Survival of the fiercest
Meet the longest-surviving inhabitant of the Northern Territory: the crocodile. The Top End is home to two kinds of crocodiles: freshwater ‘freshies’, which are considered relatively harmless, and saltwater ‘salties’, the far fiercer rockstars of the reptile world. Measuring up to an average 4–5 metres in length and weighing up 500 kilograms, Australian saltwater crocodiles are the largest and most aggressive of all crocodile species. There are more of them in the Northern Territory than anywhere else in the world, so this really is the best place to see them.
Get up close with these ancient reptiles at dedicated crocodile parks and farms in and around Darwin, where you can see enormous saltwater crocodiles strut their stuff on land and in water – on the other side of a safety barrier. Try to time your visit to a farm with feeding time to see these ferocious predators in action. Brave? Take the plunge in the ‘Cage of Death’ to swim alongside some of the Territory’s biggest salties. Faint-hearted? Visit celebrity (taxidermied) 5.7 metre saltie ‘Sweetheart’ at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
In the wild
See these incredible creatures in the habitat they’ve been calling home for over 200 million years. Take a wildlife cruise on Darwin harbour and see crocs sidle out from the mangrove-lined banks, or to the wetlands, river and billabongs of Mary River National Park, said to be the most heavily croc-populated area of the Northern Territory.
For an extraordinary sight, take yourself on a croc-jumping cruise in Adelaide River. Watch in awe as enormous crocodiles weave their way out of the water to snatch at bait. If you’re unaccustomed to sharing air with deadly predators, it’s an experience that’s fascinating and startling in equal measure. Keep your limbs inside your boat, and try not to think of Rogue.
Crocodiles in the Northern Territory