About 40min into our journey from Cairns to Port Douglas, a sign attracted our attention. “Croc Feeding 11am & 3pm” (it was 10:45am and it was hard to resist the temptation). I had seen crocodile feeding before in Broome, but this was Tina’s first.
From the first steps inside Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, we connected with it. This place looked very well maintained, in a natural environment. There is even a lovely restaurant.
The feeding is not like the ones I had seen before. This time we are closer; in fact, we are on a boat floating on the crocodiles’ lagoon!
We are standing next to the lagoon, waiting to be boarded. I cannot control my excitement. As the time clocks, my heart beats faster.
On board, our cameras are ready. The safety introduction was delivered with a great humour. It was just entertaining and full of information (but not calming!). The more I learnt about these silent predators, the more I came to the term that I should keep away from them. (from this point forward I started taking the signs A LOT more seriously!).
The list goes on! In summary, you have no chance of winning a fight with a salt water crocodile, do not try to be the crocodile Dundee!
At first, we did not really plan to spend much time at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, but the croc feeding totally changed our mind. This place has all different size crocodiles, salt water and fresh water.
Fresh water crocodiles are smaller and comparably safe (some say you can even swim with them as long as they are not aggravated). Also they bite and let go, unlike their hostile salt water cousins. A saltie bites on, grabs hold, spins and rips to take their victim apart.
An amazing thing about this place was that we could find a variety of Australian icons in one place; snakes, koalas, kangaroos and exotic cassowaries. What makes this place special is how closely you can interact with those animals.
We got to hold a tiny crocodile. Even at such very young age, their eyes are vicious! But their belly is soft (through their life! <3).
The snake show was interesting. Whilst everyone else where entertained, there was one person fearing for his life! (one of those moment that you do not envy someone else!). The young boy’s facial impression who forcedly “volunteered” (apparently by his parents!) to interact with venomous snake. I think this is how I would look like when I see death!
One word: INSANE!
Make sure you do not miss the Crocodile Attack Show!
The water was muddy and calm. It was just insane to imagine someone would keep himself in there with a salt water crocodile and tease the fearless creature. There was no way to see through the water and the croc could launch an attack at any moment! It was just insane!
I was carried away with the humour and the entertainment of the show however once a while the horror dragged me back to reality! I don’t think I can find such thing anywhere else in the world!
It is hard to tell which part of my visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures was the prime. But I can definitely tell cassowary feeding was the most unique one.
Cassowaries are solitary and aggressive; hence in here they are kept in separate sections. Behind the fence, these waking dinosaurs appeared to be very gentle and smart. It was a special experience since you don’t often get to feed an endangered specie!
We had a very unusual experience at the Cassowary Walk. At the instant that we arrived, we felt a very low frequency noise. This booming noise felt like the ground underneath was breaking and the sound was played through a big subwoofer! The strange thing was that I could feel the noise more through my body than my ears! To be honest, it scared me. Up to this date I had not felt anything like that.
Because very low frequencies propagate over vast distances with little attenuation, those frequencies are optimal for long-range communication (which is particularly handy in the rain forest).
Later on, in Daintree Rainforest, this noise woke me up a few times in the through the night. I could not hear it but I could feel the vibration through my lungs.
Finally, we finished our visit with feeding koalas. Fluff level reached 100% !!!
I cannot get enough of petting these fluffy creatures! No matter if you are the most stone hearted person, I guarantee you will never resist the urge when you see these fluff monsters!