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Cairns

Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

sunny 26 °C

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View from Rex Lookout, Captain Cook Highway

Sunday was our last day in Port Douglas and we were excited to check out the local market in the morning. We were flying out that afternoon, so we got up earlier than our standard holiday wake-up time and headed down. It was a small market, with arts and crafts. It might be because I’m not the target audience for these markets, or that I’m spoilt by the Melbourne markets that I’m used to, but the stalls didn’t really appeal to me and we didn’t stay for very long. We were soon in the car on the journey back to Cairns to catch our flight.

A bit before halfway to Cairns, there is Rex Lookout, which has a lovely view of the sea and a nice point to break up the drive.
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View from Rex Lookout, Captain Cook Highway

In planning our drive, we were tossing up between going to the Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you can cuddle a koala, or Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Given Hartley’s was closer, we decided to check that out. I’ve never been to an attraction where crocodiles are the main stars, and I was apprehensive as I’m not a huge fan of the creatures.

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Despite that, Hartley’s was a really good experience. The crocodile feeding was a highlight, where the keeper explains facts about the crocodiles and lure them out of the water with meat. The sound that comes from the crocodile snapping it’s jaws is so unique, and you can feel it reverberate – kind of creepy!

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Jesse, the funniest reptile keeper, feeding Spartacus

Can you hear the sound of the croc snapping it's jaws?

There is a lagoon cruise, which is super short, but again the keepers feed the crocs and you can see them a bit closer as they come right up to the boat.

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Crocodile feeding from the boat

There are so many activities at Hartley’s – I feel like a family could spend a whole day exploring. There are other native animals other than crocodiles - koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, kookaburras, cassowaries. However, we spent a couple of hours there and we were ready to be on our way.

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Lazy koala

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Making friends with Skippy

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Kookaburra with broken wings that was rescued from a road accident

We drove into Cairns and walked around a little bit. Cairns was as I remembered it – small, touristy and in a way lacking in personality. The tide was out, so looking out at the waterfront with no water was a bit underwhelming. Ann’s flight left a few hours before mine, so after a sad farewell as I dropped her off at the airport for her journey back to the US, I returned to Cairns. I sat by the waterfront and read. It was nice, but not as relaxing as 4 mile beach in Port Douglas was. After a relaxing 4 day winter escape, leaving from Cairns made it easier to be ready to go home

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View from Cairns waterfront

Posted by always_explore 17:00 Archived in Australia Tagged sea views cairns crocodiles

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