The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo and educational center on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Visitors to the park have opportunities to walk alongside a giant Galapagos turtle, take pictures with a koala, feed kangaroos, see tarantulas and venomous snakes, and watch a crocodile named Elvis eat his lunch.
General admission tickets include access to the Australian Reptile Park’s eight permanent exhibitions and wildlife shows, all of which offer visitors the chance to see all manner of reptiles, spiders, birds, amphibians, and mammals in a safe and educational setting. See pythons and cobras in the Lost World of Reptiles, take a bushland walk past an aviary full of native birds, and observe Australia’s largest population of American alligators at the Alligator Lagoon. The park also has a free-range kangaroo area where visitors can feed the marsupials under the supervision of park officials. Some private tours from Sydney visit the park and include round-trip transportation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Daily shows include spider venom milking, turtle feedings, and park tours.
- Visitors are strongly encouraged to wash their hands after feeding kangaroos.
- Visitors must wear hats and long sleeves when feeding birds. It’s recommended pregnant women avoid this activity.
How to Get There
The Australian Reptile Park is in Gosford, about an hour’s drive north from Sydney or south from Newcastle. The park is easily reached by car (free parking is available) and by public transportation. Sydney trains run to Gosford train station, and from there, the park is about a 15-minute drive by taxi.
When to Get There
The park is open every day but Christmas Day. A number of shows, talks, and interactive exhibits take place daily.
The Australian Reptile Park Antivenom Program
For decades, the park has been extracting venom from its spiders and snakes to help create antivenom for potentially deadly bites. Visitors can see daily demonstrations of how poisonous species—including lethal funnel-web spiders—are milked for their venom.