Home » Blog » Destination Guides » Australasia » Australia » Adelaide River Jumping Crocs Darwin: Get Up Close to One of the World’s Most Dangerous Species

Adelaide River Jumping Crocs Darwin: Get Up Close to One of the World’s Most Dangerous Species

Jumping crocs darwin

Jumping Crocs Darwin – Adelaide river

Darwin is Australia’s true outback city. The smallest out of all of the state capital cities, Darwin is located in some of Australia’s most unique and downright dangerous environments. One the most unique and dangerous things is, of course, the Saltwater Crocodile. Of all the 26 species of Crocodiles and Alligators in the world, Darwin is home to both the largest and most aggressive type.

These huge beasts roam the rivers and relax on the banks seemingly so peaceful, however, don’t be fooled by their majestic nature, the Saltwater Crocodile is one of the most dangerous animals in the world.

Getting up close to wild Saltwater Crocodiles is a once in a lifetime, unforgettable, experience that can only be done in Darwin on the Jumping Croc Cruise. In this blog I have included everything you need to know if you are considering going on a Jumping Crocs Darwin Cruise for yourself, topics included are:

I was living in the “Top End” (Darwin) for 2 years which meant that getting accustomed to the dangers these Saltwater Crocs pose was necessary. And to be honest, I never really truly understood them until I did The Adelaide River Jumping Crocs tour just outside of Darwin.

The Adelaide River Jumping Crocs Darwin Cruise gave me a great insight into the lives, dangers, and ways to stay safe around Saltwater Crocodiles.

I personally joined three tours during my time in Darwin and loved every one of them as much as the first! For tourists and locals alike this is one of the best opportunities in the world to see Saltwater Crocodiles in their natural habitat and only meters from your boat!

Related Read:   Where to Stay in Darwin, Australia - An Unbiased Guide to Darwin Accommodation
Adelaide River Jumping crocs Darwin
Only meters from the action!

What is a Jumping Croc Cruise Exactly?

Well, it is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Darwin! Essentially what it is though is a tour in which visitors get on a boat on the Adelaide River. The Adelaide River is a river near Darwin highly populated with Saltwater Crocodiles.

Once on the boat, the tour operator will hang raw chicken from a stick to feed the Crocodiles. The Crocodiles will hunt the chicken just as they would an animal in the wild, and when the time is right, a crocodile will jump out of the water to get the chicken!

On most occasions, you will be greeted by one of the river’s dominant crocs. These guys can exceed 6m and weigh almost 1000 kg or 2200 lbs. With skulls as hard as concrete and a biting force of 8000 lbs per square inch these prehistoric creatures are kings of the river.

A Jumping Croc Cruise is one of the best crocodile tours in Darwin! In this guide, I will help you choose the best Adelaide River Jumping Croc tour with Darwin’s very own “Crocodile Dundee” and help you with any other information you may need before booking!


Choosing the Best Adelaide River Jumping Crocs Darwin Tour

On the Adelaide River, there are many different Jumping Croc Cruises and you might wonder which one is the best and why. Reviews on TripAdvisor really only tell one side of the story and to be honest almost all the tour companies offer great tours but, it takes a little local knowledge and also the fact I’ve done 3 tours to really pick the best.

In my opinion, the best Jumping Croc Cruise is the Jumping Croc Adventure by Darwin Tours. A few factors come into my decision so I’ve broken them down below.

crocodile tours darwin
Waiting for the chance to strike!

The Boat

On this Jumping Croc Cruise, the boat used is the small but also the most sturdy. With only one viewing level that stands only half a meter from the water followed by an aluminum cage, you really get close to the crocs without substituting safety. This boat also only takes 20 people at a time.

Many of the other boats on the river sit high out of the water or use big glass panels that take away the feeling of watching the crocs in the wild to more of a zoo-like feeling. Some are also multi-level which means you could be several meters from the water and lose that exciting “up-close and personal” experience.

Adelaide River Jumping crocs Darwin
Pat and his trusty boat!

The Guide

Pat is one of the guides who run this vessel and if you’re after a true blue Aussie experience then Pat is your guy. His local knowledge from growing up in the outback, living with Saltwater Crocodiles in his backyard gives a great insight into the lives of these majestic animals.

Pat’s character is truly unique and hearing the story of when a croc took his hat was one to remember.

Not only do you get a Jumping Croc Tour with Pat but he also speaks some local Aboriginal language to the birds which have them flying around the boat as if he were some sort of bird whisperer! Pat is truly a unique touch to the Jumping Crocodiles in Darwin.

