Darwin Crocodile River Cruise

Darwin Crocodile River Cruise

Besides famous national parks such as Kakadu and Litchfield, and activities like fishing and camping, Darwin is perhaps most well-known for the crocodiles. So, what better way to explore the city than to hop on a boat and look for wild crocodiles lurking in the rivers?

The good people from Tourism NT kindly arranged an excursion for us with Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise, and it was quite an experience as we went up close with the salties (saltwater crocodiles), which is the world’s largest reptile.

Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise

Upon boarding, the crew explained some of the basic rules to us, including to never to stick our heads or hands out of the boat lest the crocodiles mistake us for their dinner. Even before we had time to settle down and enjoy the view, we spotted the first crocodile for the day. It swam over quickly, and we watched on as it attempted to jump for the dangling meat. This cruise took us through the Adelaide River as we watched them dangle chunks of meat just above the water surface to attract the crocodiles.

Adelaide River

Some of you probably think it sounds dangerous to be in such proximity to the wild crocodiles. But we actually did not feel any danger throughout the tour because the crew were all well-trained and equipped with knowledge to handle both the passengers and salties.

The crocodiles are actually trained in advance and controlled by the cruise company via monitored feeding sessions and familiarising the crocodiles with the sound of the ship’s engine.


We were told that the crocodiles were trained since young to recognise the crew. The crew would give small chunks of meat to the crocodiles on a regular basis so as to instill in the crocodiles the understanding that the crew are not harming them but instead, feeding them.

The crew would also start the engine shortly before the commencement of the tour. As the crocodiles are trained to recognise the sound of the engine, they associate the sound of the engine with food by the river cruise.

Crocodile River

With this foresight to train and tame the crocodiles, together with the familiarisation of the engine’s sound, the crocodiles know how to look for the cruise ship instead of the reverse, and will not attack the ship as they recognise that the ship is a source of food.

This makes it easier, smarter and safer for the crew to attract the crocodiles to appear and ensure there will always be a show for every passenger who goes on board

With the crew facing the crocodiles in such close contacts on a daily basis, we also learned that the cruise company has several measurements in place to make it a safer environment for the crew to work in. All crew are well-trained to understand and analyse the characteristics of the crocodiles through their body language, and this gives passengers an assurance that the crew would know how to deal with unforeseen situations.

Darwin Crocodiles

If you are in Darwin, you should definitely go on a crocodile cruise and observe the wild crocodiles in their natural habitat.

Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Adelaide River, Arnhem Highway, Darwin, Northern Territory,
Tel: (08) 89789077
Daily: 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm
[email protected]

This post is in conjunction with ladyironchef x the union.