As Bindi Irwin celebrated her 20th Birthday at Australia Zoo, surrounded by family and friends, she was overcome with emotion.
"I'm so lucky I've gotten to share my whole life with you guys. It's such a blessing to know you for so many years, and thank you for your wonderful support," she said on Today.
"I'm really happy. Today is a beautiful day to celebrate with my beautiful family at Australia Zoo," she added. "What more could you want? Koala cuddles on this warm winter morning - it's perfection."
We can't believe how the time has gone. It seems only yesterday she was just a baby in the arms of her proud parents Steven and Terri Irwin. She's grown up before our very eyes into a strong confident young woman who has worked hard to continue her parents' conservationist work, and who has not been afraid to take on challenges that put her out of her comfort zone. Who can forget her stunning performances on Dancing With The Stars three years ago - which she went on to win!
As well as having a day of fun with family and friends, Bindi was spoiled with gifts from boyfriend Chandler.
"Chandler surprised me because I always say every day should be your birthday because life should be a celebration," Bindi gushed. "So he got them for me early just to say happy early birthday… so that was nice. We're very lucky."
Just as her parents first met in a wildlife park, where Steve Irwin was performing a crocodile show, Bindi met Chandler when she took his family on a tour of Australia Zoo in Queensland in 2013.
The pair hit it off and Chandler, a true gentleman, asked Bindi's mother Terri for her blessing to keep in touch with Bindi.
While Bindi was surrounded by the people she loves on her birthday, the one person that she felt the absence of keenly was her dad, Steve. Bindi revealed in an interview with People magazine that she still grieves for her dad, who died in 2006 when she was only eight years old, after a stingray accident.
"That kind of sadness never goes away. It's like losing a piece of your heart that you never get back."
Bindi said that after her father died, "So many adults came up to me and said, 'Honey, time heals all wounds'…That is the biggest lie you will ever hear. It doesn't."
In spite of her immense loss, Bindi continues to carry on his good work as a conservationist and wildlife champion.
"You can take the path that leads you down the aisle of sadness, or you can say, 'I'm never going to let this person's memory die. I'm going to make sure everything they worked for continues."
It's important to Bindi to make her loved ones proud.
"Mum and Dad are truly my heroes. And I have to say, so is my little brother Robert. He's 11 and he's just the most amazing boy. He's so much like Dad sometimes, it's a bit scary. Dad is and always will be my living, breathing superhero."
We think Bindi is turning into quite the hero herself and Steve would be so incredibly proud of his eldest child.
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