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Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

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Jaw-Dropping Crocs in Tropical North Queensland

Have a Laugh on Me blogger Emily Toxward and family discover all that Tropical North Queensland has to offer at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures.

The chilling sound of a crocodile’s jaw snap just metres from my head at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures sent a shiver down my spine. But taking a boat cruise through croc-infested waters is just as thrilling as it is chilling. You can’t help but admire the massive reptiles who have roamed the earth for millions of years.

Visiting Hartley’s, ideally located 40 minutes north of Cairns and 25 minutes south of Port Douglas; was the highlight of our far north Queensland holiday for my nature-lover son. He was enthralled by the journey we took by boat and later by foot through woodlands and rainforests.

Crocodile Farm Tour

Upon arriving we were given a short tour of the farm part of the park. It was fascinating to learn that crocodiles are bred for their skins and some handbags made using unblemished skin fetches upwards of $200,000 in the US. They sell less expensive ones, still thousands of dollars, in the gift shop.

Our tour guide explained that by farming crocs instead of catching them in the wild, it was actually helping to save them. Sure it’s not for everyone, but sheep and cows are farmed, so why not crocs? If anything it’s amazing just to see hundreds of crocodiles huddled together in the one spot.

Farm Tour

Jaw-Dropping Croc Attack Show

Attending the croc show is a must, especially if you love a bit of Aussie cheek and humour and want to learn about where some the resident reptiles come from. One was relocated to the park after it took a taste to pet dogs at a community in North Queensland and another kept annoying members of a golf course.

It’s quite a spectacular sight to see upwards of 30 full-grown crocodiles deathly still until they leap out of the air for a well-placed chicken carcass. For a little more you can also pay to pole-feed a croc or be photographed holding a baby one or a snake!

Croc Show

Meandering Boardwalks

During the last part of our visit we walked through woodlands, rainforests and aviaries and came across sleeping kangaroos, wistful owls and colourful cassowaries. The usual suspects, koalas, were also on display and the kids were stoked to get to touch a baby croc, with its mouth tapped shut (just in case they smiled at it).

Amazing komodo dragons, quolls, and birds are dotted throughout the well-run and tidy park. There’s daily presentations at set times including a snake show and koala, cassowary and wallaby feedings. You can go at your own pace or stick to the suggested schedule.

The Essentials

We took some snacks with us, because my kids are always starving, but the park is well-equipped with a range of drinks and foods for fussy kids and tired parents. The amenities are clean, staff are knowledgeable and likeable, and they outline the best way to do the park so you get the most of your day.

Cassowary
HAVE A LAUGH ON ME

When former journalist Emily Toxward isn't wrangling her three kids she's juggling the demands of writing and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A writer for 20 years, she's always on the go and looking for an adventure. She lives on the Gold Coast, the ocean is her happy place and she keeps parenting real on her blog Have A Laugh On Me.

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