Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Friday, May 11, 2007

Crikey, jumping Crocs!

We left the Coroboree Roadhouse the next morning which incidentally has its very own saltwater croc in a cage beside the front gate (only in Australia!), and headed about 50 km up the road to the Adelaide River where we took a crocodile cruise.

The "cruise" entailed basically going down the river about 2 km and dangling hunks of meats off the side of the boat on wooden sticks to see how many crocs we could attract. And attract the crocs we did. Within a few minutes of setting off we could see them coming towards our boat. We saw about 8 in total - mainly smaller females about 3 metres long but also the dominant male of the area - Bogart. He's about 5.5 metres long, ferocious looking and battle scarred with only 1 full leg left, the other 3 have been bitten off in fights with other males over the years! Another dominant male from the next section of the river came into Bogart's area while we were on the boat and in true Aussie style the captain of the boat tried to instigate a fight by forcing them further together, but in the end there was no fight. A bit disappointing for us though!

The highlight of the cruise really was the feeding though because, with the meat in the water still attached to the stick, when the crocs went for it they raised it out of the water and those hungry crocs just jumped straight up out of the water to snatch it off the end of the pole. They came so far out (most of their body length) and we all got a great look at how big they are. We did this several times with different crocs and not one of them failed to disappoint, hurling themselves out of the water to get at the food.

Food was also left dangling for some birds of prey to get and we were lucky enough to see a white bellied sea eagle swoop down and pluck it off the end of the pole - they move so fast and are so accurate. Then on the way back, smaller bits of meat were flung into the water and about 15 hawks flying around came down and tucked in, grabbing it from the waters surface.

It was such a brilliant cruise and something I don't think we'll ever forget.

After that it was on to Litchfield NP...


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