CROC JUMPING ADELAIDE RIVER, NT.

Like us if you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal to a croc then do what we did and take a cruise along the Adelaide River, home to over 1,600 crocodiles. The famous Darwin Jumping Crocodiles are actually in the Adelaide River, about 70 klm down the Arnehm Highway to the mining town of Jabiru and Kakadu National Park.




We joined an exciting cruise on the scenic Adelaide River to see powerful saltwater crocodiles as they propel themselves high out of the water to snatch their prey. With the help of experienced guides we learnt more about these magnificent creatures, and had the opportunity to watch these crocs jump for food, from the safety of the boat.




Cool and calm behind his dark sunglasses, our guide showed no signs of fear as the first croc repeatedly lunged out of the river. Curious, we asked if he ever come close to being pulled into the water. Smiling, he said that he’d once panicked and held on to the pole as a croc tried to pull both the meat and him into the river. Luckily, an American bodybuilder on the cruise grabbed onto his T-shirt just before he was pulled over the railing.





As the boat glided down the river, our captain announced, that he’d spotted another croc to the right. Straining, I could barely make out what seemed to be a log floating on the edge of the riverbank. Eventually, the log began to move smoothly toward the boat. As it came closer, I could see the croc’s clear yellow eyes focused sharply on the dangling meat. Nearly 20 feet away, it disappeared below the brown water. Suddenly, the croc reappeared about five feet from the boat and lunged at the tempting treat. Just as fast as it attacked, it disappeared under the surface with barely a ripple.




By the end of the day, we were lucky enough to spot almost a dozen salties, ranging in size from barely three feet long to the huge 7 feet. Each time, the guide chatted calmly with us as the beasts snatched the meat dangling only a few feet from his sandals. With observation spots both on the lower level near the water and from above on the open canopied deck we always had great views of the saltwater crocodiles.

As both the afternoon and the cruise ended, we waved goodbye to our fearless guide and drove toward Darwin.





Fun saltwater crocodile facts

  • Salties can jump out of the water so far that only one third of their tail remains underwater
  • Salties can, and do, prey on humans
  • They grow new teeth as and when they are needed
  • Crocs swallow stones. This is thought to help both with digestion and buoyancy.
  • They can swim up to 15 to 18 mph in short bursts (24 to 28 km/h)
  • Crocodiles bask in the sun with their mouths open to regulate their body temperature

HIGHLIGHT OF NT, Litchfield National Park. DARWIN, AUSTRALIA




Litchfield National Park


Litchfield National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. Litchfield, or Litchy as it is affectionately known, is a gorgeous natural wonderland set in the outback, about 130kms away from Darwin. Patches of monsoon rainforest thrive in the deep, narrow gorges created over thousands of years. Wildlife such as wallabies and birds flourish in the Park and can often be seen while travelling through. Gigantic termite mounds stand up to 6 meters tall, others grow in a north-south orientation, acting as a built in temperature controlled micro environment.




Litchfield is probably most famous for its spring fed waterfalls which flow all year round. Below the cascading waterfalls of the sandstone plateau are crystal-clear swimming holes lined with pandanas palms and paper bark trees. These are great places to escape the heat and take in the area by swimming and snorkeling.

Buley Rockhole and Florence Falls are undoubtedly Litchfield’s most visited swimming spots as they are easily accessed by short walks through monsoonal forest and are basically open all year round for swimming.

Given the distance, you will need a car to get there, or failing that, you could jump on one of the tours that visit regularly. Another important aspect is that the Territory runs on two seasons – the wet and the dry . If you are planning a visit, then you are going to want to visit in the dry season (April/May – September/October) which is when the Territory comes alive! Litchfield is closed in the wet season so that is yet another reason to visit in the dry. With multiple waterfalls, camping areas, hikes and 4WD tracks there is so much to see here at the park.



We parked at Florence Falls and walked up the path to Buley Rockhole, stopping at some of the quieter water spots to cool off along the way. As you follow the path, just look out for the posts which will lead you into these quieter spots. We took our time and explored each little area. After a quick swim at the Buley Rockhole, which is one of the more popular swimming areas, we ventured back down the path and took the stairs down to Florence Falls.




There is a great lookout before the stairs which gives a stunning vantage point of the water wonderland that you are about to swim in.

Florence Falls was magical! We got straight into the cool, clear waters enjoying the beauty of the waterfalls in front of us – and we weren’t the only ones. Swimming with us were locals and travelers alike all laughing, taking photos and enjoying their time in the water.




Last stop for the morning was Wangi Falls, and based on the number of people there the most popular, which quite deserves as they are really quite stunning.  This is also a popular swimming spot with plenty of groups setting up for the day as there are nice lawns and bbq’s at the entrance.




Driving around the National Park there are certainly no shortages of warnings to only swim in the designated spots due to crocodiles. Every little creek crossing on the roads had crocodile warning signs..



The next day we decided to hit the 4WD tracks around Litchfield and our first stop was the Lost City. We got there around 9am and we were the only ones there which were quite surprising for Litchfield, and even better people only started arriving as we were driving out.  There is a very easy loop walk of around 500 metres that takes you through the rock formations and it does look like a Lost City with mini sky scrapers and buildings toppled over.



From here we drove down to the Blyth Homestead, an outstation that was established in 1928. Inside there is a good storybook of the family, outlining the hardships they faced back in those days.  It really makes you realize how easy our lives are compared to how these people used to live. From there was a  short drive down to the termite mounds.



We definitely recommend a visit to the Litchfield National Park if you are visiting Darwin, pack a lunch and enjoy the day exploring. You will not regret it!



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