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The Wildlife and Saltwater Crocodiles of Kakadu National Park

The number one thing on my Kakadu to-do list was to see a saltwater crocodile in the wild, the largest living reptiles in the world.

Considering the wild croc population in the Northern Territory is now at an almost one-to-one ratio with people, it was inevitable that we would see some and the sunrise Yellow Water Cruise provided the best opportunity.

Kakadu Crocodile Warning Sign

Our sense of anticipation grew as our Indigenous tour guide Sheldon set off from the boat landing on Yellow Water Billabong, Kakadu’s most famous wetland.

We had been on the water for just over a minute Sheldon alerted us to a crocodile gliding through the water on the left side of the boat.

Our first crocodile sighting in Kakadu National Park!

After a Home Billabong cruise the afternoon before where we didn’t see a single crocodile, we couldn’t believe how quickly our moment had come today!

Over the course of the two-hour Yellow Water Cruise we would see several more saltwater crocodiles, including a couple that were feeding on a catfish and a snake.

The early morning definitely was the best time to see the crocs in an active state before they retreat to the banks to keep their body temperatures steady.

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We ended up losing count of how many crocodiles we saw but it probably would have been close to ten, significantly exceeding our expectations.

The Yellow Water Cruise isn’t all about saltwater crocodiles though. There is also an abundance of birdlife that calls Kakadu National Park home with at least 60 species found in the wetlands including some rare kingfishers.

Blue Kingfisher

During the tour we also saw some brumbies (wild horses) and buffaloes along the banks of the wetlands and some water lilies and lotuses on the water itself.

Overall the Yellow Water Cruise was one of the highlights of our time in Kakadu National Park. Sheldon was a fantastic guide and as you’ve seen from the photographs, the wildlife we managed to see over two hours was incredible.

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The DetailsYellow Water Cruises

Yellow Water Cruises, winner of the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Major Tour and/or Transport Operators, operates exclusively on Yellow Water Billabong. It operates year round and provides up to six cruises a day of 90 or 120 minute duration. The sunrise and sunset cruise are very popular and advance bookings are recommended.

Find out more about Yellow Water Cruises

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This trip was made possible by Tourism NT. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared on this blog post are completely our own.

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10 Comments

  1. Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I never managed to get to Kakadu but did manage some amazing croc experiences at Corroboree Billabong and Adelaide River and see some amazing birdlife over much of the top eend
    Gordon Lethbridge recently posted..Where in the World (55)

    • Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      We heard about the Jumping Crocodiles on the Adelaide River – definitely something we want to do the next time we’re in the Top End! There was so much amazing birdlife, it seemed like everywhere you looked there was something new!

  2. Stephanie
    Posted October 2, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    This looks so amazing! I need to try to make it to here sometime in my life. :)

  3. Posted October 2, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I’m terrified of crocs (and less face it, all the water-dwelling critters in Oz), but completely mesmerized by them at the same time. Love your pics!
    Andrea recently posted..A Romantic Weekend In San Antonio

    • Posted October 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      It’s difficult to explain, hey? We were absolutely petrified of falling into the croc-infested water but were watching on in awe as they swum around the boat and fed – quite the experience!

  4. Posted October 2, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Awesome shots!!!

  5. Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Crocs have always terrified me, the real ones, not the shoes. But the shoes terrify me as well.

    I’m sure I’ll get up close to some one day, but your photos are close enough for now!
    Ryan recently posted..Postcards from a Lost Boy – The Official Travel Newsletter of Just Chuckin’ it!

  6. Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I end up encountering crocs in southern Zambia way more often then I’d like to (the males get huge, much larger than I ever would have thought). However, I’ve yet to get a photo of one eating; nice catch.
    Tim H recently posted..Zambezi Inflatables and why you shouldn’t Raft the Zambezi River

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