Jumping croc cruise darwin
Bailey and I with Pat!
Jumping crocodiles darwin
The second show of the tour, watching the birds in action!


The cost of tours really varies as most are included with visits to Litchfield National Park and other activities. However, for just the Jumping Croc Cruise with transport from Darwin city and return costs around $100 AUD.

You do have the option of driving yourself out there then it is rather cheaper at around $50 AUD however you would need to go with one of the larger Jumping Croc Cruise companies that have the multi-level boats.

These larger companies include Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruises, and Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodile Cruise.


Booking the Jumping Crocs Darwin

Pat, as you could probably imagine, isn’t exactly savvy with emails and bookings. So to book the same small tour as we went on then you will need to book through Darwin Tours. Darwin Tours is a small locally owned tour company that Bailey and I used multiple times while in Darwin and can highly recommend.

Book your Jumping Crocs Darwin tour here! This is the BEST tour on offer and you will absolutely love it! Booking in advance online is also a good idea as these are smaller tours and often book up!

Jumping crocs darwin
One of the best shots I got, we were literally only a meter from this!
Related Read:   One of the Most Dangerous Mines in the World - Potosi, Bolivia


Are the Jumping Croc Cruises Safe?

This question is probably at the top of your list. After I just explained how dangerous Saltwater Crocodiles are you might be wondering if it’s really safe. Well, the answer is yes. The operators on the river are trained professionals who understand Crocodile behavior. They know the river, the crocs, and how to keep you safe.

Crocodiles are really strange, during my tours they almost don’t even look at you at you. They fixate on the chicken and that’s it!


How long are the Jumping Croc Tours?

A tour will last around 45 minutes to an hour. This includes some really cool information as well as a show you will never forget!


Will I always see Crocs?

This is nature, it’s not a zoo. However, with a large number of Crocodiles in the Adelaide River, it’s likely you will see a croc. On all my tours, I saw many females and at least one large male each time. The males are truly scary but it’s the females that jump the highest!

Jumping crocs darwin
In the shallow waters of the Adelaide River
Related Read:   Waterfalls Near Darwin, Australia (you just need to check out)


Tips to Know Before You Go!

Dont wear your most expensive outfit – Yes, we all want to look our best for photos but unfortunately, the Crocodiles don’t care and on two of the occasions I went mud splashed into the boat! To be honest, this only added to the experience!

Bring your camera… or two! – Of course, getting some up close shots of Saltwater Crocodiles in the wild is amazing and shouldn’t be missed. But, I was surprised to see on the tours I did how many people didn’t bring them! Oh and having a second camera to take some video is the best way to show your friends and family how cool the Jumping Croc Tour really was!

Wear sunglasses – With the glare off of the river while watching crocodiles for 45 minutes can put a strain on your eyes without sunnies!

Jumping croc cruise darwin
A female jumping!
Related Read:   33 Awesome Things to do in Darwin, Australia

Even if you are a little nervous at the thought of being so close to these dangerous animals, I just know you will truly enjoy this experience. This is one of the best Crocodile Tours in Darwin and most unique things to do in Darwin and Australia. It is authentic, it’s outback, it’s Australia!


Not sure where to stay in Darwin? Then check out our where to stay in Darwin blog. It recommends some great places to stay for all budgets!


– Daniel


Like it? Pin it! Click herejumping crocs

7 Replies to “Adelaide River Jumping Crocs Darwin: Get Up Close to One of the World’s Most Dangerous Species”

  • Daniel, you’ve sold us on this but can’t get any sense out of Darwin Tours. The link on your page leads to tours being “unavailable” and the Darwin Tours own website simply offers three dates between now and December. If we can’t book with them, what would be a good alternative? We are three people arriving in Darwin on Seabourn Encore on December 9, in port 8am-6pm. Would really welcome your advice as your page has really made us want to see these crocs.

    • Hey Ben

      That depends on the tour you choose. The one we recommend the boat is 25ft. Its a flat deck pontoon style boat with a small railing around the side.

      Other boats on the river are 40ft with two stories and fully enclosed glass around the entire bottom deck.

      Hope that helps


  • Daniel, thanks! It for sure helps to understand better size of for instance croc Dominator and why it is estimated to be around 20 feet. Dominator for instance is in some videos/photos looking like to be close the length of the boat, which is 25 ft then. Often when seeing animals in photos and videos estimating size is tricky when there isn´t anything to compare with known measurements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *