Col and I were keen to do a Jumping Croc Tour while in Darwin, but we thought it would be a good thing to do when we had visitors. We were happy to find out that Dad and Dee had not done one previously and were also keen to come along and check it out. So the plan was to have lunch at our van then drive to Adelaide River for the Croc Jumping Tour and after that we would head to the Humpty Doo Pub for dinner on our way home.
It is about an hour and a half to drive to Adelaide River and we were booked on the last boat tour at 3pm. The tickets are only $50 each for an hour cruise, so that seemed to be pretty good value. We went with the Original Jumping Crocodile Cruise company and chose the Pathfinder boat. We were all really happy with the experience. It was intimidating though. I didn’t expect it to be as we have seen many crocs while we have been up here, while fishing from the land as well as out in the boat. They have all been a reasonable distance away though and this makes a big difference. There is something about seeing them up close, close enough to reach out and touch them (not that you would!!). They look you in the eye and it made me feel very, very nervous. You become acutely aware of their size and their power. They feel and seem prehistoric. A beautiful, powerful and scary predator. Creepy that you didn’t know where they were until they popped up right next to you.
I was a little worried that he was facing the boat and so close to us. I thought he might accidentally land in the boat if he launched himself. Pleased to say that he didn’t.
Strangely it takes a lot to get them to go for the food and they are hesitant to jump out of the water. They are surprisingly cautious creatures, considering their power and size. They will attack each other and this makes them very wary. Sometimes when they jump for food, another croc attacks them while they are distracted. There were so many in the water, swimming up to the boat. It was funny (not funny) on the way out there, the tour guide was giving the normal safety spiel, if the boat was to go down, where to find the life jackets etc. But she went on to say that Crocs are attracted to bright colours, and the life jackets are all fluro colours to make finding you easier. So the safest option if the boat was to go down is to grab a life jacket and throw it as far away from you as you can and then start swimming!! She also suggested looking around the boat for the people wearing bright colours and make sure you can swim faster than them.
There is something that makes your blood run cold when you are looking into the eyes of a croc and they are watching you instead of the food being offered to them. I was sitting on the seat near the side of the boat and kept wriggling across half onto Col’s seat to put a little bit of distance between myself and the croc that was staring uncomfortably at me. Luckily Dad was sitting behind me in a bright coloured, blue and white checked shirt, and the croc quite enjoyed eyeing him off too. I just needed to swim faster than him in the event of an issue hahahahaha (sorry Dad).
It was interesting learning a bit about these creatures and seeing them up close. I appreciated the differences in colour and size. They are an amazing creature (as long as you don’t bump into them while in the water). We saw their nesting grounds where they put up signs telling you not to enter the area. No problem, quite happy to stay away. I feel sorry for the people who had to put up the signs actually! If you think your job sucks, take a minute to think of those guys! “Just run over there and pop this sign up in the Crocodile Nesting area please, there’s a good chap”
They also fed the Kites and it was awesome to watch the birds diving and swooping around the boat to catch the food. There were so many birds, it is fascinating to watch. Also interesting that she calls them with a hand movement and they all come swooping down and following the boat, waiting for the food.
Our Tour was almost over and we were on our way home when we spotted two Crocs fighting. They were near the bank and had their heads right up out of the water and were swinging their head to smash it into the other croc. We headed straight over there to watch and it was a highlight of the day. I didn’t realise that Crocs growl like a dog! Fierce and scary creatures. This was definitely worth doing and I would recommend it to anyone coming to the Territory. Just don’t wear bright colours!
After the Tour we drove to the Humpty Doo Pub and enjoyed a great meal and some very cheap and very yummy Shaw & Smith Sauv Blanc. A great ending to a fun day out.