Crocodiles!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
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12
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Trip End Oct 31, 2012


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, October 18, 2012

We were up early and headed into Port Douglas to check out the town. It is a small resort town with resorts everywhere but the town centre isn't very big. It has a beautiful beach that runs along it that was very busy even early in the morning. We then drove back towards Carins to go to Hartley's Crocodile Adventure. It was recommended by a few of the people we had talked to and our book but we were still a little skeptical, turns out it was the best money we have spent this trip. The park isn't like your typical zoo, a lot of the exhibits are interactive with the animals and there wasn't the herds of people. We started the day with feeding the cassowarys. The keeper gave an informative talk while we were allowed to feed them. They are the second biggest bird in the world, native to Queensland and endangered because of cars and dog attacks. Next we went on a tour of their crocodile farm which is set up to show how the farming industry works. Having farms has deterred people from shooting the animals in the wild so that practice has essentially stopped. After the farm we went on a boat cruise around the swamp they had set up that contained 18 salt water crocs. The drive fed a few of them and showed how their hierarchal system worked. We then went to a different location where they had even more salt water crocs and watched another feeding demonstration. When we paid to enter the park they asked us if we wanted to pay a little extra to feed our own crocodile and the only answer to that question is yes. So after they did a talk on the fresh water crocodiles they had, they gave us chicken heads on the end of a bamboo pole and we were allowed to feed them. They are fast, bite hard and don't let go. We have some good pictures. After all that it was time for lunch, I feed crocodile, crocodile feeds me and it was the best croc I have had so far. In the afternoon we went to one of the enclosures you could walk around in where they had kangaroos and wallabies. They were calm and resting when we went in so we could actually go up and pet them which was pretty cool. After that was the snake show where the fed pythons and had a taipan, the most venomous snake in the world but you couldn't tell from his demeanour as it was pretty relaxed and not aggressive at all. The final demonstration we had time for was another croc feeding where they fed a single crocodile and got it to do death rolls which was awesome. We had to leave that show early to drive back to Port Douglas so that we could catch our boat for a sunset cruise/croc spotting trip up one of the estuaries near town. The skipper gave us the only two seats on the front of the boat and we got free beer and snacks onboard. We saw two crocs on our trip, they were very difficult to see as they were hidden in the mangroves but the cruise was fun. Following that we had to rush back to the hotel and get ready to go for our dinner in the jungle at Flames of the Forest. The bus was late to pick us up but they got there eventually and we were off to a valley not far from Port Douglas. When we got there the place was illuminated with tiki torches and it looked really neat. They had appetizers and wine in a reception type area then we moved to the main dining area where they served us a seven course meal. They had two of the local aboriginals come and perform a show with story telling, dances and a music on a didgeridoo, possibly the most annoying instrument invented. We had a bunch of French people at our table too who just assumed I couldn't speak French and in typical French from France fashion complained the whole night about everything that was wrong with Australia. I didn't bother telling them I could understand every word they were saying, it was more fun that way. The meal they served was really good but probably not worth the price of admission. We found out how much tickets cost on a brochure we got at a restaurant the night before and it was shocking. We tried to get out moneys worth in wine consumption. They dropped us off at the end of the night back at our hotel and we packed our bags for our early departure the next morning.
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