Peter Whiddett’s vision of an integrated aquaculture and tourism park became a reality some 10 years ago upon his return from Asia where he acquired his experience in aquaculture.
Peter has developed the property from a run down dairy farm to a fully operational commercial aquaculture and tourism enterprise.
Nature played havoc in 2005 as the park was left devastated by Cyclone Larry.
It has since undergone extensive renovations and reopened in June2008.
The park continues to expand its range of fish species plus enhance our visitors’ experience through participatory and educational activities.
Peter Whiddett: Aquaculture Centre Manager
Peter is a key member of the Australian Aquaculture Association.
Peter’s aquaculture knowledge was obtained while living and working at the largest pearl farm in South East Asia. He was involved in various experimental aquaculture techniques and systems in Thailand which is internationally renowned for its leading role in the industry. On his return to Australia, Peter applied the experience and knowledge he acquired to realise his vision for Tarzali Lakes.
Peter lives and breathes aquaculture!
Yuwadee Whiddett: Smokehouse Café & Kiosk
Yuwadee is a native of Thailand and introduces a wonderful Thai dimension to the Smokehouse Café menu. Her culinary prowess is growing daily as more people sample her delicious cuisine.
Her ability to accommodate for the most discerning and even younger patrons has endeared her with visitors. She loves catering for groups including the many special ceremonies that the park hosted.
She holds all the necessary accreditations required to operate a commercial kitchen.
Dave Hoffman: Smokehouse Master
Dave is a highly experienced third generation master butcher. His list of meat industry accredited awards include two state Sausage King gold medals, plus selection as one of the Australia's most innovative butchers by Meat and Livestock Australia in 2002.
Dave has set up the Tarzali Lakes Smokehouse to produce a wide range of aquaculture and meat products for local and interstate markets.
"The native food industry on the tablelands is developing rapidly" says Dave, "and the variety of bush flavours is truly enormous". The Smokehouse will ultimately extend the product range to include kangaroo and buffalo.
Dave is also in charge of the native bush flavours plantation at Tarzali Lakes. He hopes that the orchard will soon become an attraction in its own right.
Barbara Meade: Administration Manager
Barbara’s excellent people and administrative skills were evident when she was promoted to the position of personal assistant to the managing director of a telecommunication company. She is very strong with her accounting knowledge and is versatile in her knowledge of accounting packages, taxation and human resources.
Robyn Stott: I.T. Systems
Robyn honed her I.T. skills at Queensland Telecom where she was in charge of complex computer telephony systems. She is well versed in a number of software platforms and is an able computer hardware technician. She enjoys keeping up to date with I.T. industry trends.
"When my Dad visited me from Darwin, I took him and my children to Tarzali Lakes for a treat. We spent an enjoyable afternoon seeing who could catch the most fish. Dad won hands down! Would highly recommend this activity to any locals or tourists alike."
"Please allow us to introduce ourselves. Mark Dolan and Isla Schmidt are the current managers of Mungali Falls Student Village which caters for thousands of students and adult groups annually from local and international destinations.
It is with pleasure we recommend a visit to the Tarzali Lake Fish Farm. Over the past six months we have had the pleasure of taking overseas students to this Aquaculture Farm for the wonderful unique experience. We have also had official dignitaries from Asia on famil tours and because of the intense interest shown we have arranged for this attraction to be inserted within the intineraries from Mungalli Falls Village.
Tarzali Lakes is meticulously maintained, well managed with a great concept which will no doubt bring much more tourism to our area which will in turn benefit everyone on the Tablelands.
We wish Peter every success with this venture and are proud to be associated with this business."
"I have been purchasing Jade Perch from Tarzali Lakes since January 2002, for sale through my retail seafood shop at Portsmith, Cairns. I always maintain the highest standards within my own store and Peter has always been able to supply me with all my requirements at a consistent high quality.
Peter is always approachable and he is constantly in touch with his customers, either promoting new products, ideas or just ensuring that everything is running smoothly. I recently received a copy of a very favourable HACCP QA Report on his farm which reflects his hard work, effort and attention to detail."
