Come up close to large crocodiles with only inches separating you from the crocodiles! To book a visit you need to ring the Crocodile Farm in advance on (07) 4060 4177 to find out what day and what time the next feeding is. If you don't get an answer, organise the visit through the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council on (07) 4060 4600 at least one week prior to arriving in Pormpuraaw.
The Edward River Crocodile Farm was established in 1973 and is home to several thousand crocodiles. When established, the farm was considered a new type of farming for Cape York. At the peak, there were 15,000 animals at the site.
It's scaled down a little now, with a lot of hatchlings and numbers more in the area of 9,000 crocodiles. The Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council aims to continue to develop the Edward River Crocodile Farm to provide more local employment opportunities.
With regard to products, it is hoped to build up the skinning plant again, as well as exporting Crocodile meat for overseas consumption. The farm also sells hatchlings to other Crocodile farms in the region.
Crocodiles are an integral part of life for the Pormpuraaw community. For some, the crocodile is their totem but for many it's a swimming deterrent. Dreamtime stories explain the origin of the crocodile as a man turned into a reptile. One Dreamtime story tells of a big fight between a saltwater and a freshwater croc. The freshwater crocodile was jealous of the ability of the saltwater crocodile to build fish-traps. So the freshwater crocodile set up an ambush where the salty had his arms maimed, hence explaining why the front arms of the crocodile are so short.
A visit to the Edward River Crocodile Farm is well worth the effort. Make an appointment and see the creatures up close. See the famous "Hym" - a six meter, toothless crocodile that is over 40 years old and is hand fed by the local rangers.
At the time of writing this article it was free to visit the farm, but it's worth checking when you ring up to book.