Being only metres away from a man eating salt water crocodile, is an experience not to be missed. We had been travelling through Northern Territory and each time we came to a billabong, river or wetlands there were “Danger salt water crocodiles, no swimming”. This pre-historic monster is every Australians nightmare.
Our tour boat was the Adelaide River Queen, with a lower inside deck and an open deck on top. Our tour guide had favourite names for each of the crocodiles and they being territorial, he knew where to look for them in the murky river water and amongst the mangroves.
Raw pig meat tied by a rope and attached to a rigid pole, was hung over the side of the top deck and the crocs circled in the water below. Leaping half their body length straight into the air, to snare their free feast, this prehistoric reptile was giving us an incredible display.
The saltwater crocodile is a large and opportunistic carnivorous predator, it ambushes most of its prey and then drowns or swallows it whole. Its prey includes sharks, fish, crustaceans, birds, and mammals including humans. It will lie in wait, partly submerged and wait its opportunity, known to take dogs and humans from the edge of lakes and rivers.
Newly hatched crocodiles are small, around 11 inches long, but males can measure around 3.3 metres when they sexual mature at 16 years of age and females reach 2.1 metres at sexual maturity at 12 to 14 years of age. An adult male salt water crocodile can reach up to 6 metres long and weigh between 200 to 1000 kilograms. Female adult salt water crocodiles can measure up to 3.4 metres and weigh up to 200 kilograms.
Our tour lasted for an hour with The Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodile Cruise and was an experience that we would recommend to view these magnificent reptiles up close and appreciate their strength and verocity.