Hartley's Crocodile Adventures#9 in Best Things To Do in Great Barrier Reef
Visitors who want to enjoy a close encounter with Australia's unique animals will love checking out Hartley's Crocodile Adventures. Though the main draw of this wildlife habitat is its crocodiles, travelers will also see kangaroos and koalas, as well as lesser-known creatures like cassowaries (large flightless birds that look like emus but with bright blue heads) and quolls (small nocturnal animals known for their spotted fur).
According to recent visitors, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is a "first-class facility" filled with indigenous animals. Although some were initially skeptical about visiting, many said this attraction's interesting shows and knowledgeable staff exceeded their expectations. Must-do activities include going on a lagoon cruise, touring the crocodile farm and watching the snake show. Travelers also recommend paying extra to hold and take a photo with one of the property's koalas.
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is located in Wangetti by Captain Cook Highway and about halfway between Port Douglas and Cairns. Public transportation is not available in the area, but visitors can drive and park for free in the property's lot. Available facilities include a gift shop, restrooms, two amphitheaters, a restaurant and multiple croc feeding areas. Standard tickets cover three consecutive days of admissions and cost 39 Australian dollars ($29) for adults and AU$19.50 ($14.50) for kids between 4 and 15, or a family pass that includes entry for two adults and two children can be purchased for AU$97.50 ($72.50). Additional charges apply for tickets that offer extras like animal photo ops, transfers and breakfast. The attraction is open daily (excluding Christmas Day) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the property's website.
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#1 Diving and Snorkeling
Many visitors say the Great Barrier Reef is best seen through a scuba mask, but it's no small feat to traverse the area's dive spots. When choosing which regions to explore, consider your skill level, the amount of travel involved and the trip length in that area. Two of the most popular diving and snorkeling locales are listed below:
Hosting a kaleidoscope of fish, sea turtles and humpback whales, Cairns' reefs are teeming with wildlife. Known locally as the Outer Barrier Reef, these reefs are ideal for first-time divers and families because of the one- to three-hour travel times from Cairns' Reef Fleet Terminal. Popular spots by Cairns include Michaelmas Cay, Moore Reef, Green Island and Hastings Reef. Ocean Free, Seastar Cruises and Tusa Dive all offer a variety of half- to full-day cruises; diving and snorkeling cruise packages start at 205 Australian dollars ($152) per adult and AU$120 ($89) for each child.
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