On Monday I presented you with some photographs of our long weekend in northern New South Wales. As you will have seen from those pictures, we spent a lot of our time on the local beaches of which there were many.
Mrs Bob and I are not really beachy people, but our 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth is and so are her two friends of the same age who came with us. But there was something else they were interested in on this trip…
A long time ago I wrote a post called It’s Easter Bunny Time in Australia in which I claimed “It’s illegal to own a rabbit in many Australian states.”
Seems like I got it wrong. Looking at it now it appears that it’s only Queensland that has an out and out ban on the bunny rabbit here. And our trio of 10-year-olds had heard that rabbits were allowed in New South Wales and they were very keen to spot one when we got there.
The girls didn’t want us to refer to it as rabbit hunting, that implied shooting the things when we found them. So they preferred the term “bunny chasing”. So we decided we would go bunny chasing at some point. But first, we wanted to check out the local beach which was just about 300 to 400 metres from our apartment.
On the way, we passed this empty plot of land on the right.
Can you spot anything unusual in there? Like a black thing with pointy ears and big feet? If you look really carefully at the photograph, to the corner of the upper balcony, you will notice a large beige coloured dog staring straight at this black thing with pointy ears and big feet.
So without even trying and within around 15 minutes of arriving at our destination, we had seen our very first wild rabbit.
And that was just the beginning, further sightings followed one after another after another…
If you look carefully, there’s actually three rabbits in this photograph…
White rabbits, black rabbits, brown rabbits, we saw rabbits everywhere. Turns out that the place we were staying, Casuarina, is kind of known for its wild rabbits. We’ve been to New South Wales on many occasions, never seen a wild rabbit. In this place they were everywhere.
As Chas and Dave would have said “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.”
What our girls really wanted to do though was not just see these rabbits, but go up to them and stroke them. The rabbits weren’t interested in that though, they would run away. It wasn’t going to happen.
There was only one solution.
Off to the pet shop
So we went to a New South Wales pet shop which is allowed to sell rabbits and the girls were able to touch them through the bars of the cage.
Smuggling a rabbit into Queensland
“How much are the rabbits?” We asked.
“$20-$70” we were told.
“We are from Queensland” we said, “can we take one of these pet rabbits across the border?”
No we couldn’t. We could get into big trouble if we did. How big?
$44,000 fine or six months in prison!
Wow, Queensland really doesn’t like rabbits. This state has the toughest anti-rabbit laws in the world with penalties of $44,000 and six months in prison.
We could apply for a special license to own a rabbit in Queensland if we wanted to, but they are only granted to certain people. The example we were given was a magician.
This didn’t make sense to me. If you’re a magician and you want a rabbit, don’t you just pull one out of a hat? And if the authorities call and accuse you of owning a rabbit in Queensland, couldn’t you just make it disappear?