Excitement and fun at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures!
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is about 45 mins drive north of Cairns and 20 mins drive south of Port Douglas. It is a great eco-friendly wildlife park with lots of animals to see, including hundreds of crocodiles! I recently went there with my mum and sister and our friend. We drove their in our car but there are bus transfers you can organise or you can get an uber or a driver to take you there.
We bought a yearly pass called a Mega Wildcard and you can go to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and the Koala Garden and Birdworld in Kuranda as many times as you like for 12 months. It is very good value and we are really glad we got it because now we can go back to see the animals for lots of visits. Prices for entry can be found on their website.
They accept the Companion Card so that people who have a disability can bring someone along free of charge to help them.
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures opens at 8.30 and closes at 5pm. When we got there at 9.30 it was busy and there were a lot of cars so we parked in the second parking lot. They have a few different areas but it still wasn't far to walk to the entrance. At the main desk we got our Mega Wildcard sorted out. Mum had bought it online but had to line up to show the lady the email and pick up the Mega Wildcard. The lady was very helpful and friendly and told us all about the shows that were on and what time and she marked the times on a map for us to take with us. She also booked us on one of the boat cruises that go around the lagoon to see the crocs. Everyone gets booked on a certain time so you don't have to wait there a long time for your turn, you can just go looking around and come back at the right time.
The first thing we did was use the bathrooms and they were very clean and light.
After that we went for a walk and saw the koalas and cassowaries and walked through the bird avaries. We saw lots of birds and they were very nice to look at. I really liked the kookaburras and the owls and they let you get up very close to them without flying away.
When it was our turn to go on the boat cruise at 10am we waited under the shelter with some other people and a man came and talked to us about the boat and then we sanitised our hands and got on the boat.
The boat has glass windows so you are safe from the crocodiles even when they jump up in the air to get the food. The man who drove our boat told us some information about the crocodiles and stopped the boat a few times to feed them. He had some chicken pieces that he put on a big stick and held it over the edge and the crocs would jump up and get it. They jumped very high and when they snapped at the food their jaws made a very loud sound.
The boat cruise took about 20 minutes and it was very exciting to see the crocodiles jump for their food and swimming and laying around on the bank as well.
Our guide knew the names of lots of the crocodiles and how old they were. He told us some funny stories about them too.
There is a big deck right next to the lagoon and a restaurant where you can buy food and sit and watch the crocs swimming by.
They even sell crocodile burgers so you can eat them and see what they taste like if you want to.
There is a cafe too where you can get coffees or ice-creams and cakes.
On the website it says you can also buy the special experience of Breakfast with the koalas. It is from 8.30 to 9.30 each day and you have to book ahead. I think that would be very nice to do.
After the boat cruise we went for a walk around the park to see more crocodiles and then waited at the Crocodile arena for the croc feeding show at 11am. It was a good show and the people who worked there told us more information about crocodiles and then fed them as well. It went for about 20 minutes and we took some good photos.
We looked around the park at the other animals along the Wildlife Discovery Trail and the Gondwana Gateway and we saw emus, wallabies, wombats, snakes and lizards, turtles and some more birds.
There was a big fossil you could look at and have a turn brushing the sand off. I really liked that.
The Gallery of living Art was very nice. It is a building with lots of reptiles and animals in it and it was nice and cool to go in there and see them. There was air-conditioning which was good because it was getting hot outside then. There were also some very nice toilets there.
Next to the Gallery of Living Art is the Slither n Slide Adventure zone which is a big playground for kids to enjoy. It has some great play equipment and a really awesome snake to climb on and some seats to sit at if you need a rest.
In the afternoon at 1pm we did the tour of the Crocodile Farm where they have lots of crocodiles they breed there to get the skins for making crocodile leather products like handbags, shoes, wallets and keyrings. The lady told us how they collect the eggs and look after them until they hatch. We saw the crocs that were in a big tank like a swimming pool and they were about two years old. There were lots of them all in the tank together.
At 2pm we went to the Wildlife Amphitheatre to see the Snake show and then stayed on for the Crocodile Attack show at 3pm. There were a lot of people there but we were lucky and got seats right near the front so we could see the action up close. The man showed us a few different snakes and talked about what to do if one bit you.
The Crocodile Attack show was very good. The crocodile was hiding under the water a lot but then would pop up and surprise the man. He fed it and it jumped out and then it grabbed onto the stick the man was holding and did the death roll. The man had to run away very fast. It was a very exciting show.
There were more shows on after that but we were a bit tired so we will see them on our next visit. On our way out we enjoyed looking at the nice gifts and things they had to buy in the gift shop. There were t-shirts, hats, drink bottles, toys, books and jewellery as well as other things.
You can do some special experiences called the Zootastic 5, the Reptastic 5 or the Mammal magic where you get to hold some special animals and get some photos with them as well as feed them. They sound like fun.
I really enjoyed going to Hartley's Crocodile Adventures and I am glad I can go back again another day with my Mega Wildcard. There was a lot to do and the staff were very friendly and helpful. If you go I think you will enjoy it too. There are a lot of areas to explore and there are nice pathways to walk on. I am glad I wore my runners and there is a lot of shade but you will need a hat and sunscreen if you are there for a long time.