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Jumping crocodile cruise

Thursday, December 3, 2009
Jason Dundas headed to the far north of Australia to check out some fun things to do on holidays. His idea of fun may not be the same as many people's, but he loved the adventure he had.

The Northern Territory is not for the faint-hearted. It's a place where you could die of thirst in the blazing sun, suffer a fatal snakebite or be eaten alive by a creature that has outlived the dinosaurs ... the saltwater crocodile.

There are more than 80,000 saltwater crocodiles living in the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory, and they are rarely seen as they lurk in the muddy waters. The scary beasts measure up to 6m in length, and for a real adrenaline burst, you can actually feed them.

Jumping Crocodile Cruises will take you into the midst of a feeding frenzy, dangling raw water-buffalo meat to appease the snapping crocodiles.

The crafty crocs have come to know the feeding boats, and year round they leave their hiding places to be fed. To them the engine of a boat is like the sound of the ice-cream van in the neighbourhood. Certainly saves them hunting for their own dinner.

They bask in the sun by the banks of the river, enjoying the camouflage. At low tide, they come to life.

Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruises have two vessels. The 18.2m Northern Adventurer has two decks (the lower one is air-conditioned) and has bar and toilet facilities. Wildcat is an 8.7m, high-powered catamaran with undercover seating.

Crews are very knowledgeable about the crocodiles. In fact they know a lot about all of the Territory's unique wildlife. They say the crocodiles have been jumping out of the water for something like 65 million years.

As they lurk on the riverbanks under overhanging branches, they spot an unwitting bird, bat or snake overhead and the only way to get it is to jump, so that's how that came about. The awesome power of their tails allows them to strike and satisfy their hunger in a nanosecond. They do have competition, believe it or not.

Kites, raptors with an enormous wingspan, have amazing eyesight which allows them to see up to 40km with extraordinary accuracy. Not only will they swoop on the crocodiles' water buffalo, you have to keep an eye on your barbecue. Kites are one of only two birds that can grab food in their talons and eat while they are flying.

By the way, if you have always longed to handle a python, Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruises has a large collection, but you can only pet one if you aren't wearing sunblock, insect repellent, perfume or oil.

Location

The Adelaide River outside of Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Cost

Spectacular Jumping Crocodile one-hour cruises cost $35 for adults and $20 for children. Family passes for two adults and two children between the ages of four and 14 are $80. Seniors and groups receive discounts. Cruises depart at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm every day. Tea, coffee and python handling are included!

Prices correct at December 3, 2009.

For further information

Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Lot 1615
Arnhem Highway
Darwin 0800
Ph: (08) 8978 9077
www.jumpingcrocodile.com.au
spectacular@jumpingcrocodile.com.au

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User comments
you have got to be kidding me, taking children to somewhere like that, and handling pythons!!!!!! what happens if some croc will snap someone hand and be dragged in the river and become a instant meal for the croc. will be be screaming for culling of the reptiles i am sure of that,stay in your own back yard, i never saw a crocodile shopping at coles did you?
I actually did this cruise when i went up to visit a friend in darwin a few years back. I wanted to avoid the 'everyone visits' Crocodylus park and instead wanted to see the croc's in their natural habitat. I was not dissapointed and thoroughly enjoyed myself and so did my friend. I highly reccommend this to anyone.
Crocs are intelligent animals - feeding them makes them associate people with food. Humans evidently are not that intelligent, and are making things very dangerous for themselves. Good one idiots
hey every 1 just letting you know that the tour guide is my dad and his name snot graig woods its graig west!

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