Now, I'm not a big fan of reptiles and creepy crawlies, but this place is too amazing to let your fears take over!
The Alice Springs Reptile Centre houses an extensive variety of reptiles that can be found in several parts of Australia.
Reptile Centre entrance
The customer service at the Reptile Centre is beyond exceptional. Right from the moment you enter the Centre; where you are greeted and directed to the Gecko caves, to the end of the day where you get the opportunity to have a hands-on interaction with some of the residents at the Centre, the staff members are always available to answer any questions that you may have about their inhabitants or the Centre itself.
The Gecko Cave Room consists of enclosures that resemble close to the natural habitat of geckos out in the Central Australian wild. It is home to an impressive variety of gecko species; particularly from the Alice Springs region. There are informative blurbs provided with each enclosure so you know what type of gecko you are looking at and where they can be found in Australia.
The Reptile Centre is also home to frogs, tortoises and crocodiles. The frogs don't look real; but their neck gives away their lack of reality. It is simply spectacular to observe them all, so make sure you stop by their enclosures while in the python section of the Centre.
The pythons and snakes that are found at the Centre have got to be the scariest yet most interesting specimens to watch.
It definitely helps to be assured of the pythons being in enclosures with glass frames to protect us. It is so invigorating to see some of them slither from one end of the enclosure - it almost gave me jitters!
If you walk towards the end of the python section, then you will come to a door that will lead you out to an outdoor enclosure where you can watch bearded dragons, thorny devils, goannas and geckos in their prime habitat that is specially created for them. Don't get too close or you might be in for a shocking surprise. Keep your distance and check out the way they move and the way they act in our presence.
Bearded Dragon in its Outdoor Enclosure
If all this still doesn't make you feel confident enough to face your fears, then how about challenging yourself to the extreme and participating in one of the three shows that the Centre hosts daily?
The timings are currently set for 11am, 1pm and 330pm when the shows are conducted. It starts off with a staff member providing us with a fun and informative talk on certain species of lizards and pythons that reside at the Centre.
It then moves on to the exciting bit - the bit that tempts many a visitor to go to the Reptile Centre: a supervised session of holding and interacting with three types of reptiles. It is, by far, one of the most ambitious things I've done in a long time, and I enjoyed every moment of it. You get to hold a bearded dragon, have a python slither around your neck and play with "Ruby" the goanna.
It is truly a rewarding experience and I would highly encourage you to try it. They don't bite.
Holding a bearded dragon
If you are planning a trip to Alice Springs, make sure you stop by this amazing Centre filled with the most gorgeous forms of reptilian specimens found in Australia!
Holding Angus the python (face hidden for privacy)