Whether it's wildlife spotting, fishing or just relaxing on the picturesque waterways, taking a river cruise is a great way to get close to nature. Cruise the Katherine, Mary, Adelaide, East and South Alligator Rivers and explore plunging gorges, serene billabongs and lush wetlands that just can't be appreciated (or reached) by land.
By the light of the night sky
Indigenous Australians were arguably the world's first astronomers, and night cruises on Kakadu's famous Yellow Water Billabong give great insight into aboriginal mythology and history. Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park is part of a 13 gorge system where boats cruise between sheer cliffs and sandy freshwater beaches taking in views of ancient Aboriginal rock paintings.
When they say 'Jump!'
In 1971 the Australian saltwater crocodile, believed to be facing extinction, was declared a protected species, but today huge numbers of crocs roam the waterways of the Northern Territory. With the help of experienced guides you can learn about these magnificent creatures, and watch them leap from the water for food… from the safety of the boat, of course.
Fishing is a favourite pastime of both locals and visitors to the Territory's rivers. Cruise boats take keen anglers – novice and 'pro' alike – along the South Alligator River, Shady Camp and Adelaide Rivers. From February to May barramundi congregate for the wet-season's feed, while from June to November Corroboree Billabong, Hardy's Lagoon and Shady Camp (upstream) are dense with silver tail dancing barramundi, saratoga, tarpon, and sleepy cod.
Keep an eye out
Rich with local flora and fauna, local waterways are home to wild buffalo, jabiru, white-breasted sea eagles and brolgas. The birdlife around the water lily-lined billabongs is truly spectacular and twitchers will revel in the myriad bird species that call the Territory's rivers and wetlands home.