Reptile Expo in the Port Macquarie-Hastings

Mick and Sandra Toohey have been reptile enthusiasts for 40 years and say they still get a rush from seeing turtles hatch out of the eggs. 

Mr Toohey kept lizards as pets from when he was two-years-old. 

The couple from Kempsey visited Port Macquarie on March 19 to showcase their turtles at The North Coast Herpetology Group’s Reptile Expo hosted by Panthers Port Macquarie. 

There were 18 displays as part of the Reptile Expo. 

Most of the baby turtles hatch on Christmas Day and Mr Toohey said it’s a great gift to see a head peering out of the shell. 

The Tooheys said the turtles are like their children and they love experiencing the babies take their first breath of air. 

Lizards, snakes and frogs were other reptiles on display at the expo. 

North Coast Herpetology Group animal keeper Norm Halling said the expo provided an opportunity for people to see that reptiles including snakes are actually very friendly creatures. 

Mr Halling said there was a great turnout to the event with many people choosing to escape the wet weather and take their families to the expo.  

Gecko keeper Michael Stanczak from Newcastle said he has been breeding the creatures for about six years. 

The geckos on display at the expo came from arid desert areas including from Western Australia, central Australia and the Northern Territory.

Mr Stanczak said he loves breeding geckos because it’s always a surprise to how they come out of the egg.  

“There are many different patterns and colours,” he said. 

Geckos are relatively low maintenance for people to keep as pets.

“They don’t require a lot of room, or lighting besides undertank heating to keep them warm,” Mr Stanczak said.