Port Douglas: Kangaroos, Koalas and Crocodiles
Prepare for cuteness overload my friends! This post is filled with all kids of friendly fluffy animals, as well as a few of the less friendly ones.
During our week long stay in Cairns, we visited the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, a nearby town only 1 hour away by car. We were excited to find a place that is more of a sanctuary rather than a zoo and be able to see animals roaming around a bit more freely than in typical zoo cages. When we arrived we were happy to see that the place was not crowded at all. Our visit started with an educational session on koalas, crocodiles and snakes. Our group was about 10 people and the habitat guide was very informative. We asked a lot of questions and found out many interesting things about Australian animals. At the end of the session a few of us paid an additional 18 AUD (on top of 33 AUD general admission) for a chance to hold and take a photo with the cutest koala. When the guide handed me the animal I was surprised how heavy it was! And that it stank haha. It was a smell of eucalyptus trees (which is pretty much all they eat) and some animal odor that they release in mating season. Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I'm happy I got to cuddle this cute stinker.
Later in the day we walked around the habitat and were able to feed some kangaroos, wallabies, and ducks. We had as much fun feeding them as other visitors (more specifically toddlers and kids below 12 years old). Kangaroos, wallabies, pelicans, and many other species of birds were running around or sleeping in corners of a large open territory while other animals had separate areas for their and visitors' safety (emus, cassowaries, crocodiles). Kangaroos and wallabies were not shy at all and they came up to us for food (which you can buy at the gift shop for 2 AUD per pack) and allowed us to pet them. Ducks and other birds were interested in some TLC too but they were neglected a bit as they were regarded not as exciting by most visitors.
At the end of our visit we witnessed a crocodile feeding. We were very lucky to see it because crocs are fed only once a week. Once they heard their feeder they gathered under the little bridge on which we were standing and were ready for their meal of slaughtered male day old baby chickens. As the habitat worker was throwing dead chicks from the bridge you could hear the very loud noise of jaws snapping! You can hear it in the video I included below. It sure was a scary sound and sight. From a group of about 9 freshwater crocodiles we moved on to a separate enclosure to see a pair of saltwater crocodiles. Talk about intimidating! Once the smaller female crocodile realized that food was coming (heard the thump of a bucket) she stormed out of the water at a speed one would not suspect such large animal could attain. As we watched them get fed, we realized that meeting one of them in the wild would be one of our least favorite things. Crocodile attacks do happen in Australia but because most people know what types of habitats to avoid (swamps, certain beaches), there is only about 1.8 fatal attacks per year. You are actually a lot more likely to drown than be eaten by a crocodile.
After the feeding, to calm our nerves (and by our I mean my), we went back to pet and feed kangaroos and wallabies again.
Rainbow Lorikeet having breakfast.
This guy opted for a green stick for breakfast. Despite what we first thought, these are not owls but Towny Frogmouths. While owls have huge, powerful talons and short sharp beaks, these guys have tiny feet and large flat beaks. Also, they look unenthused.
This poor guy was grieving the death of his brother.
Koalas stole my heart.
Here I am cuddling a koala.
In this video you can see the cute koala climbing a tree.
We attended a short reptile presentation where we saw this young black python.
It was very restless. Next up was small fresh water crocodile. He looked really mean. His jaws were taped for the protection of the presenter; even such small crocodile could chew off a finger or two. Kids loved learning about animals and were really excited to touch them. So were we! After the reptiles we were ready to see fluffier and friendlier animals. Here is a wallaby. Wallabies are often confused with kangaroos but are not the same animal. They are much smaller and their coats are slightly brighter.
They were super friendly and in a mood for some snacks. We gladly obliged and fed them. Wallabies quickly became one of my favorite animals in Australia.
"Are you talking to me?" This, I believe, is some other type of wallaby. Cute boxing gloves huh? Time to say hello to kangaroos. These guys were huge! Thankfully they were very friendly.
Little joey peeking into his mom's pouch. We were surprised to see that the pouch was only a stretchy hole and not a big pocket. Here's one that wanted a solo photo. I'll take a wild guess and say he's a male. Lol.
Birds in general were not getting a lot of attention but this guy definitely caught our eye. Fresh water crocodile feeding.
Imagine coming across this puppy in the wild. Yikes! Waiting for their lunch of day old slaughtered male chickens. If you are wondering why crocodiles are fead dead chickens and not live animals (as they would in the wild) it is because they live under conditions that are not like in the wild so it would not be fair to little chickens. Also, it would be quite traumatizing for most visitors to see crocs hunt for live baby chicks.
Here's a video of the feeding.
Salt water crocodile feeding. This guy was massive. And super scary looking!
Here's another video. Hope it doesn't give you nightmares.
Of course no matter how scary the situation, you always need a photo especially if you are sporting a sexy new tan like Vlad's. Don't be jelly!
Croc in the water.
This huge bird is a cassowary and there are less than 1000 of them in the wild. This photo was taken from a walking platform because it is not safe to get close to this bird as it has super sharp claws that could kill humans. However the only documented death dates back to 1926. As you can see in this photo, the entire wildlife sanctuary was covered with a net so that birds and other animals could not escape. However, they can fly across a very vast area. We came back to see wallabies again. We had a lot of fun feeding them. And it looks like they enjoyed it too.
Hope you guys had fun learning about these Australian animals. If you have any questions or comments, drop us a note below. Cheers!
@Gabu Saltwater crocks have the ability to live in salt waters while fresh water crocks do not. Salties are a larger species, their females are smaller than males. Satlies are usually the ones that would eat people. Here's a good article
Btw, you make elaborate multiple course meals EVERY DAY and only in 24 minutes.
SOOOOOOOOOOO many cute animals!!!! I love this post. So far, wallabies are my favorite animals too - & because I never smelled them, I'm still a fan of koalas! They are slightly larger than I imagined, and look pretty hefty. And I'm curious - what is the difference between a salt and a freshwater crocodile anyway? Can't believe they get fed once a week. Imagine if that was the case for humans? I would make the most elaborate weekly meals - 12 courses or more, complete with a wine pairing :P
So....was Vlad actually feeding the wallabies or just taking the food that kids were giving to them for his snacktime?
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