Adelaide River NT

 

NT Crocs – Up Close and Personal 2014

In August 2014 the Swan and McDonald families went on a tour of the Adelaide River in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. The weather is beautiful this time of year at the end of the Dry Season and before the humidity of the “Build Up’ at the start of the Wet Season.

map 1 location

The adventure we selected is Hunter Safaris “One Day Wildlife, Leisure and Fishing Tour” which is a fully accredited owner operator business. It includes an engrossing boat trip up the river viewing wildlife, including up close and personal contact with wild saltwater crocodiles, lunch at a bush camp and an entertaining visit to Kai Hansen’s Goat Island Lodge.

 

Right: The Adelaide River south of the Arnhem Hwy showing the tour area down to Goat Island.map 2 goat island

The tour starts with a 9 am pick up at Howard Springs in Darwin’s rural area by Harry Bowman. On the way we stop at the Window on the Wetlands. The country at this time of year is quite dry but there’s still plenty of water around to hold plenty of wildlife, including some buffalo grazing in the distance.

Harry guides us into our seats on his 6 metre shaded boat for the 35 km upstream trip. The trip is nothing short of interesting, pushing in towards riverbanks or up creeks to investigate and get a closer look at the wildlife, as the photos will show below.

tour boatLeft: The tour boat (photo from tour brochure).

Along the way we see numerous crocodiles, wild buffalo, kangaroos, jabiru, sea eagles, brolgas and a wide variety of other birds including the colourful rainbow bee eater. The crocodiles are either sunning themselves on the banks, slithering into the water, swimming ominously on the surface or actually approaching and coming right up to the boat.

Incidentally, both Harry and Kai appeared in this year’s NT News Top 50 of interesting characters.

01 group 02 slide
Our group from left: Delma, Lisa, Russ, Emma, Ben and Phil Slide mark on the bank showing where a crocodile has dragged
itself from the water. Note the size and width between the
claw marks on either side of the slide
03 croc 1 04 croc 2
Crocodile sunning himself A smaller one
05 eagle 1 06 eagle 2
A series of photos captured by Emma showing a sea eagle taking a piece of meat
07 eagle 3 08 eagle 4
Below: A series of photos of a rather large croc approaching our boat to get up close and personal.
10 croc boat 1 11 croc boat 2
12 croc boat 3 13 croc boat 4
Above: Note the evil eye. If you were in the water at this distance then you would be dead – no question.
14 croc boat 5
Above: A video of one of the crocs swimming in the river.
16 camp 1 17 camp 2
Harry’s bush camp is simple yet quite functional and comfortable. Harry demonstrates the toilet facilities.
17 goat 1 18 goat 2
Kai is waiting at Goat Island. This entire facility has been built single handed by Kai except for the plumbing and electricity.
19 goat 3
A panoramic view captured by Emma showing the lodge and it’s proximity to the river.
20 goat 4 22 goat 6
Kai’s sense of humour shows in his menu Another example of Kai’s humour.
21 goat 5 23 goat 7
Accommodations are simple yet clean. The dog sings as Kai plays an harmonica
24 croc again
Plenty of crocs to see again on the way back

END

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