Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is situated on the coastal drive between Palm Cove and Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland. The park contains a range of habitat types including melaleuca wetland, rainforest and eucalypt woodland. The site of the park was originally a tin mine, on land once severely degraded by tree clearing, overgrazing and soil erosion. The site has now been rehabilitated as a sanctuary for local wildlife. Visitors to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures can see crocodiles and native wildlife from over 2000m of timber boardwalks providing elevated viewing of wildlife in a variety of natural habitats.
A boat cruise on the lagoon takes visitors to the Saltwater Crocodile in its natural habitat. The Crocodile Farm Tour gives you an insight into the operation of the crocodile farm, and the sustainable use and conservation of crocodiles. At the Crocodile feeding show, a large Estuarine (Saltwater) Crocodile is hand fed, and smaller Freshwater Crocodile are also featured. During the Crocodile Attack Show, keepers feed a large crocodile in the amphitheatre area, and demonstrate the crocodile death roll. Visitors have the opportunity to have their photo taken holding a live crocodile or python (costs extra though).
The park has a variety of other wildlife apart from crocodiles – there are koalas, snakes, lizards, turtles, cassowaries, parrots and pigeons. Numerous water birds such as egrets, herons, darters and ducks are attracted to the lagoons on the property.
During the day there are numerous shows and keeper presentations. There is feeding turtles, fish and water birds in the wetlands area. A snake show introduces you to some Australia’s most venomous snakes, and teaches you a bit about first aid. The lizard show covers lizards found in tropical wetlands including water dragons, skinks and monitors. Koala feeding time is a good time to see the koalas awake.
The Cassowary is a large fruit-eating rainforest bird and plays an important roll in dispersing seeds in the tropical rainforests. Cassowary feeding time is an opportunity to see these amazing rainforest birds up close. There are only about 1,200 Southern Cassowaries left in the region, and they are threatened by habitat loss, dog attacks and road injuries. Hartley’s has a facility for the rehabilitation of sick and injured birds.
Hartley’s has a conference and education centre available for half-day and full-day hire. Lilies Restaurant overlooks Hartley’s Lagoon and specializes in regional food including crocodile meat. The Paperbark gift shop sells genuine Australian crocodile leather goods with export permits as well as other Australian souvenirs.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is on the Captain Cook Highway, Wangetti about 40km north of Cairns. The park is open daily from 8.30am to 5.00pm.