Cairns Tropical Zoo
Back to nature
The kids stare transfixed through the mesh of the fence as the crocodile keeper jiggles a hunk of meat. You can all see the large shadow of a 5-metre crocodile gliding through the water towards its keeper. Suddenly, the large beast erupts out of the pool, and snaps at the meat. Your kids gasp as the keeper backs away, holding the prize higher instead of letting go. He keeps backing as the crocodile advances, but at last he throws the meat into the crocodile’s gaping jaws, and the beast pauses to eat. Bursting into relieved, excited chatter, your kids haul you away to the next exhibit.
HIGH COST, TICKETS VALID FOR THREE DAYS
Captain Cook Hwy, Palm Cove (27 km north of Cairns); (07) 4055 3669
■ The kangaroo enclosure, where you can pat and hand-feed tame eastern grey kangaroos.
One of the birds on display is the southern cassowary, an endangered resident of the rainforests. These birds are famous for vicious behaviour, as they have killed several people with their knife-like claws. Despite their attacking abilities, they are not large meat-eaters. They feed mainly on fruit, occasionally picking up a small mammal, bird or lizard. The purpose for the hard ‘casque’ on their heads is not known!
■ You can purchase tickets that combine entry to this zoo with Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and Kuranda Koala Gardens.