Stephen Georgouras, Managing Director
"Tarzali Lakes is one of the new and unique tourism attractions on the Tablelands. This professional operation adds another dimension to our interesting and varied mix of Tableland products.
It is attractions such as this that helps to increase longer stays in our region. The product is well thought out and designed and an ideal venue for the family. The additional benefit, as a tourism operation is that visitors to Tarzali Lakes can take home a beautifully tasting fish.
TTT backs the efforts of Peter with this product and looks forward to seeing it grow."
PlatypusCairns (tripadvisor.com member)
"Platypus with a money back gaurantee, "How can you beat that""
Reprinted From TripAdvisor.com
Lou Rios, Manager (2003)
On two separate and distinctly different occasions, I have participated in learning activities/tours with Peter Whiddett at the Tarzali Lakes Aquaculture Center. On the first visit I chaperoned my daughter’s Year 6 class, while on the second visit I brought a group of 30 university students. Overall, I was extremely impressed with Peter’s ability to interact with and teach at the level of the group. My daughter’s class enjoyed the fishing immensely. From an outdoor educator’s perspective, I especially respected Peter’s ability to include all students in the fishing (no one caught less than two fish) and, more importantly, in having the proper attitude and enthusiasm which made fishing so exciting that 11 year olds were even grasping (sliminess and barbs included!!) the large fish to unhook and return them to the water. As a university professor, I found Peter to be entertaining, engaging, and very informative. The feedback from the uni students was extremely positive, indicating how much they enjoyed learning heaps about aquaculture while being fully entertained by Peter’s presentation tour. And as a bonus, students were rewarded with a platypus viewing. All in all, as both an entertaining and educational activity, I would highly recommend spending time with Peter at Tarzali Lakes.
David Manahan, PhD – Centre for Rainforest Studies, School for Field Studies, Yungaburra
The following list provides an overview of some accreditations, licenses and permits held by the Aquaculture Centre.
All visitors enter at their own risk.
We ask you to please observe the following safety advice and abide by the following common sense Terms and Conditions of entry to the Aquaculture Centre.
PICNIC: You are welcome to bring along your own picnic hampers provided that you participate in at least one or more of the paid activities.
FISHING: You must ensure that you minimize the stress and injury to the fish you catch. Due to Queensland Health regulations all fishing is catch and release only. All your fresh fish needs are available for sale at the Smokehouse Café.
HOOKS: Please take care when handling the hooks and stay well clear from people who are casting.
CHILDREN: All children 13 and under must be supervised by an adult/guardian at all times.
SWIMMING: Absolutely no swimming or wading at any time.
VEHICLE ACCESS AND SPEED: Vehicle access is restricted to the driveway and car parking areas except where permission is given. Please limit your vehicle speed to less than 20 kph.
PETS: Due to the abundance of wildlife pets must remain on a leash at all times in the open areas or remain with the vehicle for the whole duration of your stay. The restaurant, platypus dam and nocturnal tour areas are strictly out of bounds to pets. We reserve the right to request that pets be confined to cars should the owners not show consideration for other guests. Owners are requested to clean up after their pets.
WILDLIFE: visitors are reminded that Tarzali Lakes is also an accredited nature reserve that includes protected species. Anyone found disturbing or interfering with any animals and plants will be immediately requested to leave.
ARTICLES LEFT IN CARS: Take the usual precautions by locking your vehicle and consider placing valuables in the boot away from view.
DAM WALLS: Do not allow children to climb up and down the dam walls.
GARBAGE: Garbage should be placed in bins provided and your area should be left as it was found.
MANAGEMENTS RIGHTS: We reserve the right to remove any person whose behaviour is adversely affected by alcohol or drugs or who demonstrates aggressive or threatening behaviour.
LOST STOLEN OR DAMAGED PROPERTY: Tarzali Lakes does not accept any liability for visitor's lost, stolen or damaged property.
If you are arriving using your GPS, please use the following coordinates:
Park Hours: 10.00 am to 4.00pm, 5 days a week, including public holidays. Closed Fridays and Mondays. Except for Buses by prior arrangement.