Swimming & (not with!) the crocs
Our NT blogger Jennifer comes over all Crocodile Dundee at Litchfield National Park.
It was a warm morning in Darwin and unlike the rest of the country enduring a bitterly cold winter, my husband and I were packing our bags to go swimming. Jealous? The Top End is home to many well known attractions that make it such an awesome place, and thanks to Pinnacle Tours we spent the day exploring two of the most popular – Litchfield National Park and The Adelaide River Jumping Croc Cruise.
First on the agenda was the one hour Jumping Croc Cruise, roughly a one and a half hour bus ride from the city, a trip that flew by thanks to the witty banter and an insightful history lesson of Darwin from Sean the bus driver. Upon arrival, we received our entry ticket, included in the price of the tour, and I raced to the gate to make sure we got a good spot on the boat!
As the boat pushes along the murky waters of the Adelaide River, we spot the first of many crocs, partially camouflaged in the mud as it soaks in the sun. The tour guide dangles a piece of meat into the water until the crocodile slides into the water and disappears. Minutes later, a pair of beady eyes and a snout appear by the boat before the croc almost gracefully leaps into the air and grabs the delicious morsel. Unfortunately it was a little too early in the morning for one particularly popular crocodile that gained worldwide fame just days after our cruise. Good ol’ Brutus was most likely hiding on the mudbank catching some rays!
From there, it was off to explore Litchfield National Park. On the way to the waterfalls, we stopped to check out the massive (and I’m talking up to six metres!) cathedral termite mounds and magnetic termite mounds that look eerily like tombstones.
Wangi Falls was first on the hit list, followed by Tolmer Falls and Florence Falls. Wangi Falls was closed for swimming because the water level was too high which raises the chance of crocs getting into the plunge pool from nearby wetlands. Despite the plunge pool being closed, Wangi Falls is still popular because the views of the waterfalls are fantastic and it’s a great picnic area.
Tolmer Falls is also a no-go zone – but all year round. This is because the caves in the gorge are home to rare and endangered Ghost and Orange Horseshoe bats. However, a good few hours can be spent here, taking in the amazing views on the walking tracks.
Last but definitely not least was the extremely popular Florence Falls. Not for the faint-hearted (or unfit like me!), heading to the plunge pool involves approximately 135 stairs! Going down isn’t so bad, it’s going back up after a big swim! It is definitely worth it once you see what is waiting for you. If you wish to avoid the stairs like I did to get back to the carpark, there is the beautiful one kilometre Shady Creek Walk which takes you along the creek back up to the top.
After spending an hour or so at Florence Falls, it was time to wrap up the tour and head back to Darwin. Pinnacle Tours provided a jam packed day filled with great experiences, great food (also included in the price) and a guaranteed good nights sleep! They offer a variety of different tours suitable for everyone and I recommend it for anyone and everyone wanting a stress free, fully organised day trip.
Well that it’s from me this month. Until next time, happy travels!
Keen to experience the Adelaide River Jumping Croc Cruise for yourself? Click here for details.