Good, Bad, and Ugly

Starting  with the ‘Good’, there are incredible developments for Aussie Ark – though its still a bit too soon to broadcast much about it. Give me another week or two on that one. The good news that I can share is that the Australian Reptile Park has pulled off a unique ‘double-header’ win, taking out the coveted ‘Best Major Tourism Attraction’ award  last week, and the NSW Business of the Year award some weeks earlier. Amazing stuff – I am so proud of the entire ARP team. It seems my timing for this year’s American adventure has been less than ideal on many levels. But in for a penny…

Australian Reptile Park wins NSW State Business of the Year award last month. This included all businesses of all sizes.


Co-Director Liz Gabriel and Marketing Manager Amanda Woodbine selfie with the extraordinary ‘Best Tourism Attraction in NSW’ trophy they accepted at huge gala dinner last week. This award was won from the field of all the State’s largest attractions.



The ‘Bad’ is that Robyn and I have had to pull the pin on our Canadian non-adventure – short of an entire success. I can’t say I’m that disappointed about escaping the wicked cycle of bad weather, bad timing of tides, and outright bad luck. But the reason for our needing to move on is the dark and ominous development of the biggest uncontrolled bushfires in NSW history – with one of the biggest fires on record now only 50km from the Reptile Park, is about as ‘ugly’ a concern as can be imagined.

I’m writing this short blog via United inflight internet on our third of four flight legs to get back to Sydney. Its intended to let anyone following my big year progress know why there may be a lull in the action for what will hopefully be a short time. Best case scenario is that current back burning and other efforts from the Rural Fire Service will stop the monster at the Hawkesbury River, 10km or so from the Reptile Park (and 15km from our home – both with contiguous tall gum forests to the river, and shorten my stay to just a few days. That’s what I’m planning on. I’ll update this blog as soon as that good news is warranted.



‘X’ is approximate location of ARP and my residence. The earlier very bad wind forecasts have improved somewhat, and I’m aiming for optimism. Earlier arrival was estimated by RFS as Monday, 18th. Robyn and I arrive in Sydney that morning.


Fire front a few days ago.