Australian Reptile Park - Giant lizard sculpture at entrance

Giant lizard sculptures and animal habitats at Australian Reptile Park

Educating and delighting visitors over the decades

Whether it’s a giant lizard sculpture, creative educational display, or practical animal habitat, Natureworks is proud to have worked with the award-winning Australian Reptile Park for many years. 

One of the most recognisable examples of our work at the Park is the enormous 9 metre long frilled lizard sculpture that sits atop the entry sign. Having guarded the park for over 20 years, the frill-necked lizard makes a bold statement, delights visitors of all ages and provides a memorable photo opportunity.

Australian Reptile Park entrance with giant filled lizard sculpture
Made over 20 years ago by Natureworks, this giant lizard sculpture greets visitors to Australian Reptile Park. The frill-necked lizard is a memorable, much-photographed entry statement.

"The Australian Reptile Park is Australia’s original hands-on zoo. Home to over 2,000 animals and located in a natural bush setting on the scenic Central Coast of New South Wales.”

Indonesian themed enclosure for Komodo Dragons

Another project the Natureworks team was thrilled to work on was the Indonesian themed Komodo Dragon habitat. The world’s largest lizards, Komodo Dragons originate from the forests and savanna of Indonesian islands. Naturally, the Australian Reptile Park decided an Indonesian-themed enclosure was perfect for their resident Komodo Dragons. But a standard animal enclosure was not good enough for these magnificent creatures – they needed their own temple!

Known as the ‘Dragon’s Lair’, the enclosure Natureworks helped to create reflects design features of a Balinese Indonesian temple. The temple is intentionally styled to look old and is decorated with Indonesian masks, ornamental features, a lizard-themed frieze and a 3D Komodo Dragon sign, all made by Natureworks.

Most impressive of all is the 6 metre long Komodo Dragon atop the wall. This giant lizard sculpture is about twice the size of a living Komodo Dragon (adult males are usually around 3 metres). The sculpture has a long curved tail that wraps around to frame the sign below. Although sculpted as a realistic replica, the lizard has a stone-look finish to blend in with the design of the temple.

Inside the Komodo Dragon's Lair

The temple is home to the Park’s Komodo Dragons, who live in beautiful Balinese-inspired habitats complete with murals, artificial trees and rock structures by Natureworks. The habitat even includes a fibreglass replica water buffalo carcass lying on the ground, to complete the scene.

The Komodo Dragons regularly venture out of these lush surroundings for a stroll through the grounds (with their keepers of course), much to the delight of visitors!

Lost World of Reptiles

Way back in July 2000, the Reptile Park was devastated by a fire. However, the reconstruction process presented a rare opportunity to create something truly original. The Park’s aim was to offer a fresh and unique approach to zoo displays that enhances the wonderment, appreciation, and understanding of visitors for nature, while providing an unforgettable day out. As a result, a new reptile exhibit – conceived as a fun, educational family experience – was reborn in 2001 as the Lost World of Reptiles.

Natureworks, along with a team of skilled workers and Reptile Park staff,  helped to build this unique zoological attraction. The building includes artificial stone walls, rock features, fibreglass ponds, sculptures and habitats for a variety of reptiles. This collection includes Australia’s most venomous snakes, a reticulated python, iguanas and various lizards, crocodilians, turtles and tortoises.

"The concept for the new reptile display area represented a big departure from traditional zoo-design thinking and would inevitably be viewed as a bit ‘out there’.”

Photo gallery: Lost World of Reptiles

A unique visitor experience

One of the most unusual sculptures Natureworks created was the ancient Egyptian God of crocodiles, Sobek, who presides over the reptile temple. Watched by Sobek, reptiles from around the world are displayed within the context of long-lost civilisations, often in a slightly humorous setting. Although immersed in the Lost Worlds theme, each of the many exhibits accurately recreates aspects of the natural world. 

A variety of themed sculptures, including Egyptian mummies and animal replicas, appear alongside animal enclosures with real reptiles. While admiring living examples of frilled lizards and goannas, visitors encounter extinct animals such as the frighteningly realistic seven-metre-long model of the extinct prehistoric Megalania. This giant lizard sculpture is a reminder of the largest ever monitor lizard that lived in Australia. 

For an idea of what the Lost World experience is like, watch the Reptile Park’s Lost World of Reptiles Virtual Tour on social media. But the best thing is to see for yourself, by visiting the Australian Reptile Park!

"The ground-breaking ‘Lost World of Reptiles’ bravely sought to do what possibly no zoo had done before – to provide an educational experience that was wrapped in adventure, fun, and above all, a good laugh.”

Summary of our work at the Australian Reptile Park

As described above, Natureworks has worked on a variety of projects with the Australian Reptile Park, and we’ve enjoyed every one of them! Here is a summary of the range of work we’ve done:

  • Giant lizard sculpture for entrance (Frilled Lizard)
  • Stone effect masks and decorative elements for Komodo Dragon Indonesian temple
  • Larger-than-life Komodo Dragon – giant lizard sculpture for temple wall
  • Murals, artificial rocks and trees, and general habitat theming for Komodo Dragon enclosure
  • Water buffalo skeleton for Komodo Dragon enclosure
  • Reptile enclosures and themed sculptures for Lost World of Reptiles
  • Giant crocodile god sculpture for Lost World of Reptiles
  • Realistic Komodo Dragon – giant lizard sculpture inside the Reptiles exhibit
  • Platypus house enclosure
  • Various sculptures of pythons, dinosaurs and other animals
  • Many giant frog sculptures around the park

We are proud of our association with this unique institution, especially their dedication to protecting endangered species and teaching the public about the natural world around us.

Project details

ClientAustralian Reptile Park
ProjectKomodo Dragon’s Lair, Lost World of Reptiles, Frilled Lizard Entry Statement
AudienceLocal and international tourists; School children; Nature-lovers of any age
LocationPacific Highway, Somersby, NSW, 2250 Australia (see map)
Dates2002–2019
Related productsKomodo Dragon, MegalaniaLizards, Reptiles, Artificial rocks & caves
Related cataloguesReptiles, AmphibiansBig Things Sculpture
Similar projectsMegafauna Sculptures, Gumbuya Wildlife Park Critter Cave, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Promoting a love of nature

Natureworks is a long-term supporter of educational projects, zoos, wildlife centres, museums, cultural centres and community groups that promote awareness of natural heritage. Our realistic sculptures attract and educate visitors, promoting awareness of biodiversity and the need for conservation. For example, our replicas of extinct Australian Megafauna animals at the Australian National Botanic Gardens highlighted the link between fauna and flora, helping to educate visitors about biodiversity and habitat protection.

Wide range of animal sculptures and nature themed props

We provide a wide range of sculptures to suit animal habitats or nature displays, such as artificial trees, artificial rocks and animal sculptures. Many of these are stock items, which keeps the costs down. Whether it’s a giant lizard sculpture, a dinosaur, an extinct native animal, an artificial tree or a nature-themed prop, you may just find it in our standard collection! But if you want something a bit different, our custom design process and extensive experience will ensure a unique, cost-effective result. 

Contact Natureworks to enquire about sculptures and props, or simply to discuss initial thoughts for your project. We’re happy to throw in a few ideas to help you achieve your objectives!

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