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Gator Park Everglades Airboat Tour & Wildlife Show
Pictures from Gator Park in Miami including an air boat ride in the Florida Everglades and an alligator wrestling exhibition.

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Air Boat

 
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Gator Park Tour Guide

 
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Green Saw Grass

 

Gator Park is located deep in the Florida Everglades at 24050 SW 8th St., Miami FL 33194. It's easy to spot the entrance because it's marked by a huge Coca Cola Zero soda can with an airboat on top that has a bear & a deer going for a ride.

The Gator Park staff can be reached by phone at (305) 559-2255 and visitor hours are from 9am to 5pm Monday through Sunday.

The price of admission for adults is $21 and $10.70 for children which includes both the airboat ride, and the wildlife show. They accept cash,  and all major credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, , American Express, Discover and Diner's Club.

You can catch a ride on one of their Cadillac engine powered airboats every 20 to 30 minutes all day long. After the airboat tour you can check out the snake display, the alligator wrestling exhibition and even hold a baby gator in your hands.

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Gator Park Docks
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Gator Hiding In Brush
Iíve been on a couple airboat rides in the everglades, but until I went to Gator Park I never felt like I had really been in the everglades. The other airboat rides that I went in were in west Broward, very close to my home. So it felt like was taking a tour of my backyard rather than an exotic expedition through the everglades.
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Fast Moving Airboat
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Water Lily Pads
Gator Park is located in the southern part of Miami or north homestead. After you get out of the city, you drive over 10 miles on a two lane road through the everglades. After ten miles of nothing but swamp, I definitely felt like I was in the wilderness. Gator Park has all of the typical signs of a tourist attraction such as large tour buses parked out front, crowds of kids in matching colored shirts, and swarms of camera-toting tourists. You canít mistake Gator Park for another tourist attraction because of the 30 foot tall Coca Cola can with a huge bear & deer on top of it looming in the parking lot.
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Taking Pictures of a Gator
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We arrived around 10:00 AM on a Friday morning. I thought that we would have the place to ourselves since it was a weekday, but there were school groups, tour groups and dozens of people waiting in line. We were fortunate enough to be able to squeeze onto a boat with some German tourist around 10:20 AM. The boats were really crowded and a family of four had to wait over an hour to go on the airboat tour. Be sure to put on sun-block before you board the boat, because the tour last about an hour and there is no shade during the entire ride.
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Purple Gallinule Bird
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The Florida Everglades
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The ride was amazing! The boat captain advised us to put in our ear-plugs and we zoomed away from the docks. Florida was in the middle of a drought when we went, so the swamp grass was really high. During parts of the tour all you could see were walls of grass on either side. The boat would speed through the little paths, taking sharp turns so a little water sprayed up the sides of the boat. It was quite a rush, but if you have a weak stomach be sure to take some motion sickness pills. I donít think that all of the airboat operators speed along like we did, because they didnít catch up with us even when we stopped to look at birds and alligators. Our boat was also just adults with no children, so the operator may have thought he could be a little more adventurous.
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Tourists Photographing Gator
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Adolescent Alligator


 

We didn't see that many animals during the Gator Park everglades airboat tour. The alligators we did see werenít very large, maybe five feet long at most. The majority of the animals seemed to hang out toward the front of the park and the way they approached the boat made me think that they were accustomed to being fed. It is illegal to feed alligators in Florida. It teaches the gators to associate people with food, which could be deadly. On other tours the guides have told us about this law and some scary story about an alligator that became to comfortable with humans. The tour operator didnít tell us any scary stories and even much about the swamp.

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Florida Alligator Floating
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We were able to get very close to some purple gallinules. These birds have very distinct beaks. The tips of their beaks are bright yellow, and then a deep red color goes from the beak to the forehead which is a pale blue. In some of the pictures the pale blue forehead looks white, but thatís just the camera. The purple gallinule can also be identified by its yellow feet with long toes. The long toes help the bird walk on top of the vegetation floating in the water.

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Gator Swimming In Swamp
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After the boat ride we checked out the reptile tank and took some pictures of the scenery while we waited for our alligator wrestling show. The show wasnít nearly as spectacular as the one I had seen in Broward, but they did let you hold an alligator. The alligator you could hold was about three feet long, from head to the tip of the tail. Its mouth was taped shut and a park official would carefully place the gator in your hands just long enough for you to pose for a picture.

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Gator Park Sign
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Black Kingsnake

Gator Park also has a camping area and an RV (Recreational Vehicle) parking lot with full hookups. The prices are $30 per day, $180 per week, or $420 per month.

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Burmese Python
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Wildlife Show Performer
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Baby Alligator

Overall it was a nice experience, but my favorite part was actually after I left the park. On the side of the road back to Miami there was a man selling "Coco Frios" (cold coconuts). He takes a machete and chops off the top, inserts a straw and hands you a delicious ice-cold drink.

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Wide Open Gator Mouth
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Gator Wrestling Exhibit
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Gator Park Monument
For more of my wildlife pictures, please check out some of these other galleries such as the Loxahatchee Everglades Airboat Tour, the Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tour, the Everglades Holiday Park Alligator Wrestling Show, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, the Morikami Museum & Gardens, the San Diego Zoo, and the Wakodahatchee Wetlands.

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