Review: Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns brings you face to face with a prehistoric predator

Dealing with up to 800kg of hungry crocodile is all in a day’s work for the gang at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures in Queensland's tropical north. Tap into your inner-Mick Dundee on this day tour to the park from Cairns. Review: Chris Bright

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

Image courtesy of Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

5 stars

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns with Global Travel Services

This Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns lets you enjoy one of North Queensland’s best attractions, with the ease of return coach transfers. Choose a morning, afternoon or full day visit (the price is the same). Entry to the wildlife park is included in the cost of the tour. Duration: 9 hours

Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile in the world, with an evolutionary pedigree that stretches back some 200 million years.

Whether you’re fascinated or completely terrified by these magnificent creatures, one of the most amazing things to do in North Queensland is visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, located half way between Port Douglas and Palm Cove. Global Travel Services offers a handy Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns, including pick-up from your Cairns Hotel.

Hartley’s is one of the finest wildlife viewing experiences anywhere in the country. You can get as up close and personal as you want with any number of our native birds, marsupials, snakes, and of course these monster reptiles.

Before heading for the scaly main attractions, we warmed up with some of the less intimidating flora and fauna to be found throughout the 10-hectare park. Hartley’s is the only wildlife park in Australia bordered by a World Heritage-listed site, and the Queensland Wet Tropics landscape that surrounds the site is incredible. It really adds to the atmosphere and thankfully the team at Hartley’s are doing all they can to preserve the pristine rainforest.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

The Wildlife Discovery Trail, a simple-to-navigate boardwalk, leads all the way around the park. Take the time to appreciate the endangered cassowaries (not found anywhere else in the world), as well as koalas, quolls, emus, snakes, lizards, turtles and waterbirds. You can even hand-feed the friendly kangaroos and wallabies.

To the all-important crocodile viewing and there are six cruises on the Hartley’s Lagoon scheduled throughout the day. Each is guided by one of the park’s knowledgeable crocodile keepers. We didn’t even have to push the boat out to get our first glimpse of a croc, which was lurking less than a metre away.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns. Image: Chris Bright

The boat does a lap of the lagoon, which is home to 23 crocodiles including a six-foot monster named Ted, who is believed to be more than 100 years old. The predators are lured to the side of the boat with food and it’s seriously awe-inspiring to watch as they jump right out of the water to take the tucker with one lethal snap of their massive jaws.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns. Image: Chris Bright

After seeing the crocs in action you will probably want to learn more. We certainly did, so we headed to the Wildlife Amphitheatre for the wildlife shows.

First up was the snake and reptile show, presented by reptile handler and apparent snake-whisperer Leigh. He brought along several bags and containers, which held some of the biggest and most poisonous snakes in the world. Australia is home to the eleven most deadly snakes on the planet. Six of those are found in Queensland! I guess there’s a reason Indiana Jones never ventured Downunder.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns. Image: Chris Bright

After the snake show, fellow handlers Drew and Mario came out to teach us more about crocodiles with the assistance of a 5-metre long beast named Bart, who apparently ‘suffers from severe anger management issues’. Bart was more than happy though to show off the headshake and notorious death roll.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is suitable for all ages and should not be missed. You’ll gain a much better understanding of one of Australia’s most feared predators, and you can make a day of it on the Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures tour from Cairns.

Chris travelled as a guest of Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.

Additional images: Bigstock

 

Chris Bright

About the writer

Chris Bright is a freelance writer based in Melbourne with a passion for travel, food, music and film. He’s travelled to South-East Asia, India, Japan, parts of Europe and most of North America — the most memorable of which was hiring a 7-foot RV and driving from Miami to LA with a bunch of close mates. Chris is willing to try anything once, whether it’s leaping from great heights or eating things that don’t look the least bit appetising. When it comes to travel, he loves nothing more than meeting new people and sharing a laugh over their local drink of choice.

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