Aug 23, 2011

Reptiles at The Australian Reptile Park

Oh, I love a good bargain. Tickets for the The Australian Reptile Park normally go for $64 for a family of four. But a mom at Playgroup told me LivingSocial had a offer for $29. So I grabbed it, and off we went last Sunday.

I like this park. It is smaller than the map suggests, but the size is actually just right for a leisurely day. You don't have to rush from one end of the park to the other just to catch the shows. You can bring your own food (we packed sandwiches and nuggets and bought coffee from the Cafe), and there are even BBQ facilities. There is a large children's playground where the kids can run off some steam. And it has a 'homely' feel that larger, more commercialised and in-city parks lack.

I really liked the shows. The host's irreverent humour and the stream of informative tidbits about the animals had Hubs and I thoroughly amused and engaged.

australian reptile park

australian reptile park

We had just watched Nemo on tv the day before. This beautiful Galapagos turtle which nonchalantly chewed away as kids patted its back is not as old as the Crush dude - it's 61 years old. But it can live up to 170 years!

The star of the show is Elvis. Elvis is a giant, at 15 feet and 700 kg.

australian reptile park

If you are lucky, you get to see Elvis eat. The host explained that in the wild, crocs only eat 12 times a year. In captivity, they get to eat every day. So sometimes they are just not hungry.

Nevertheless, staff Billy, gives it a go.

I was on the edge of my seat for two reasons. One, Billy was incredibly upclose to a croc that was three times as long as he, and 10 times his weight. See how close he gets? *shudder*

australian reptile park

Also, I was literally on the edge of my seat - being too short to see past folk who are one foot taller, I had climbed the wooden fence and was straddled on top of it. Go early, the spaces around fill up really fast.

Although Elvis initially looked disinterested, Billy managed to get him to warm up to the idea and take a bite.

australian reptile park

That appeared to whet his appetite. Elvis perked up and lunged enthusiastically at the second piece of rabbit that Billy held just out of his reach. The crowd gasped as Elvis snapped at the rabbit repeatedly, envisioning the raw power behind those jaws as loud thumps echoed through the arena. Well, the crowd gasped, I screamed. What can I say, I'm excitable...

australian reptile park

And that was the kids' pick for favourite part of the day. I'll post more pics and other animals in another post.

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