I got talking to someone recently about the Crocodile Hunter, it was probably in an interview I did, and it reminded me of an adventure we had just before we left Australia. So I thought I’d share it in case you ever get to go. Because you know you want to…
The King travelled alot for his work in Australia, he was in radio and jingle production, so had to visit different radio markets around the country, do shows and get clients. On one such occasion we tagged along. I had never been to Darwin and it made sense to check it out. The kids were little, Grand Master D was about 4 and Miss Gremlin maybe 14-15 months give or take.
Anyway after the function was over we decided to stay on for the weekend and have a look around Darwin. There’s quite a tourist industry up there. We walked all over town and witnessed the drunks in the parks and streets which is so Darwin, unfortunately the Aboriginal people have problems with alcohol, it’s a curse the white man brought with them.
At that time Grand Master D was totally absorbed by Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, dressing up like him and wrestling his 6′ stuffed crocodile by jumping out of my laundry basket onto the croc in the river, among other things… so it seemed like a no brainer to go and see the jumping crocs tourist attraction out on the Adelaide River just outside Darwin. We hired a car and headed out. I don’t know quite what I expected but it wasn’t what we saw. We arrived to a tin shed on the side of the river with a couple of 16′ tin boats with canopies on them.
I was horrified…
What on earth were we thinking? There was no one even there when we arrived despite the fact we’d booked a tour. But within a few minutes someone arrived and and we went through the typical procedure of paying the money and preparing for the experience. We saw all the pictures around and the tourism pamphlets, Grand Master D was getting very excited. I was feeling less so. As we headed to the river I really believed we’d made a horrible mistake but I didn’t want to disappoint Grand Master D and of course the King was all ‘it’ll be fine!’
Against my better judgement we boarded one of theses……………
Now I’m not saying I’m a scaredy cat but we were in an open boat like this, with a 4 yo and a 14 month old…..
As we took off out into the middle of the river, the driver gave us the safety speel. No standing up, no putting your arms out beyond the boundaries of the boat. I may have gone grey…
What the FUCK were we thinking?
We kept driving out to the middle, the Adelaide is a huge river. Then the driver got his fishing rod out and loaded up some chicken carcasses. It was at this point I moved to the very centre of the boat and held Miss Gremlin almost in a death grip, holding her arms down by her sides. I had no idea how high those bastards jumped, I had no idea how close they got.
It didn’t look like a very long fishing rod to me. But nothing seemed to happen, the driver explained that sometimes the crocs didn’t come up or they were off doing something else….
The King and Grand Master D were at the edge of the boat to get a better look.
I couldn’t wait to get to dry land. I was at the edge of full blown panic.
And then he surfaced, high out of the water, grabbing that chicken carcass in his huge jaws with nery a care in the world. One false move and he could have had an entire boat load of tourists for lunch!
The boys were on a high after our 20 minute ride. Grand Master D raved about it for days. The croc put on a great show, I can’t remember his name ( of course he had one) he was the biggest croc they fed as part of the show.
I will never do it again, I was too freaked out, especially with small children but don’t let that stop you, it certainly is an excellent experience and well worth a visit if you’re in the top end.