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Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise (Darwin, Australia)

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Address: Adelaide River / Arnhem Highway / Darwin / Northern Territory / Australia

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      18.07.2008 20:58
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      So brilliant to get up so close to the crocs!

      Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise

      When in Darwin (Australia) I was told about jumping crocodiles where you seen them up close and personal in the wild. I thought that it sounded interesting and something I may never get the chance to see again so I booked the trip through my hostel which happened to be the YHA.

      The company is called Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise and it costs $30 adult and a family pass is $70. It is just one hour from Darwin on the Arnhem Highway on the way to Kakadu. Turn left into the Window on the Wetlands. Cruise times are 9am, 10am. 1pm and 3pm.

      If you don't want to drive you have the option to jump aboard the Crocodile Express. As we were on holiday and had no car we thought we would make the day of it and get on the crocodile express as it saved us the hassle trying to find the place. On this tour you are picked up at the Transit centre and if you are outside the central business district (as we were) they will pick you up at your accommodation. Extra to the cruise you get to go to the Window on the Wetlands and Fogg Dam or Howard Springs.

      **TOUR**

      We arrived at the main offices of this tour and had time to spare. There were snakes all around the front desk in enclosures for you to look at. A young girl brought up a python, which you could have touched, or held if you wanted. Personally I'm a scaredy custard (crocodiles were enough excitement for me) and I decided to watch from afar. If you did want to touch the snakes or python you had to wash off any insect repellent or sun block as it irritates their scales. You can take photographs and get up close without having to touch them. There was (not very clean) outdoor tables and chairs you could sit in and wait for the tour in the shelter away from the sun. If you wanted you could make yourself a cup of tea and toast as facilitates were available. Again these were not extremely clean but if you were hungry enough it done the job.

      Now for the most exciting part of the day and that is the cruise itself. We boarded a small enough boat and there weren't too many people on the cruise, which meant everyone, could see the crocodiles clearly. There was a top and bottom deck, with chairs on the bottom deck and windows that were slightly opened. The windows were low to the water you could hang out of them and touch the water if you leaned over. This meant you had excellent views of the crocodiles when they came close to the boat. My partner and I sat down on one of these seats before the tour started, as did everyone else. The one thing I found very annoying (which you were told not to do) and that was that people were putting their arms outside the window to get better pictures. Not only were they putting themselves in danger but they also were blocking other people's view just so they could get a better picture. Another problem which yet again we were told on numerous occasions not to do as it unbalanced the boat was that everyone crowded to the side the crocodile was on to get a better view pushing and shoving. This was unnecessary as a crocodile was taken to both sides so everyone had a fair chance of seeing one. Needless to say it was the same few selfish people who did these things. You hear of these horror stories of people getting their arm bitten off by a crocodile, I would say it's the irresponsible people like this that it happens to as they can not follow simple instructions they have been told time and time again.

      Anyway putting the annoying people aside and back to the tour itself. The boat driver gave us commentary throughout, which was relevant to what we seen. He told us some facts about the area and the crocodiles we were seeing. Amazingly we seen about 5 or 6 crocodiles on our trip and they got 4 of them to jump up beside the boat successfully for us to see up close. So how do they get wild crocodiles to jump beside the boat I can hear you ask? Well that's easy they dangle meat and hit it onto the surface of the water once they see a crocodile to attract it over. Once it is close enough and they have their attention they lift the meat into the air and the crocodile will jump into the air to eat it all in one go. The crocodiles jump a lot slower than I imagined so you could see everything clearly. It was spectacular seeing them up so close. We even saw a crocodile with a missing arm as they fight each other and sometimes lose limbs. People ask me was I scared but to be honest I wasn't as there was glass between them and me plus I was following safety instructions and not being an idiot putting my arms out the window. I had a chance to see crocodiles jump when I was situated at the bottom and top section of the boat so I got different prospective and angels of the crocodile. At the end of the cruise, which lasted, between 45 minutes and an hour some meat was thrown into the air and eagles were catching it in the air and eating the meat. They kept circling and came very close to the boat so you had the chance to see them clear enough.

      **WHAT I THOUGHT**

      I felt that this tour was the highlight of my time in Darwin. It was a brilliant opportunity and I am so glad I done this tour as it was amazing to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you were ever in Darwin I would advise you to do this trip. It was an exciting trip and any age could have experienced it. The tour operates all year round, however in some seasons there are fewer crocodiles in the water. The crocodiles that you see aren't all small, there are large ones as well!

      Also posted on Ciao under my username denisekelly40

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