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The BEST Jumping Croc Cruise in Darwin: Our Absolute Favorite Tour & Why!

The BEST Jumping Croc Cruise in Darwin: Our Absolute Favorite Tour & Why!

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Looking to get up close to some wild saltwater crocodiles? You’ve come to the right place!

Going on a jumping croc cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you can’t miss out on while in Darwin. Many different tours offer this unique experience, but not all of them are created equally, so we want to make sure you are booking a safe and fun jumping croc cruise that this worth your time and money!

We lived in Darwin for years and went on many jumping croc cruises (it was a popular activity among our visiting friends and family), so we have found the absolute best jumping croc cruise out there and want to share it with you so that you have the best experience possible!

What is a Darwin Jumping Croc Cruise, exactly?

Darwing Jumping Crocodiles
The small boat makes the experience so much better!

It is, without a doubt one of the best things to do in Darwin! Essentially, it is a tour in which visitors get on a boat on the Adelaide River. The Adelaide River is a river near Darwin that is 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 tours in Darwin! In this guide, I will help you choose the best Darwin Jumping Croc tour with Darwin’s very own “Crocodile Dundee” and help you with any other information you may need before booking!

I personally joined three tours during my time in Darwin and loved every one of them as much as the first!

Hot tip: The Adelaide River is a great stop on your way from Darwin to Litchfield. Although a small detour, you could definitely combine a cruise with a day trip to Litchfield.

Our Favorite Jumping Crocs Cruise in Darwin

Adelaide River Jumping Crocs in Darwin, Australia
Only meters from a jumping crocodile in the Adelaide River, Darwin

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.

The two tours below both take you on the same jumping croc cruise; the only difference is that one tour is a full-day option with Litchfield National Park. Keep reading to learn all the details!

Half-Day Jumping Croc Cruise from Darwin

If you are ready to book your Croc Cruise right away, we’ve got you covered! This half-day jumping croc cruise is hands down the best one available.

The bus will pick you up from your hotel in Darwin and head out to the Adelaide River with a quick stop at the “Boxing Croc” along the way for pictures and a bite to eat.

Once at the river, you’ll climb onto your boat and start the hour-long tour to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Your expert guide 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 – so get your camera ready!

These prehistoric giants can get up to 7 meters (23 feet) long and seeing them jumping up out of the water is such an incredible sight! The last time we went we saw 12 different crocs!

After the thrilling cruise, you will take a drive through the Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve to view some more wildlife such as birds, buffalos, and wallabies before heading back to Darwin. The entire experience lasts about 4 hours and it runs daily from May to November. The price is $130 AUD which includes the activities listed above plus roundtrip transportation. We think this cruise is worth every cent – if you don’t believe us just check out the glowing reviews here!

Full-Day Jumping Crocs Cruise and Litchfield Tour from Darwin

If you want to get some more exploring in, we recommend doing this full-day jumping croc cruise and Litchfield tour instead! It includes the exact same Jumping Crocs Cruise that we recommended above, but it also visits the nearby Litchfield National Park to explore some stunning waterfalls and picturesque swimming holes.

We had such a great time on this tour and can’t recommend it enough! I love that we got to go relax at some beautiful falls after the thrilling croc cruise and we learned so much about the area from our wonderful guide.

This 11-hour outback adventure costs $230 AUD per person and includes roundtrip transportation from Darwin, the jumping croc cruise, lunch, snacks, water, and your guide. This tour has over a thousand 5-star reviews (read them here!) and is sure to book up quickly, so make sure you reserve your spot in advance.

Why is this Jumping Croc Cruise the Best?

Adelaide River Jumping crocs Darwin
Us, Pat (our guide), and the smallest boat on the Adelaide River!

There are SO many reasons we love this particular Jumping Crocs Cruise. Whether you choose the half-day or the full-day tour option, you are in for a treat! I’ve outlined in detail below some of the main reasons this tour beats out all of the competition:

The Boat

On this Jumping Croc Cruise, the boat used is 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.

The Guides

Pat from Jumping Crocodiles Darwin

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 and 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 a Jumping Croc Cruise from Darwin.

The Price

The cost of a Jumping Croc Cruise from Darwin really varies, but the tours we mentioned above are the most affordable options for everything you get! Most tours only include a Jumping Crocs Cruise, and don’t have any other stops or activities and charge the same price if not more!

The tours we listed above also both have “reserve now, pay later” plans, meaning you can secure your spot today, and not have to pay a cent until just before you go on your tour, which is really helpful!

Is this Jumping Croc Cruise Safe?

A crocodile takes some meat on a jumping crocodile cruise in Darwin, Australia
About as close as I was comfortable getting!

This question is probably at the top of your list. I’m sure you’ve heard about how dangerous saltwater crocodiles are, so you might wonder if this is actually a safe activity. 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. In fact, our guide, Pat, lives on this exact river and built and maintains his own dock – which means he’s always around these guys!

Crocodiles are really strange, during my tours they almost don’t even look at you. They fixate on the chicken and that’s it! So as long as you follow your guide’s safety instructions, you will be ok!

Related Read: You can see lots of crocodiles if you choose to go on one of the Kakadu National Park tours from Darwin!

Will I Always See Crocs?

In the shallow waters of the Adelaide River
In the shallow waters of the Adelaide River

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!

Should I book in Advance?

the jumping croc cruise is one of the best things to do in darwin
On the boat for the jumping crocodile cruise!

Yes! This is a highly sought-after activity during Darwin’s dry season from May to October and tours tend to book up quickly!

Luckily, both of the tours we have mentioned have a 24-hour cancellation policy meaning that you can book to secure your spot and then cancel if you need to and get a full refund up to 24 hours before your departure time!

One of our favorite parts of booking with Viator, and why we always recommend Viator tours, is because they have a buy now pay later option. You can reserve your spot on tours ahead of time to help you better plan your vacation and then pay later, closer to your trip time. And with their lowest price guarantee, you know you are getting the best deal out there!

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!

Related Read: Check out our complete guide to visiting Kakadu National Park!

Is a Jumping Crocs Cruise Worth It?

crocodile tours darwin
Waiting for the chance to strike!


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 the most unique things to do in Darwin and Australia. It is authentic, it’s outback, it’s Australia!

Learn more about the BEST Jumping Crocs Cruise half-day tour here, or the full-day tour here!

Related Read: Check out our complete guide to visiting Kakadu National Park!

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!

Thanks for Reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie inside Litchfield National Park
Thanks for reading!

And there you have it, the absolute best Jumping Croc Cruise from Darwin and everything you need to know before you go! I hope you are feeling excited and well-prepared for your adventure.

As you can tell, I am very enthusiastic about Darwin, and Australia in general! If you found this blog useful, then be sure to check out the rest of our blogs about Australia. Otherwise, check out some of our most popular blogs below:

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