Test your daring at Darwin's Crocosaurus Cove, where you can get eyeball-to-eyeball with the world's largest and most fierce reptiles – the salt-water crocodile.
There's the arms-length, safety-first approach to getting to know more about the world's largest crocodiles. And there's the Darwin way – intimate. Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin's premier reptile wildlife centre naturally does it the Darwin way. You don't just watch these deadly beasts – the salt-water Indo-Pacific crocodile, which can be over 6 metres in length – from a conveniently safe distance. The professional reptile handlers here will have you holding, feeding and even swimming with these 'salties'.
Of course the utmost care is taken, and the park takes its responsibilities very seriously. But they have cleverly found ways to get you up-close and personal with some of Darwin's most notorious inhabitants. The easy option is to 'pet-a-croc'. Luckily, the crocs in question are youngsters, not long out of the egg-shell, and holding these smooth-scaled little critters takes gumption, not the loss of a finger. The kids will love this one.
The next step up in bravery is to feed some of the older 'teen crocs' – or 'Fishing for Crocs' as the staff at Crocosaurus Cove call it. This will have you standing on a platform, fishing rod in hand, casting for juvenile crocodiles, which are up to one metre in length. These are friskier and will leap out the water to get at the snacks on your line. Did we mention the pool would have nearly 100 of these little 'salties' fighting for your attention?
The boldest and bravest move to take, however, is into the Cage of Death. This involves carefully lowering you into the pool with a hungry croc – and a 5.5-metre long adult at that. You will be safely protected in a glass cage, and you can always take a friend for comfort. Then you can 'relax' and enjoy the sight of this monster circling around you, just a few centimetres away, before it is fed by the keeper.
There are other sights to see here, too. A turtle sanctuary, a reptile house with over 70 native Australian species, and an aquarium displaying Barramundi, Whiprays and Sawfish. All very fascinating, but they don't have quite the same draw as the big crocs of the Cage of Death. Just remember. Utterly safe Crocosaurus Cove may be – swimming with dolphins it isn't.