The 1000 odd reptiles of Australian Reptile Park were relocated in 1996 from Wyoming to Somersby on the Central Coast of NSW, to a newly built facility, as the old location would no longer be close to the main road connecting Sydney to Newcastle, due to the freeway being built. It was started by Eric Worrell in 1958 & has undergone some major transformation over the years.

  The new premises was destroyed in a huge fire on the 17 July 2000 & despite an heroic effort by firefighters & staff, all the reptiles perished, except for “Miss Piggy”, a pig-nosed turtle and a female alligator snapping turtle thereafter nicknamed ‘Terminator’ both who miraculously survived the inferno.

  Not only was this tragedy devastating in the animal loss, but it also meant that the production of the much-needed snake & funnel web spider bite antivenom used in hospitals Australia wide was interrupted, as this facility was the sole producer.

  The option not to rebuild was never considered & within a few hours a temporary command centre was setup in the back of the director’s car within the grounds & a portable building delivered to the site the next day.

  The business community & Gosford City Council rallied to re-establish this very important facility for public health reasons with many trained people assisting in the collection of approximately 200 venomous snakes as required, & local residents did what they could to provide the male funnel-web spiders required to restart the program.

  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the new centre was redesigned, constructed & finished for the grand reopening in April 2002.

  The new park provides an educational experience that is wrapped in adventure, fun & laughter, proving to be very innovative & “out there” compared to other zoos.

  We decided to take a family friend up there as he loves reptiles, having a snake of his own & from the first step inside the entrance, it proved to be everything that it was designed to be, the best family fun day out and a fantastic way to experience a back-to-nature, outdoor activity for everyone, with ample social distancing space.

  They have reopened after the lock down this year & all the animals are excited to see people other than their carers again. However, some things have changed to help keep visitors, animals & staff safe, so visit their web site below to read more.

  There is certainly, lots of animals to see all in a natural environment, with regular informative shows & displays by the funny but very knowledgeable presenters.

The snake show had the audience in stitches with laughter, & the commentary alone was worth it.

  You will see a collection of reptiles including Australia’s most venomous snakes, a King cobra, a 5.5metre long Reticulated Python, Leonardo the Alligator Snapping Turtle as well as various snakes, lizards, crocodilians, turtles, tortoises, the largest assembly of Alligators outside of the swamps of Mississippi, kangaroos, dingoes & much more.

  We left that afternoon after thoroughly enjoying ourselves & having learned some valuable facts about snakes & the other animals, which no doubt could prove very useful in our travels.

  The Park is a major tourist attraction with many accolades & awards, deservedly so thanks to the accomplishments of the hard-working staff.

  It truly showcases just how much people enjoy coming to the Australian Reptile Park for the Best Family Fun Day Out!

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