Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Travel Diary - Part 8

Today is the final installment of my Travel Diary,
so what are you waiting for?  Read on .....

This was our last full day before we travel home tomorrow, so we tried to make the most of every minute.  
Today we went to Hartley's Crocodile Farm. 
We were pointed in the direction of where the eggs are incubated, and where the young crocodile are kept once hatched
(but didn't actually see either of these areas as the public don't have access).

We were shown the two holding yards where similar sized crocodiles are kept until they reach a certain size and then they are humanely harvested for the meat and leather industry.

Crocodile Farm
 
This was just a concrete holding yard with some water around the edges for the crocs to get in.  I'm sure they would have been happier with some mud to sunbake in.  I had mixed feelings about this process, but am sure they are looked after very well, nevertheless!

Baby Crocodile
 
We both had a touch of this baby crocodile and I was surprised by how soft he was, both on his back and particularly his tummy.  

After the 'farm' tour, it was all aboard the boat for a short trip around a lake full of crocodiles.   Our guide was teasing them with food on the end of a long bamboo cane to show us just how high they can jump.  I didn't realise that a crocodile uses its tail to launch itself out of the water!

See how high I can jump!
 
They make quite a noise when their mouths snap shut too.
  
After our boat adventure, we moved on to the Saltwater Crocodile feeding area where the keeper was giving a talk about these dangerous animals.  
  Only the week before we left on our holiday, a fisherman had been taken by one on the banks of a river in the Northern Territory, when he waded in to untangle his fishing line!  They just glide through the water barely creating a ripple, no wonder they can surprise their prey!

We then moved on to the Freshwater Crocodile feeding area.  These crocs tend to be smaller and have a narrower, longer snout and have never been known to kill any person.
Personally, I'm not going to be close enough to one in the wild to find out which it is!!!

After lunch we walked around the wildlife part of the park, through a walk-in aviary, past a cassowary enclosure, lizards and yet more crocodiles including this enormous one, "Trinity" who is over 50 years old.

Trinity - 50+ years old
 
Cassowaries are a native bird found in the tropical rainforests of North Queensland and are critical to a number of the plant species as they scatter the seeds around in their droppings.  We certainly didn't see any in the wild but there are signs along the roads to keep a look out for them.

Cassowary resting
 
These birds are a very dark blue in colour and have very distinctive heads and necks.  They are in the same family of birds as the emu, ostrich and kiwi.

We left the Crocodile Farm mid afternoon and were taken back to our hotel/resort.  After a quick drink, we walked back into Port Douglas where I went in seach of a coffee shop and Tony went in the other direction for a walk.  Feeling somewhat revived after my coffee, I walked up to the beach which was only at the end of the road.  There was a path leading up onto the headland so up I went to look at the lovely view.

Four Mile Beach - Port Douglas
 
Once back off the headland, I set off down the beach.  There were a number of people playing games, a few in the surf and lots just walking.  This is quite a long beach and as I went further along I was looking for somewhere to leave the beach that would take me back to the road and then back to our hotel, as the shadows were getting longer as the sun was going down.    I was beginning to think I would have to walk all the way back along the beach when I saw a path (no signs saying private property) and found myself in another resort.  There wasn't really anyone around so I just kept walking.  The grounds this resort was in were huge and it took me a good 20 minutes to find my way out to the road!  Then I had another half hour walk back along the footpath by which time it the light was fading.  
I have to say I did enjoy my long walk in the sea breeze.

Tropical flowers
 
The following morning, we packed our bags for the last time, checked out of our hotel/resort and transferred from Port Douglas to Cairns and our flight home.

We had a fabulous three weeks away, perfect weather the whole time
and with the exception of a couple of very minor hiccups, everything we planned went very smoothly.
Thanks for joining me each day, and just in case you are wondering how I remembered so many details, I kept a handwritten diary each day.  When you are doing such a lot, it is very easy to forget where you have been and what you have seen.
Hmmmm ..... I wonder when I can start planning our next holiday????

4 comments:

  1. I think I'd be scared silly by trying to get the crocs to take food from the bamboo pole! I'd be worried that they'd miss the bait and land in the boat with me! x

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  2. No wonder you had a great holiday. It looks all perfect, apart from the crocodiles, yikes not something you would like to encounter ! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us ! I really enjoyed reading about it.
    Corrie x

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  3. Oh my goodness Helen, what an absolutely amazing holiday you've had! Great idea to keep a diary too - maybe it can be upgraded into an album?! Vicky x

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  4. So thoroughly enjoyed your "travelogue," Helen, today being no exception! I am with your in your "mixed emotions" about the croc farm. I suppose, in reality, that is not different than raising cattle for food...but, shoes? That is a stretch for me! Love your description of your long beach walk. I am thrilled for you and your husband that you had the opportunity for this excursion. I must add that both my husband and I enjoyed your narrative! Thanks so much for sharing your voyage! What's next? The U.S.?

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