Does swimming with mammoth aquatic reptiles in a glass box known as the Cage of Death sound like a great vacation or the more like kind of adventure nightmares are made of? What about feeding small animals to these fantastic beasts while leaning over a railing just centimeters away from their powerful jaws? How about holding the young ones in your hands, praying a mouth full of razor sharp teeth doesn’t tear your palms to shreds? If you answered the former, Crocosaurus Cove in scenic Darwin City, Australia might be your dream vacation.
Darwin City is a quaint little town situated in Northern Territory, Australia. Nestled along the northernmost peak of the area, Darwin City is home to beautiful beaches and relaxing destinations like parks and resorts. Crocosaurus Cove is neither of these things. Located right along the coast and just minutes from the ocean, Crocasarus Cove is the biggest and most unique reptile experience in the world. Featuring some of the largest crocodiles in captivity, this interactive experience is sure to be educational, impressive and, if you happen to be a little wary of the idea of being a mere sheet glass away from giant carnivorous predators, downright terrifying.
Despite the possibility of facing death at the hands of crocodiles over five meters long, Crocosaurus Cove is a great destination for the whole family. With exploratory options for adults and kids of all ages, taking a day off from tanning or sightseeing to learn more about the world of these giant reptilian carnivores could be a treat for everyone. Inside the front doors, you and your family will be immediately introduced to a 200,000 liter aquarium featuring over a dozen species of freshwater fish. Made to resemble a river, visitors can take in a surface or deep sea fish feeing in order to see some exquisite beings, like the sawfish and the whiprays, in action.
After seeing the sights at the aquarium, guests can head upstairs to the reptile house. Home to one of Australia’s largest collection of indigenous reptiles, families can explore over seventy species with information from experts and animal feedings throughout the day. Once you’ve had your fill of snakes, lizards and frogs, it’s time for the World of Crocs, an interactive display of fourteen varieties of monstrous crocodiles. Children and parents alike can learn the differences between the species and truly get a feeling for exactly how easy it would be for a crocodile to swallow a human being whole with very little effort. While in the World of Crocs, you can have the chance to hold a baby crocodile, tiny reptiles roughly a half-meter in length. Don’t worry; their snouts are secured to avoid any kind of crocodile snacking disaster. If you’d like a picture taken and made into a postcard to send to your friends back home to document your daredevil experience, the museum would be happy to oblige.
Once you’ve had your fill of crocodile figures, it’s time to actually see some. Kids and kids at heart will have the opportunity to dive with the crocs in a simulated crocodile swim. In reality, you and your children will be separated from the pool of reptiles by a thick wall of glass but your friends and families don’t have to know that when you show them the pictures. Beside the swim tank, the Big Force simulator will make quick work of an ice block for the sake of demonstrating the power of a crocodile’s jaw. If you come to the Fishing for Crocs exhibit after one of the live feeding demonstration, you can have the chance to “fish” for crocodiles with small animals like birds or bats in order to observe how crocs hunt, kill and eat smaller prey in the wild. Hungry yet?
If the crocodile feedings did indeed make you hungry, the theater and café follow the croc fishing entertainment. Feel free to grab a bit to eat—sadly, the café does not serve birds and bats to its human guests—or a reptile-themed show in the theater. Up the stairs from the café area is the turtle sanctuary and viewing deck. Guests can get a great view from the roof or play with the expansive turtle collection. Most notable are the pig-nosed turtles, the largest species of freshwater turtle in Australia. These strange creatures have a layer of skin coating their shells and webbed feet, unlike any other species of turtle in the world.
If you haven’t had your fill of dangerous reptiles after your walk through all of the exhibits, the Cage of Death awaits. Arguably the most well-known and exhilarating attraction at Crocosaurus Cove, the Cage of Death allows guests, for the right price, to enter a reinforced glass tank that is then lowered into a pit full of gigantic crocs. Once your glass prison plummets you into the deep, you will find yourself immersed in a pool dominated by crocodiles topping five meters in length. While you watch in terror as they swim in circles around your cage, the handlers up above will be feeding the monstrous beasts, driving them to search for additional prey to consume. It is not unusual for crocodiles to charge the cages, attempting to take a bite out of the visitors brave enough to take the plunge. Although the Cage of Death may be pricey, many locals and tourists return again and again just for the thrill of the experience.
Whether you love crocs and reptiles or you’re looking for a unique experience in Darwin, Crocosaurus Cove is one of the top attractions in Australia. With the chance to interact so closely with dangerous wildlife, children and adults will find themselves amused and enthralled with the exhibits. If your trip to the Top End needs some extra adventure, the Cage of Death has been a crowd pleaser since its opening in 2008. Before buying your tickets to enjoy an exciting day at Crocosaurus Cove, ask yourself this one question: are you afraid of crocodiles?