino

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby
Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby

Chimpanzee birthday celebrations
Chimpanzee birthday celebrations (amazing enclosure)

Volunteer Jenny and Lucifer Tasmanian Devil
Volunteer Jenny and Lucifer Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil Entrance
Tasmanian Devil Entrance

Volunteer Jenny working near the Devils
Volunteer Jenny working near the Devils

baby joey
The ultimate experience a baby joey and i got to hold it!

Volunteering has given me many personal encounters with the animals. I have over time become friendly with some of the zoo keepers and when babies are born or something special is happening with the animals they are kind enough to invite us along to share in the experience. I have had the privilege of getting up close and personal with a baby Southern White Rhino and cuddle a baby Tasmanian Devil just recently.

It is rewarding to be working around the habitats as it is all natural bush land and you see many varieties of birds and the sound of animals are better than the sound of cars.

The future of Monarto is looking good. They have plans to incorporate safari type accommodation similar to what you would find in Africa. So who needs to go to Africa? More animals will be introduced to Monarto in the near future.
For more information about the zoo, go onto Monartos’ website www.monartozoo.com.au


Meerkats playing

NOTE:
If you get to Australia, you must come and visit us in South Australia. We have just been ranked as one of five top must see regions in the world by Lonely Planet. We are a low populated State but we have so many tourist spots even I haven’t been to them all. Take a look on our tourist site www.southaustralia.com

Next month I will take you on a trip to Kangaroo Island. Check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/rose.howell.904 for all sorts of information on travel.

 

Rose Howell Biography

Rose has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club.
She has taken all kinds of transport and accommodation from budget to luxury. She has travelled through war zones, survived a bus accident in the Andes and visited areas that are no longer available to tourists, such as the Khyber Pass and Bamiyan Statues in Afghanistan.

Rose wants to inspire others to travel and offers free advice to all travellers in particular those who are embarking on their first travel experience. She has a passion for travel and since retiring from an Adult teaching position with TafeSA, has recently resumed clocking up kilometres interstate and overseas.
Her daughters have inherited the travel bug from their parents. The eldest daughter is a travel journalist/documentary maker based in a beautiful area called ‘Byron Bay’ in New South Wales and with her husband, has two globetrotting toddlers who at the age of 5 and 2 also love to travel. Her youngest daughter and fiancé have recently returned from 2 years working and traveling in the UK and Europe. They have only been home a couple of months and are already getting restless. Oh the travel bug!!!!

You can see more of Rose's travels on:
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