My friends John and Chuin Nee had won a family “Behind the Scenes” pass to the Australian Reptile Park at Gosford. They invited me to join them. I went along and did the normal visit rather than join them for their behind the scenes visit.
It had been a long while since I had visited the Reptile Park. My last visit was on a school excursion (as a student rather than a teacher), and since then it had changed location slightly. I remember it then as being a very interesting place to visit. It still is.
It is named as a “Reptile Park”, but is more like a zoo – with plenty of marsupials to view as well as birds and frogs.
The Reptile Park is well known for providing snake venom to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories for the production of antivenins. It also provides venom from Funnel Web Spiders.
There were plenty of snakes and lizards to see. Its well worth making multiple visits to see ones earlier that may not have been active.
Then it was outside to see the Giant Galapagos Tortoises. I went to the talk about them – and the presenter has a well worked out banter – complete with lots of jokes, knowledge and a deep love for the creatures. The same presenter also did the talks at the Tasmanian Devils, the Reptile Talk and the Crocodile Feeding.
The rest of the staff also seemed to love their animals and were very enthusiastic in their jobs. They all seemed happy to explain and show you things.
I dis several circuits of the extensive grounds – visiting the various marsupials and bird aviaries. There was also a small nocturnal house.
I later realised that I missed the Platypus area.
One of the highlights was the feeding of Elvis – the large Saltwater Crocodile. This was even more interesting as my friend John was the one going to do the feeding as part of the Behind the Scenes Visit. He did a good job.
Also, interesting to see were the Yellow Foot Rock Wallabies. One had a joey.
The Parma Wallabies were also nice –
These were at one time thought to be extinct, but the reptile park founder, Eric Worrel, found a small population in an area on the Central Coast.
It had been a great day for me, and my friends had had an outstanding day on their Behind the Scenes visit – watching snakes being milked, getting close to many of the animals, and a lot of other things.