Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat has been owned and operated by the Craig Family since 1971. Its founders George and Shirley Craig, have been lucky to call Green Island home for over 50 years, living here alongside four generations of their family. Welcome to their home and unique tourist attraction.

Originally called Marineland Zoological Gardens, this place was built in 1958 and purchased by George and Shirley Craig in 1971. The Craig’s were returning to Australia after living in Papua New Guinea for 16 years. When they moved to Green Island, they brought their children, some of their crocodiles, and a large collection of tribal art and artefacts with them. They renamed it Marineland Melanesia and have been here ever since. While living on the island has not always been easy, the family have invested a lot of hard work and dedication into Marineland Melanesia and are proud to call Green Island their home. Below is a brief timeline of George Craig and his lifetime of adventures.

The 1930s

George was born in Peru and moved to England for school in 1939, just as World War II began. He survived several near misses with bombs and crashing planes during this time.

The 1940s

George nearly joined the French Foreign Legion, but instead stowed away on a ship bound for Jamaica. He and his mate were caught and fined 5 pounds each in Bristol Police Court.

The 1950s

A very busy time in George’s life. He moved to Australia and learned the art of crocodile hunting in Darwin. He met and married wife Shirley and moved to Papua New Guinea.

The 1960s

George spent the 60s travelling up and down the Fly River, hunting and catching crocodiles. Wife Shirley ran a trading store on Daru and George started to collect art and artefacts.

The 1970s

With the political situation changing in Papua New Guinea, the Craig family moved back to Australia and bought Marineland on Green Island. This was the beginning of their new chapter.

The 1980s

The Craig Family was growing their collection of crocodiles and the mighty Cassius joined the family at Marineland Melanesia, a place he has called home ever since.

The 1990s

George and Shirley Craig stayed on the island, running their business and raising their family. They’ve seen many changes here since they first arrived and overcome many challenges.

A New Century

The Marineland property turned 50 in 2004. It retains active use of some original features, including the aquariums and turtle pond, along with new buildings and additions.

The Future Plans

This family business continues to evolve, with the latest addition being the introduction of the Green Island Coral Nursery, an initiative of the next generation of Craigs.

Fundamentally, Marineland Melanesia encompasses George’s love of crocodiles and the art that they led him too. Its existence is due to his vision and it is his legacy. This is obviously a very brief summary of our story here at Marineland Melanesia – George’s story and the life he lived with his one true love, Shirley. We are proud of our past and are looking to the future with a focus on sustainability, for the reef, its corals and our crocodiles.

We are located on Green Island, in the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, just a short boat ride from Cairns and five minute stroll from the Green Island jetty.

Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 4pm. Your admission ticket provides you with entry throughout the day, so you can come and go as you please.

© Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Habitat 2024

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