The Northern Territory is known for it’s vicious and deadly inhabitants, with an estimated 80,000-100,000 in the waters up here. The Saltwater Crocodile (or Crocodylus porosus) can measure up to 6m (males) or 3m (females). Safe to say they’re a lot bigger than us and you don’t want to mess with them. So what’s the best way to see crocs in the wild..
We’d heard loads about the river cruises and everyone we’d met up here told us to book one. There are a few different companies to choose from, we went with Adelaide River Cruises, a family owned business. Open from early May to around November (closed for the wet season) these guys really knew what they were talking about. Harry, our guide, had been operating on the river for 32 years. He gave us heaps of info in our hour-long tour and made sure we got the best photos.
The meat being fed to the crocs was local, wild buffalo. Harry explained how buffalo are a pest on their land so they hunt their meat for free to keep the numbers down and the crocs fed. Most people say that if you eat crocodile in a restaurant that it tastes like chicken, we were told this was because most farmed crocodiles (yes this happens) are fed on chicken, hence the taste.
We saw loads of different crocodiles, male and female, ranging from three – ninety years old. NINETY. The old boy was the famous Brutus, estimated to be a huge 5m long and weighing in at nearly 900kg. He was the highlight of the tour, even with no teeth and a missing front arm. He’s regularly in Darwin newspapers for his escapades, in 2014 he dragged a bull-shark to its grizzly end. Australia, can you get any scarier?
You get up close and personal with the crocs jumping right up against the bars, so make sure you stay within the barriers. Otherwise you’ll end up missing an arm like old Brutus.
After all the excitement, it was also amazing to see how many black kites there were waiting for their bit of buffalo. Harry only had to call to them and throw some meat in their direction and they managed to catch it while swooping in. Impressive animals in the air and in the water.
We can’t recommend Adelaide River Cruises enough, worth every penny and an awesome way to see these incredible (and also terrifying) animals in the wild. Cheers Harry!