Florida On A Tankful: Zipline over crocs and gators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm

By Caitlin Wilson, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017, 9:37 AM EST

St. Augustine has plenty to offer in its rich history, but nestled away on just 7 acres, you’ll find something you can’t see anywhere else in the state of Florida — it’s the oldest attraction in Florida.

“We go back to 1893, so like cowboy days,” said Jim Darlington, manager of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.  

But you won’t find cowboys here — just hundreds of alligators and crocodiles.

Jim’s been a fixture at the alligator farm since 1992, teaching and feeding these massive creatures.

“People have access here as far as viewing. They can get just on the other side of glass of Komodo dragons, 15 foot crocodiles and more than 40 alligators at a time,” explained Darlington, the curator of reptiles.

If you walk the whole park, you’ll see more than 500 alligators and crocodiles.  

“We’ve barely developed 7 acres and yet one of our big claims to fame is that we house every living species of crocodilian,” Darlington said.

It’s one of the only places in America where you can see all 24 species, but one of the best parts is how you can view them.

I had to see for myself just how fun it really was, so they let me take a turn zipping across one of their dozens of zip lines that cover the park.

They have courses for all ages, but if you’re especially brave you’ll zip along the lagoon line that runs directly over 35 alligators.

“I don’t want to say it’s overwhelming, that has a negative connotation, but it’s definitely not what people expect,” Darlington said.

Being an accredited zoological destination, the park has something for everyone, whether you’re high above the trees or learning down at the alligator swamp.  

“People I think have this certain idea of what they’ll find here, but when they actually get here their minds are blown,” Darlington said.

If you want to take the family on an adventure to the alligator farm, its open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm is also open on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.