Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park is a "hands on" zoo that's just an easy short trip out of Sydney.

Sometimes called the "Zoo with a Bite" it's set in bushland and features loads of animal interaction and exciting wildlife shows for families to enjoy.

You'll love seeing Elvis who it's claimed is Aussie's crankiest saltwater crocodile. How he's earned that stripe, who knows? (Ever met a sweet salty you can trust?)

Anyway, that's him below, about to snap the fish tucker, although he'd no doubt like a piece of the Ranger too ...

Elvis is fed at 1.30pm weekends, but everyday during school holidays. So don't miss the fun!

The Reptile Park's at Somersby on the NSW Central Coast, just 50km from Sydney. If you're in the Sydney CBD go to Central Station and grab a train to Gosford.

From Gosford you can use Central Coast Taxis to take you the extra 8km to the Park. There's an advantage in doing so if you obtain a receipt from the taxi driver. Present the taxi receipt at the Reptile Park's gate and you'll get a 25% discount off the admission price.

If you have your own vehicle the park's about an hour's enjoyable drive north on the scenic Sydney-Newcastle Freeway. Take the Gosford exit and follow the Australian Reptile Park signs.

Spiders Milked at Australian Reptile Park

The park is small, but very educational and fun. Walk through the Lost World of Reptiles and Spider World. Each day there are 10 exciting wildlife shows.

Watch as deadly Sydney funnel web spiders are milked for their venom. The Reptile Park is a drop-off centre for people finding funnel web spiders. They are sole supplier of venom in Australia for production of life-saving anti-venom.

Every fortnight they also milk their poisonous snakes - quite a job when there are more than 250 to do. Take in what's said by the experts here and you'll know what to do if you're ever bitten by a snake or spider.

It's a delicate job milking a spider - especially a deadly funnel web. But the Reptile Park specialists do it every day to keep up supplies of anti venom to hospitals.

Say "Hi" to Hugo, the Reptile Park's 64-year-old giant.

So many fun shows each day

Have you met a giant Galapagos tortoise? Hugo is one of these giants and he's just waiting to go walking with you - slowly, of course!

Let Ranger Mick entertain you during the many daily shows. He knows how to deliver - very clever and captivating, whether it's a koala talk, or feed time for Elvis the big croc.

His talks and demonstrations are hugely informative and entertaining with a nice mix of drama and humour which appeals to all ages.

Food's a bit pricey here, so pack a lunch if you can. Or use your esky cooler to bring in something to cook on the free barbeque facilities. There's no shortage of nice picnic spots to use within the park.

Tassie devil joeys - so cute!

Pat a Dingo ... or Cuddle a Devil

Because it's not very large, it's possible to walk around and look at all the exhibits, yet still catch the entertaining shows all day long. If you've kids with you, there's a great play area. In fact some kids take to it so well it's hard getting them back to the animals!

The Australian Reptile Park is amazing for the interaction it allows between visitors and its animals (not Elvis and the dangerous snakes, of course!)

You can hand feed kangaroos, hold a lizard while he pokes his blue tongue at you, or pat a dingo. After each show you can (for $20) have a great photo taken as you nurse a koala, or maybe hold a very cute Tasmania devil joey.

This is Kenny the wombat - one of the stars of the Australian Reptile Park in late 2014. Kenny loves his lunchtime bottle ... and by the way, that's his little tail.

Kenny, you are so sweet!

As you can imagine, baby Kenny has been a huge draw card - he's so very sweet! Other attractions include many Australian birds - the cassowary, owls, kookaburras, cockatoos and rosellas. The alligators are also very popular.

Youngsters love the freely roaming kangaroos and wallabies and being able to be so close.

Keep an eye on the weather because this is not the place to be in the rain. Not much cover. Pick a fine day if you possibly can.

As well as the shows, demonstrations and talks there are friendly and helpful staff who rove around with animals for tourists to pat and inspect. Ask them about our Aussie animals - they are well informed and interesting.

The Australian Reptile Park is easy to get around for most people  and a relaxing day out. What really makes this place tick is the rapport between staff and visitors and especially the funny and interesting shows.

Wow! This kid's loving the feel of the Reptile Park's beautiful Burmese python, named Fluffy - after the last thing she ate.

Gotcha! Rango the chameleon in fine prey-catching form at the Reptile Park. Rango is one of the most popular reptiles.

See the full list of special daily shows at the Australian Reptile Park website. 

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A family visit will cost $33 for adults and $17 for children aged 3-15 years. Get a family pass (two adults and two children) for $85 - and save $15.

Also, check out the taxi special mentioned in our lead story on this page. (You can save 25% on admission).

Another way of saving on admission is to look for specials before you go. Get a "buy one get one free" deal out of the Newcastle Entertainment book.

The Central Coast Visitors Guide also has money off vouchers.