Jumping Crocs and Fogg Dam

One of many crocodiles swimming in the Adelaide River
(Click on the image above to see images of our visit to the jumping crocodiles at the Adelaide River and also our visit to Fogg Dam)

Today's adventure saw us head out to the Adelaide River along the Arnhem Highway to see the jumping crocs.  There is a fair bit of promotion of these tours and there are several of them.  Fortunately for us, my uncle knew the people that have been running jumping croc tours on the Adelaide River for 30 odd years.  Obviously we rang them and booked our seats for the cruise.

 

It was a nice drive along the Arnhem Highway and then out along Anzac Parade. You then enter through the gates and you're on the dirt, but it's an easy drive to the boat ramp.

We had picked the 11am cruise which is apparently the most popular.  Probably for the same reasons that we picked it. You don't have to get out of bed too early and rush.  There were plenty of people there for our cruise and the boat, or should I say boats, were full.  There is a big boat and a smaller boat that are aluminium punts with large motors on them. They are ideal for getting close to the water so you can see all the action.  Don't worry, they are suitably caged so nothing can get it, but if you want to dangle your arm over the side I'm sure the crocs wouldn't mind some extra tucker.

As soon as we hit the water we could see crocs not far from the boat and this continued throughout the one hour cruise.  They were everywhere and in all sizes and ages.  If you feel like a swim, this is NOT the place to go for a refreshing cool down.  Harry, our tour guide and one of the owners introduced us to about six or seven different crocs that he called by name.  He had them jump for some buffalo meat dangled from a piece of wire which hung from an electrical conduit pole.  There was a very understanding relationship between Harry and the crocs.  If they jumped for the meat and entertain the tourists, he would feed them.  If they didn't want to play, then that was fine too.

One thing that did impress me about this operation is that it only runs for the dry season.  The crocs are then left to their own devices eating fish, buffalo and pigs for the wet season which they do anyway.  The other operations run all year round and from what I could see in brochures have much bigger boats and the experience would not be as intimate.

Harry organised the tour very well.  When the croc was on the left side of the boat, the people on that side had to remain sitting and the people on the right side of the boat could stand up. Everyone got the opportunity to take photos.  Harry would then move the boat so the croc was on the opposite side and the situation was reversed.  It was a great trip and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone visiting Darwin.  For more information visit Adelaide River Cruises.  You can also check out the photos by clicking on the picture at the top of this article.

When we left Adelaide River Cruises we took the detour down to Fogg Dam when we were heading out on Anzac Parade.  Certainly glad we did as this is a magnificent nature park.  The damage done by the recent cyclone is evident with trees down and one of the walking tracks closed.  The dam wall is also closed to traffic due to the sighting of a large saltwater crocodile in the area.  There was even a croc trap set next to the dam wall but the bait had not been taken as yet.

Fortunately one of the walks through the monsoon forest and wetlands was still open along the boardwalk and we were able to take advantage of it being open. The walk was some 2.2 km through Swamp Mahogany and then Paperbarks which finally opened onto the Fogg Dam itself.  There were a huge number of water lillies and any number of birds to see but many were far too quick for the camera.

It was a great day and certainly one that in hindsight was well organised with the croc tour at 11am and then Fogg Dam.  Mind you, we were feeling a bit peckish, but you could always take some tucker and enjoy a picnic at Fogg Dam.

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