Darwin must-do: Humpty Doo Hotel & Jumping Crocodiles

For me, no trip to Darwin was going to be complete without seeing a crocodile in as close to its natural habitat as possible. To achieve this, our local friends recommended we hit up a Jumping Crocodile Cruise and work in a stop off at the historic Humpty Doo Hotel along the way.

We left just enough time to pull into the iconic pub on the way out to the cruise. This was where we squeezed in that delicious lunch of croc, buffalo and barra burgers.

Humpty Doo Hotel Darwin | Darwin must-do | lizniland.com

Sure, the dog races were on the flatscreen TVs and they’re happy to take Eftpos for your lunch payment but you won’t leave feeling like you’ve missed out on some original 70s charm – the pub’s been standing its ground since 1971, even withstanding the destruction of Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Water | Jumping Crocodile Cruise Darwin | Darwin must-do | lizniland.com

After scarfing our lunch and taking some photos, we got back on the Arnhem Highway and headed out to the Adelaide River to find us some crocodiles. While I’ve seen crocodiles at various zoos and the like, seeing one swimming along in the river or lazing on the bank is (thankfully) not an experience I’ve had. And wow, there were crocs aplenty here!

Teeth! Jumping Crocodile Cruise Darwin | Darwin must-do | lizniland.com

The boat we were on was a comfortable, yet still close-enough-to-the-action, size and it was easy to see the creatures sunning themselves or nosing up to the boat to peruse their lunch. The crew narrate the trip, talking about each of the crocs by name and giving some history and facts about crocodiles in the waters of the Northern Territory.

Chomp | Jumping Crocodile Cruise Darwin | Darwin must-do | lizniland.com

As the crocodiles jump to grab the steak-y offerings, you can see how enormous and powerful these animals are. According to the crew’s fun facts, the halfway point on a crocodile is its back legs. In other words, it has a whopper of a tail which helps give it power jumping up out of the water. So that means that only one quarter of the toothy guy in the above snap is visible. Hearing this, its easy to understand how farm animals, pups and even unsuspecting people get taken so easily. Note to self: never camp near croc-infested waters!

Kites | Jumping Crocodile Cruise Darwin | Darwin must-do | lizniland.com

Towards the end of the trip, one of the crew members flung a handful of diced bait into the air, summoning pretty much an entire flock of kites. This was absolutely nuts! I flicked my camera to an auto sports mode and just rapid-fire clicked as birds swooped all around to try and collect a late lunch. This picture had no zoom on; we were literally inches from copping a bird to the face! So interesting to see such a major bird up close – well, at least in the photos anyway! They were flying around so fast it was hard to see much at the time.

Darwin really is fantastic for getting back to nature – even the kind of nature you don’t really want to get too close to!

Have you seen my other Darwin must-do adventures? We loved Litchfield National Park and Mindil Beach Markets for more hearty serves of what nature in the Top End has to offer.

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