News

Get snapping at Hartley’s

SNAP HAPPY: Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is a popular tourist attraction.
SNAP HAPPY: Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is a popular tourist attraction. CONTRIBUTED

HERE'S a question you won't want to answer.

Would you rather be disembowelled by an irritated cassowary or eaten by a monster crocodile?

It's a silly question but when you are very close to enormous saltwater crocs and within a handshake of a growling cassowary you'd be surprised how easily it jumps to mind.

Fortunately you can get very close to these potentially deadly but fascinating creatures at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures without risking a grisly death.

Hartley's - about 40 minutes north of Cairns and 25 minutes south of Port Douglas - will prove the late Steve Irwin did not exaggerate when he said "crocs rule".

These gigantic brutes with their prehistoric hides have no predators and could snatch you, drag you under water and crunch you in half before you could say "hey look, there's a crocodile over there".

Fortunately the big saltwater crocs at Hartley's are well fed, safely behind a fenced lagoon and you view them from the protection of a steel-meshed boat.

You may think you've seen it all in your travels but until you've seen Ted - the whole 5.4 metres of him - lunge from the water to snatch a dangling chicken carcass in his powerful jaws - you haven't really lived. (Ted is 100 years old, has one tooth and one eye, but hey - you wouldn't want to mess with him.)

Hartley's man-made lagoon has fused with nature over the decades to become a natural wetland and the crocs that live contented lives there send shivers down the spine.

Hartley's staff know all the crocs by name (how, is anybody's guess they all look terrifyingly the same) and have an obvious affection for them.

The boat ride in the lagoon leaves you trembling with awe as does feeding time where the crocs surge out of the water for dangled treats to expose fleshy white underbellies as malevolent as their watchful eyes.

Professional wildlife keepers ensure your safety, and throughout the day, present conservation-themed educational activities.

As for the cassowary, it is not at all irritated at Hartley's, on the contrary, it's very happy showing off its gorgeous red, blue and purple plumage, making a low booming noise that we take to mean happiness.

Hartley's has been going about its croc and wildlife business for 80 years.

It began as a teahouse in 1933 to "delight travellers between Cairns and Mossman".

Visitors endured a two-hour buggy drive to get there and the owners decided to buy a crocodile to live in the creek and entertain them while they waited for their scones to come out of the oven.

Now with its native bush viewed from 2100 metres of timber boardwalks and pathways, Hartley's is also home to koalas, reptiles and wallabies and has glorious bird life in its walk-in aviary.

The cassowary garden is where you'll spot these normally elusive birds and it's hard to believe by their proud and pretty stature that they could take you out with one lightning-fast swoop of their deadly dagger-like claws.

A day flashes by quickly at Hartley's, especially if you take part in the crocodile farm tour, the snake show, the cassowary and koala feeding, and pose for a photo with a python around your neck.

Visitors come from all over the world, fearfully fascinated by Australia's deadly creatures. Some even chose to exchange their wedding vows in the amphitheatre.

It's a slick operation at Hartley's, a far cry from being entertained by the one crocodile while you waited for your afternoon tea.

>>Try the crocodile meat, farmed at Hartley's, in its on-site restaurant, Lillie's

 

>>Learn about sustainable use and conservation on a crocodile farm tour

 

>>Hartley's has operated a commercial crocodile farm since 1989. Estuarine crocodiles bred on the premises are raised for their skins and meat.

You can visit parts of the farm, learn how it all works, and appreciate how the sustainable commercial use of wildlife contributes to wildlife and habitat conservation.

 

>> Special interest groups from pre-school through to senior and tertiary level students have education programs.

 

>>Hartley's provides A-grade skins, commission by Louis Vuitton.

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is 40km north of Cairns and 25km south of Port Douglas on the Captain Cook Hwy.

Visit www.crocodile adventures.com for more details.

Topics:  travel ann rickard


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Looking to restore a beachhead

THE WAT IT WAS: Erosion at Munna Point back in 2013.

Erosion fix approved for river shore

New path for Noosa key asset

The Munna Point Bridge has been saved from falling down and is now going to get an new footpath.

Munna bridge works

Ditch the penalty rates, report says

HARD AT WORK: Hospitality workers may lose penalty rates.

Should hospitality workers be paid penalty rates?

Local Partners

Six-year-old Rubi raising funds for biggest killer of babies

A LOCAL young girl is thinking of others this Christmas by raising money for children with heart conditions.

Markets across region offer a treasure chest of bargains

The Caloundra Street Fair is a great way to spend your weekend.Photo Contributed

Do your Christmas and grocery shopping the leisurely way.

Caxton Street Jazz Band to raise the roof on Christmas

The Caxton Street Jazz Band.

Jazz up your Christmas with Caxton Street Jazz Band.

Montville prepares for Festive Tree Lighting Event

No Caption

There's just three more weeks of Montville's Lucky Shopper contest.

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Beef sliders with your movie? Hot food arrives at Coast cinema

General manager at Maroochydore Birch, Carol and Coyle Catherine Joseph at the new candy bar.

From today you can order buffalo wings and fries with movie tickets.

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

This Noosa home is something special

29 The Peninsular at Noosa Waters is something special.

THERE are nice homes, luxury homes and then there's this home.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!