Travel

Jetsetting with ... Bindi Irwin

SINGAPORE, Nov 19 — You can’t help but admire 14-year-old Bindi Irwin and her resolve to continue the legacy of her father, Steve Irwin, in wildlife conservation.

Bindi Irwin with her new scaly friend, a Burmese python, for her show “Bindi’s Bootcamp”. — TodayBindi Irwin with her new scaly friend, a Burmese python, for her show “Bindi’s Bootcamp”. — TodayIn her new show, “Bindi’s Bootcamp” , Bindi brings teams of kids around the Australia Zoo in Queensland, to compete in messy but exhilarating challenges such as identifying poo and tickling a six-foot alligator. Participants not only have fun, they also learn more about wildlife and grow to love the animals.

“I’m a great believer in kid empowerment,” she said. “I believe that as kids, we’re the next voters, we’re the next decision makers and we’re the next generation that’s going to be making a difference for our planet.”

The proud Aussie champions for kids to visit Down Under, especially Tasmania, to get closer to wildlife. “I have to say one of my favourite places is Tasmania. It has got some incredible wildlife and it’s home to my favourite animal, the echidnas, which are funny little creatures. Also, come visit us at Australia Zoo!”

What was your favourite part of doing “Bindi’s Bootcamp”?

Bindi Irwin: I think my favourite part of the show was getting kids so involved with our wildlife at Australia Zoo. Most of these kids had never had great experiences with animals before so getting them in amongst the thick of things, feeling poo, sorting out animal food, touching, holding, kissing, and loving animals was just terrific. It was a really special experience for not only the kids, but for me as well, and I thought it was really nice that I was able to share my passion and my family of animals with all the contestants.

What is it like working and living in a zoo?

We literally live right in the middle of Australia Zoo and it’s extremely special. Every morning we wake up to a chorus of animals singing. We hear the elephants trumpeting, the bears tapping, the tigers roaring and it’s terrific. When I roll out of bed, I’m at work and it’s great and I think I’m very privileged, because I’m able to share my backyard of animals with all the visitors who come to Australia Zoo.

Do wildlife and conservation factor into countries you like to visit?

Absolutely. Wildlife and conservation can be found everywhere. For example, we love it in Singapore, because it has the best zoo.

What has been your favourite travel experience so far?

Well, I got to go on so many absolutely wonderful adventures with my family and I have so many terrific memories with my dad. We got to travel a lot with him when he was filming his documentary series so those are probably my fondest memories. In Australia, we travelled from Darwin to Adelaide and that was one of my favourite trips because we were all together as a family and had heaps of fun. I think it’s extremely nice that I have all of my memories captured on film, especially after losing Dad. If I ever miss Dad and I want to see him again, I just press play and all of the memories come flooding back to me. I think of myself as very privileged to be able to do that because some families only have a select few photographs and a couple of videos.

What travel tips do you have for kids?

I would say, keep a journal. Whenever you go travelling you get to see so many sights and experiences, so many incredible new things. So, take a journal, write everything down, (and) 10 years from now, you can look back. — Today