Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruises

Whistling Kite - the most dominant raptor around
(Click on the image above to see images of the wildlife and birdlife on the Billabong)

Today we enjoyed a drive out to the Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise.  The cruise takes place about 100 kilometres from Darwin heading out on the Arnhem Highway towards Kakadu National Park.  You can catch a shuttle bus from Darwin if you wish.  A shuttle also runs from the Corroboree Creek Roadhouse for the last 20 kilometres so you can avoid the section of gravel road also.  We stopped at the Roadhouse for a coffee and a walk around before continuing out to the meeting place for the cruise.

The Roadhouse has a caravan park which looked quite good from our observations.  There was plenty of shade and grass and the sites didn't look too crowded.  It's on Wikicamps and dogs are permitted also.

We took the 12.45pm tour that lasts for 2.5 hours and includes lunch on board the boat.  The boat itself is more like a flat bottom punt to allow for the limited depth in the billabong.  There are two boats depending on numbers. Both are powered by quite large outboards with a smaller auxiliiary. We thought it quite funny that they had lifejackets on board...... just in case.  If anything happened I would walk on water across the croc infested billabong rather than dangle in the water as bait for a hungry reptile.

The billabong is part of the Mary River according to our guide Chrissie.  In the wet season when the area floods the whole area is covered in water.  The Mary River itself apparently has no head and no end.  It is just where the water recedes too when the wet winds down and the waters start to disappear.  The Corroboree Billabong is one of these leftover bodies of water that doesn't flow anywhere but hosts a wide variety of bird and reptile life.

It wasn't long before we spotted our first croc basking on the bank.  This one was a freshwater crocodile and they co-exist with the saltwater crocs in the billabong. A little further into the cruise we spotted our first saltwater crocodile lying on a log.  Over the time of the trip we saw many crocodiles of varying degrees of size. Some in the water, some on the banks and some lying on tree roots growing into the billabong.

There was also an array of birdlife.  The highlight for me was the Black Necked Crane or Jabiru as it is known.  There was also a White Bellied Sea Eagle, some Rainbow Bee Eaters and the usual cormorants, darters and whistling Kites.

If you are heading into this part of the world, then this is a well worthwhile cruise to consider.  You would probably see as much on a 1.5 hour cruise in terms of wildlife and birdlife.  There are a number of options to choose from and you can find out more about the tours at Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruises.

Feel free to add any relevant comments below or ask questions.

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