FRANK Shipp, the Sunshine Coast's king of the birds, admits he is a bit of a 'compulsive obsessive'.
Why else would someone amass almost 500 birds, spend years building gardens, and even bring a fishing boat to his Maleny property.
Some would call him a little crazy, but there's no doubting his passion for nature.
And anyone who has ventured into Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World know he's a man who likes to create something special, regardless of how long it takes.
Frank's passion for nature started as a young boy in South Africa when he bought his first plant.
After life as a successful businessman, Frank moved his family to Australia in 2003, buying what was a rough cattle property at Maleny in 2005.
His dream was to create a big garden on the 44ha hinterland haven.
That work started in 2007. He spent two years terracing the slopes, creative waterfalls, lakes, doing mass plantings, creating access to rainforest areas and building gazebos to enjoy the stunning views of the Glass House Mountains.
Four years later, he showcased the gardens in the Australian Open Garden Schemes before opening the gardens to the public seven days a week in July 2012.
But it's been the creation of the bird aviary, which opened in late 2013, which has drawn visitors from around the world.
The aviary is home to tiny finches, Australian cockatoos and lorikeets, exotic parrots and the macaws.
But Frank is far from done.
"I'm putting in a sunken garden in conjunction with the aviary.
"I'm hoping to put a butterfly house one day, a glow worm cave would be good.
"There are many things happening. It will never be completed in my lifetime."
Frank says the chance for visitors to interact with large birds, including the beautiful macaws is what is generating plenty of wow factor.
"Based on the feedback I'm getting from international tourists, nobody has ever done that before, not to this extent.''
He has birds from 63 different countries.
"There's always some bird coming in,'' he said of the refuge.
"They actually do very well with each other.
"We mix the exotics with the natives,'' he adds, though the smallest birds are separated from the largest to prevent bullying.
Being inside the aviary with the giant birds can be a little confronting for some.
When the giant macaws land on you and begin screeching, you quickly realise how loud they are.
And you are advised to take off all jewellery, including earrings, and anything shiny they may take a liking to.
In the safety briefing before the tour, guests are also advised to keep their hands to themselves.
Frank says there have been a few guests who have been scratched but generally after they had not heeded the safety advice.
The staff and volunteers also face the daily prospect of an over excited large bird being a little rough.
One staff member had most of the buttons on his shirt taken by the mischievous macaws.
Frank's favourite bird is Jasmine, a rainbow macaw, who often goes on the road to promote the bird park at different locations.
Previously he had a childcare centre north of Brisbane which was a huge success before he moved onto his 'hobby' which became "the biggest challenge I've ever taken on in my life".
The attention to detail Frank and his small band of staff and volunteers has shown is well evident in the gardens.
Each tier of the terraces is swathed in flowers, shrubs, tree, exotics and natives.
Golf buggies allow visitors an easier way of getting around the property, which also includes a boat on a small lake. It had to be brought in by a crane.
For a man in his 60s, Frank shows enormous energy, admitting that can he be a little 'full on'.
"I don't know where to stop. ''
But for him, he is rewarded daily with the reaction of kids.
"That's the biggest reward to me to watch the children shriek with laughter. I just love it.
"It's amazing to be able to create something like that.''
Ironically though, Frank, who has hand-reared many of the birds, including the macaws, is unable to go into the aviary himself.
"It's got to the point where I can't go in there any more as they all want to be on me at once.''