Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hartley's Crocodile Park

Crocodiles of all shapes and sizes were lurking in the water between the reeds and hiding in shadows as we ate a delicious lunch of fresh seafood and 'dinosaur' burgers which in actual fact were crocodile burgers...

Where were we you ask? Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Stunning Port Douglas in Top North Queensland. In the last few days of our most recent trip to Queensland we took Amelie to experience crocodiles, snakes and other less dangerous Australian wildlife. I must say she was fearless. Running to be the first of the line to pet the giant snakes and spending almost an hour with the baby crocodiles.

She referred to the kangaroos as her friends and insisted on returning to them. I feel so blessed that I was lucky enough to be taken there on an adventure with my parents. She was really able to get up close and personal with the animals. She could see what they felt like, how they reacted to her and how they live in their natural environments. It is so much more of a learning experience than going to the zoo. Getting to see the crocodiles leap out of the water, nestling her head in to the soft fur of a kangaroo, running her hands over the scaly slithery skin of a giant snake all the while listening to the calls of native Australian birds and breathing in the fresh smell of Eucalyptus from the Gum trees in the surrounding rainforest. What a way to stimulate the senses and get in touch with nature.

I honestly give this place a 10 out of 10. (This has never happend before on this blog!)

The food in Lillies restaurant on site was excellent. There were ample highchairs for the little ones. We were able to hire a good quality stroller for the day for only €5 which could be picked up and dropped of at the entrance and exit so was no hassle whatsoever.  The changing facilities were also immaculate. The staff really made the day.

We love the commitment Hartley's have to the environment, they are a conservation park who are committed to conserving crocodile populations in Australia, they re-vegetate and work in harmony with the World Heritage forest that borders the park. They provide a natural sanctuary for many of Australia's rarer flora and fauna species. Hartleys are accredited for providing Eco Tourism and we just love that!

From the second we arrived and purchased our tickets we felt so welcome. We were greeted by smiling staff and that is all we saw all day. The people that work here obviously love their jobs. In particular we loved Wade the park ranger who was working on our boat tour. He had kids himself and was really having the craic with the small children on our tour. This is really a great action packed day for the whole family but also set in such a relaxing and stunning part of Australia that it is easy to find time to relax in between all of the animal encounters.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is located just off the Captain Cook Highway at Wangetti. You can enjoy a spectacular scenic drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, 40 minutes north of Cairns and 20 minutes south of Port Douglas. If you are visiting Top North Queensland this place is a must!

Love the Yummy Mummies and the Jetsetting Babies

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