As a kid when we travelled up the freeway, Ploddy the dinosaur marked our destination. Twenty years later the playfulness of Ploddy lives on and the Australian Reptile Park has become part of Central Coast culture.
The Australian Reptile Park is small and intimate. Nestled away in the bush at Somersby, the park offers a zoo like experience in a natural setting. Whether you have two hours or six, there is plenty to do!
The Australian Reptile Park has four main areas:
- nature walk past a variety of Australian animals and the alligator pond;
- small reptiles, platypus, spider and snake exhibits;
- open space picnic grounds and free range kangaroos and emus; and
- sheltered picnic area and playground.
The highlights at the Australian Reptile Park has to include the devils, Elvis the cranky croc and the funky spider and snake worlds.
Tasmanian Devils are an iconic part of the Australian Reptile Park. You can learn more about Devils at the keeper talk that takes place daily.
Devils always seem hard to spot at other zoos but not here! The Devils are active and happy. The Park works tirelessly in the conservation of these adorable Aussie animals. If you head there this September, you might even be lucky enough to spot the newest addition to the park!
During the school holidays, the ZooBorn presentation will be on at 12:20pm you can come along and meet all the new babies for 2016
The Australian Reptile Park has a behind the scenes Tasmanian Devil program that strives to protect the Tassie Devils. You can sponsor a devil to support the program protecting Devils from extinction from the deadly facial tumour disease devastating the Tasmanian populations. Check out more at www.devilark.org.au
Who doesn’t love a koala? It doesn’t really matter how matter times you’ve daydreamed at these sweeties, it really is never enough.
They always seem to be sleeping though! While most of the koalas at the park were snoozing away the afternoon, we were lucky enough to snap a photo of one of the baby koalas with a park volunteer.
If you are hoping to get this close, head to the feeding session and learn something new or try the koala photo session and you’ll get a cuddle.
Other furry friends to visit near the koalas include dingoes, wombats and echidnas.
The nature walk past the alligator pond is wide and easy to use. Head along the waters edge and see if you can find something lurking…
For some school holiday fun, why not get the kids to count up how many alligators they can find and see who wins. It may require more patience than expected!
A gigantic spider greets visitors in spider world – some kids love it – some kids run! The clever spider exhibit gets visitors up close with Australian spiders. Looking through a window though! If you have a child that is a afraid of the dark, be a little cautious when you enter.
Elvis The Cranky Crocodile
Elvis is the Australian Reptile Park’s resident saltwater crocodile. He is a seriously large croc that we would never want to meet in a creek! Elvis came to the Australian Reptile Park after being removed from Darwin Harbour because he was attacking boats!
The park has weekend (and school holiday) feeding times for Elvis. Elvis well and truly proves he is cranky. The power on display is merciless and the keepers are crazy people!
Head off down the nature walk to explore the animal exhibits tucked away in the trees. On the nature walk you’ll discover rock wallabies, cassowaries, native birds, the nocturnal house and koalas.
The nature walk is an easy track that is suitable for young kids. Some parts of the nature walk are tricky for people with limited mobility.
The Australian Reptile Park is well equipped for the variety of visitors that come to the park every year. The Hard Croc café has plenty of food choices if you prefer to eat out.
There are plenty of picnic tables in both the free range animal space and in the sheltered picnic area. Central Coast Weekender visited on the June long weekend and there was still plenty of space!
While you sit back, let the kids run around and check out the exhibits within the picnic area. There were plenty of sun baking characters on the day we visited.
Having a playground in a park like this is a tricky issue. Some people see it as brilliant, giving kids the chance to rumble while the adults have a rest. Other people not so much – why pay that much only to see your kids play on a slippery dip?
We didn’t mind it, it is a pretty fantastic playground. The kids played while we had a cup of coffee. They were still willing to head off to the next animal. Our tip would be – head there last.
All year round, 7 days a week
9 am to 5 pm
- Adult $35 or $110 annually
- Child (3-15) $19 or $60 annually
- Seniors (65+) $25 0r $80 annually
- Family Pass (2 adults, 2 kids) $95 or $290 annually
- Extra Child on Family Pass $14
The annual pass provides unlimited visits to the park all year round.
Spring School Holidays
There are some special activities on at the Australian Reptile Park during the spring school holidays.
Kids can get up close and involved at the park in the kids 2 keeper program. Available for 3-6yrs, 7-12 and 13-18, the programs are tailored to each age group. The cost varies up to $105/child for the 13-18 year old program. For more details check out the parks website.
Meet the Spring babies at the zoo born show this Spring. The current program lists the show at 12:20pm. You can have a cuddle and a photo afterwards (presumably at a cost).
The Australian Reptile Park is just 15 minutes from the centre of Gosford and 60 minutes from the Sydney CBD.
For more details on how you can get there check out www.reptilepark.com.au
Have you been to the Australian Reptile Park? What was your favourite thing?