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Which crocodile cruise should I go on? (Northern Territory)

The Northern Territory is a wide WIDE spread of land with very few cities in between, Darwin is situated right at the very top of this. I’ve mentioned it before that I think it’s one of the most underrated cities in Australia with all year round heat. But it’s most well known for its heavy population of crocodiles. Now obviously it’s not advised to swim anywhere along the coast near here. However if you did want to get your head stuck into some of the local nature you have a wide range of options to see these creatures up and close.

It’s in the top three TripAdvisor activities to do in Darwin for a reason. But as a tourist who has never been to Darwin before and you see a range of different boats/tours to go on, it can be quite overwhelming. You need a good idea on the pros on cons of each to get the best value and enjoyment for your travel party. So here is my unbiased and honest review on which one I think is the best and why. I’ve tried them all so you don’t have to!

Crocodylus Park #4

Crocodylus park is the competitor of Crocosaurus Cove since they are both wildlife parks, but what makes Crocodylus park stand out is the fact they have their very own crocodile cruise within it. Obviously the main component is the crocs but they host other creatures like reptiles, buffalo, monkeys and lots more. You pay an extra fee to do the cruise but its not too much. This is a great family day out for the kids to be educated on the animals. the only con about this is that it is a lot smaller that the other cruises and the billabong they cruise in is man made so they are all technically in captivity. Located in Berrimah, its a short 15 minute drive from Darwin CBD and are accessible by uber or bus if you don’t have a hire car. Plus it is the only place on this list you can personally feed a fully grown croc!

The Original Adelaide River Cruise #3

This is the one I went on most recently. It’s the furthest away out of all the options but saying that it’s still only a hour drive from the city. Which if you know the size of Australia is not long at all. It’s also the biggest boat out of all of them. The cruise is set out in two sections. The bottom half is enclosed meaning that there are walls all around, so you can ensure your safety while still having a great view an angle of the crocodiles being fed. We chose to sit on the top half which is completely open, and you look down upon the crocodiles being fed. I wanted to sit here because I was worried that my pictures and videos would have a glare from the window but actually to my surprise when I went downstairs the windows are squeaky clean, so you don’t even feel like there is a wall between you and the river. As you arrive you are met by a giant crocodile statue along with the staff who are extremely welcoming. This will set you back around $30 AUD each.

Overall I feel like this would be a great option for families with young children that are intrigued by these creatures without the adrenaline side of the activity.

The Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise #2

The spectacular cruise is the second furthest out of all the tours but is only around a 15 minute drive from the original cruise. The group of people that they take on these tours are a lot smaller which definitely feels more personalised. Obviously the boat is a lot smaller too and it can be pretty exciting and scary at the same time when a 4 m long crocodile is inches away from you. All crocodile tours in Darwin have a certain amount of safety precautions that they have to stick to and there are bars there in between to protect you. This tour is the same price at $30 AUD per person. I have all good things to say about this cruise, the staff are super friendly and informative. If your are on a budget and want to see these amazing animas in the wild, this is the place to book.

Matt Wright Tours #1

Seen on the 2022 TV series ‘Matt Wright’s Wild Territory’ and the National Geographic, the locally owned company is run by the famous croc wrangler. Although this one is priced at the most per ticket, I truly believe that it is the most authentic Northern Territory experience you can get. Most of the tours they offer are whole or half day trips which include other activities such as helicopter rides, getting up close and personal with the crocs and relaxing bush retreats. The full day safari tour is priced at $395 or the overnight one from $845. They literally have everything sorted for you so you can kick back in fully make the most of your experience. Of course the overnight tour has a little more included hence the price. You can BYO alcohol but on the day tour they include:

  • Return air-conditioned bus transfers from Darwin Zone pick up locations

  • Crocodile encounter and feeding with one of the largest crocodiles in the world

  • Airboat cruise

  • Billabong cruise

  • Scenic helicopter flight over floodplains

  • BBQ brunch

The crocodile encounter was my favourite since its a very unique experience. You can be within metres of a live croc without any bars or cages in between…Not the mention the lunch was delicious and great quality foods. The day I went Barra burgers were on the menu- Yum! In my opinion this is great value for money and the memories you make will definitely be for life so if you are in the area for a short time i’d advise going all out.

So as you can see they are all very unique and have different features that make each one stand out. Just take into account the extra costs such as transport, food and extras. Have fun and stay safe! Crocs are wild for a reason…

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