Sharni’s friend Lydia came to visit us for a weekend of fun in Darwin. Jumping crocodiles were high on the agenda. The jumping crocodile tours operate about an hour out of Darwin, down Arnhem Highway on the way to Kakadu National Park on the Adelaide River. Good fun it was. We were lucky enough to see Brutus the famous three legged crocodile. He’s huge – around 5m long. The photos don’t do justice to his immense size since it’s difficult to gauge scale in the shots I took. It was scary having his huge head along side the boat. His head is about 70cm long. Get caught in those and you don’t have much chance.
Got plenty of good photos of jumping crocodiles and crocodiles wallowing on the muddy banks of the Adelaide River. The tour guide said the crocs cover themselves in mud to escape the flies. You’ll see in some photos the flies that constantly attack the crocodiles. To me they look like march flies or sand flies – biting flies that suck blood. One way to help spot crocodiles on the muddy banks is to look for swarming flies.
It’s impressive the extent that the crocodiles can clear themselves out of the water by. They do not use momentum to jump which makes it even more impressive. They jump from a stationary position on surface using sheer tail power. Instead of making them jump, another way to feed them is leaving the bait on the surface. The speed that they snap up the surface bait is extraordinary. One moment the bait is on the surface, next there’s a splash and the bait has disappeared.
Apart from the crocs, the tour also does the swooping kite demonstration. This involves throwing bait in the air with a bird swooping down to grab the bait mid-air. The species of bird is whistling kite. They are super fast and skillful at capturing the bait whilst flying through the air.
The tour was exciting and entertaining. Tour guide was friendly and knowledgable and pricing was reasonable. A good time had by all. It gets my recommendation.