The Northern Territory is known to be Australia’s final frontier; it’s rugged, wild, powerful, and intimidating. Just like her most famous residents; the mighty saltwater crocodile. Nothing compares to the thrilling experience of seeing a crocodile in its natural environment. When you visit the Top End, you must join a Jumping Crocodile Cruise and see these majestic creatures up close. Jumping croc cruises operate on the Adelaide River just one hour from Darwin.
Tours showcase crocodiles doing what they naturally do when feeding, literally jumping out of the water in the hunt for birds and flying foxes. You’ll come away with more than just a fabulous photo of a jumping croc; an Adelaide River cruise will introduce you to this vast floodplain’s ecosystem, its history, wildlife, and abundance of birds. You'll be reeling from the exhilarating experience of getting up close and personal with these fearsome predators.
Jumping Crocodile cruises operate year-round on the Adelaide River just an hour’s drive from Darwin in the Northern Territory. There’s no need to be too fussy about your chosen tour day or time as your experienced guides know just how to draw these powerful animals out and offer them a tempting snack that will allow you to experience their might and ferocity. This is no sideshow; the crocodiles are all treated with the respect they deserve. You’re simply seeing them do what they do best; hunting for prey in the most natural way possible.
You’ll find that your guide is an avid wildlife enthusiast with a personal connection to the crocs your encounter. They call them by name, know their patterns and likely behaviours and are passionate about educating all guests on croc biology, territorial habits, and their importance to the floodplain ecosystem.
On arrival consider visiting the Window on the Wetlands visitor centre. The building itself pays homage to the wading birds of the region, and the centre offers breathtaking 270-degree views of the Adelaide River floodplain. Its collection of interactive displays and exhibits make a great introduction to the ecology of the wetlands.
The Adelaide river floodplain is well known for its high concentration of crocodiles, but a visit here is also a chance to spot an abundance of other wildlife. Keep an eye out for white-bellied sea eagles, magpie geese (there’s around 800,000 of them), whistling kites, bull sharks and possibly even the endangered spear tooth shark and critically endangered large-tooth sawfish.
Tempted to join a Jumping Crocodile Cruise with like-minded guests on a Fun Over Fifty tour? Take a look at our Darwin holiday packages that include an epic crocodile encounter.
As with all things in the NT, you’re best to visit during the dry season as crocodiles are slightly less active in the wet. On hotter days, these cold-blooded creatures are more active and less likely to be buried in the mud or hiding under trees in the shade.
Make sure you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat, and note that you’ll be able to buy snacks and souvenirs.
There are several operators offering a range of jumping croc tours, so be sure to do some research prior to arrival to see which tour is best suited to you and which has availability for your preferred date and time. No matter whom you choose for your experience, you’re bound to have a fabulous time getting up close to these spectacular creatures. Most tours are accessible to all fitness and mobility levels. This is the best way to see crocodiles in their natural environment!
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