Branson Couple Returns from Australia

by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

Barry and Camille Dautrich left for Sydney Australia on December 15th and were there for five weeks.

“You could not see the flames, Barry said. “But, the smoke looked like a dense night of fog going up to Springfield or something like that.”

When they left for their Christmas vacation, they had no idea that one of the worst wildfires on record, would break out in the outback, while they were there.

“Australia has so many unusual animals and then you hear that all of these Koalas have been burned or these Kangaroos,” Camille said, “and I think anytime there’s an animal aspect to something, it makes it even sadder because they don’t understand what’s going on.”

The Dautriches Spent time in Sydney and Canberra. They stayed with friends for three days and then went on a cruise ship for 28 days.

“We visited Kangaroo Island and it’s an island by iteslf,” Barry said. “There must have been a huge fire on that one and we were there two days before they evacuated that island.”

A friend of the couple cares for orphaned wombats. They were even able to cuddle one named Harriet.

“The foster system there is well established but when you have hundreds or thousands of animals burned or homeless it’s hard to find people to take them on,” Camille said.

They shared what it was like to be there when the fire broke out.

“I know on the golf course when you’re out there and the flag bends,” Barry said, “it’s 40 miles an hour and it was a lot of 40 miles an hour winds at times and that which.. had to make that just like a furnace.”

Though Barry had visited before, this was Camille’s first visit to Australia.

Click here for Ozarks First Feature.

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