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Crocosaurus Cove Crocosaurus Cove Review

Discussion in 'Australia' started by zooboy28, 27 Apr 2015.

  1. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    1 Aug 2010
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    Crocosaurus Cove is located in downtown Darwin, located in the tropical north of Australia’s Northern Territory. It is essentially a reptile centre, which covers a large three-storey purpose-built building that opened in July 2008 (at a total cost of $32 million apparently, but I can’t see how that could be right). Entry is not cheap, with an adult ticket costing $35, although it’s cheaper for locals and there are various discount vouchers available. It’s definitely set up for tourists, and was quite busy on a hot afternoon. I visited last June, and here is a little review (there are also a couple of early reviews in this thread:

    The entrance leads into a viewing gallery along the ground floor, where there are large floor-to-ceiling windows that look into five tanks for large Saltwater Crocodiles. Between two of these is a small tunnel, with views into and under the crocs. This is quite an attractive area, with very nice looking exhibits, which seem to offer much deeper water than most outdoor croc exhibits, but a smaller area. I’m not at all sure if this is an issue for the crocs however. As with the rest of the place, everything here is flash and fairly new, with decent signage, plenty of visitor space, and well-furnished exhibits.

    A staircase then leads up to the first floor. The staircase provides views into the very tall and large, 200,000 litre, open-topped freshwater aquarium. This houses a range of local native species, from tiny Flyspeck Hardyhead to the massive Barramundi. There are also Freshwater Whip Rays, Saratoga, Archerfish, and various other small species, and there have been Sawfish in the past too. I saw a Fish Feeding presentation here, and this was perhaps one of the best zoo presentations I have seen for a long time, the keeper did a great job showcasing the fishes and their feeding habits. Very cool. At the top of the stairs was a crocodile nest display, with an enclosure for a number of baby Saltwater Crocodiles adjacent.

    The next part is the main reptile collection, displayed in tanks along a winding corridor. Crocosaurus Cove has a huge reptile collection, which comprises mostly local species, which means there are a lot of taxa not often seen elsewhere, and I saw 17 new species here. The first part of the reptile house is set up as a nocturnal section, while the second part is well-lit. Snakes and lizards dominate, although there are Freshwater Crocodiles, a few turtles and amphibians too. The tanks are generally of a good size, and all are well-furnished, although some seemed a bit small for the larger monitors and pythons. In the middle of the collection is a small demonstration area, where a few common pet species were passed around.

    After the indoor reptile displays, the next part of Crocosaurus Cove gives views from above into the adult Saltwater Croc exhibits previously seen, and contains various other amenities, such as a café and theatre. Crocosaurus Cove also offers a variety of experiences, including “Fishing for Crocodiles” and the “Cage of Death” in which one or two people are put in an acrylic box, and lowered into one of the Saltwater Croc tanks, from which they can see the croc, and it can definitely see them, and is encouraged to attack the box. The idea of being in the cage is great, but I didn’t think the attack part benefitted the crocs at all. It would be pretty fun to do though, if you had a spare $128.

    Behind the croc pens was another indoor exhibit, this one called World of Crocs, which featured mounted specimens, skulls and displays about all species of Crocodilian in the world. This was quite basic, and not particularly well done. Finally, there is another level above, which is a viewing deck over the croc pens, and over a small collection of freshwater turtle ponds, which are quite nice. There is then a staircase back down to the underwater croc viewing, and an exit via the gift shop. As Crocosaurus Cove is owned by a crocodile farmer, there is plenty of crocodile products for sale here, including small mounted specimens, as well as the usual tourist stuff and a few books. Most impressively, there was a small guide book, with a reasonable amount of information, which costs just $3.95.

    Crocosaurus Cove does boast that it has the largest collection of Australian reptiles in the world. And as far as I can tell, it does! I saw 59 reptiles on display, including two crocodiles, 7 turtles, 20 snakes and 30 lizards (11 monitors, 7 geckos, 7 dragons, 4 skinks, 1 legless-lizard), and there were also two frog species and a few fishes. This is certainly a higher number than anywhere else in Australia I have visited, and I doubt anywhere overseas would have this many Australian species displayed. While I wasn’t particularly interested in the crocodiles, although these are displayed pretty well, the rest of the reptile collection and the aquarium are generally impressive, and Crocosaurus Cove is well worth a visit if you’re in town. I’d recommend it over Crocodylus Park, but probably not over Territory Wildlife Park.
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    1 Aug 2010
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    20 Oct 2008
    Christmas Island
    Thanks for the review. I was last in Darwin 12 years ago when this place didn't exist, but next time I hit the top end I'll make sure to visit.


  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    1 Aug 2010
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    List of Displayed Species:

    Species on display June 2014, not including fish.

    White’s Tree Frog
    Magnificent Tree Frog

    Pig-nosed Turtle
    Red-faced Turtle
    Pink-faced Turtle
    Yellow-faced Turtle
    Northern Snapping Turtle
    Sandstone Long-necked Turtle
    Northern Long-necked Turtle

    Saltwater Crocodile
    Freshwater Crocodile

    Pygmy King Brown Snake
    Mulga Snake
    Western Brown Snake
    Eastern Brown Snake
    Northern Brown Snake
    Fierce Snake
    Common Death Adder
    Northern Death Adder
    Common Tree Snake
    Banded Tree Snake
    Slaty-grey Snake
    Top End Carpet Python
    Black-headed Python
    Centralian Carpet Python
    Rough-scaled Python
    Stimson’s Python
    Olive Python
    Woma Python
    Children’s Python
    Water Python

    Kimberley Fringe-toed Gecko
    Northern Spiny-tailed Gecko
    Giant Cave Gecko
    Jewelled Velvet Gecko
    Marbled Velvet Gecko
    Gracile Velvet Gecko
    Northern Knob-tailed Gecko

    Legless Lizards
    Burton’s Legless-lizard

    Lined Earless Dragon
    Central Netted Dragon
    Splendid Dragon
    Northern Water Dragon
    Frill-necked Dragon
    Western Bearded Dragon
    Inland Bearded Dragon

    Striped Skink
    Hosmer’s Skink
    Central Blue-tongue Skink
    Northern Blue-tongue Skink

    Kimberley Rock Goanna
    Black-footed Rock Goanna
    Spiny-tailed Goanna
    Blue-striped Goanna
    Yellow-throated Goanna
    Mitchell’s Water Monitor
    Blunt-spined Goanna
    Spotted Tree Goanna
    Spencer’s Goanna
    Short-tailed Monitor
  5. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

    15 Feb 2013
    I take it that you went to these other 2 parks also? Could you give us an updated review of these places please?
  6. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    1 Aug 2010
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    I will try to do a review of Crocodylus this weekend, but I didn't make it to Territory Wildlife unfortunately, as I ran out of time (and its not very easy to get to without renting a car). I most wanted to go to TWP, and was very disappointed to not be able to. Its my number one Australian Zoo that I must visit (closely followed by Perth).
  7. Jabiru96

    Jabiru96 Well-Known Member

    1 Feb 2010
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