We arrived in Darwin after a wonderful stay in Uluru (read more here) and tumultuous time in Alice Springs (you can read that here). Darwin was the last stop on our Northern Territory adventure and I found it strange being back in a city. I immediately missed the vibrant colours of the Outback and I was keen to find adventures outside of the city. That’s no reflection on Darwin, more a sign that the Red Centre took a hold of me and worked its way into my heart in a big way.
On our last trip to Darwin we also visited Kakadu and Katherine but this trip we didn’t venture beyond day tripping from Darwin. I had fond memories of a wetland cruise Hubby and I did in Kakadu, the bird life was varied and spectacular and I wanted to share a similar experience with the kids. That’s why we booked the Corroboree Wetlands Cruise. Located 90 minutes from Darwin made it an easy day trip.
Corroboree Billabong is part of the Mary River Wetlands, home to the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world. It’s also home to an abundance of bird life. The Wetland cruise boats are designed to get visitors up close to the wild life, in safety!
I love seeing wildlife in its natural habitat and enjoy the lottery-like feel to spotting the animals rather than seeing them in an enclosure. It can be hit and miss but it feels more rewarding when you do have the joy of seeing one.
We booked the 2 hour sunset cruise. We were told the bird life is most active at this time and that 2 hours allows more exploration of the river. I was a little concerned the kids may find it too long but both were happy throughout and enjoyed my reactions to spotting a crocodile or bird nearly as much as the experience itself.
Throughout the tour the guide provided commentary on the area, the bird life and did his best to find the sometimes elusive wild life.
AJ was busily pointing over the side of the boat at a bird when a crocodile popped up just beside. There was no danger but it was a good reminder of what was lurking in the waters around us and to keep arms in the boat!
The variety of birds kept us looking in all directions and we were especially happy to spy a Black-necked Stork elegantly wading through the water.
We sat in the front row of the boat to make access as easy as possible. There are no bad seats on the boat but being at the front gave us unobstructed views, allowing me to spot this baby croc. I felt like yelling bingo because he was so small and the guide hadn’t seen him.
He’s so cute you could almost forget that one day he’ll be feared as much as the larger crocodiles we spotted.
As the sun began to set the sky took on a beautiful glow and the birds seemed more excited as the day cooled.
The tour guide steered the boat to a spot on the river where there was a clearing to watch the sun set.
A house boat pulled up nearby and the occupants did a spot of fishing while watching the sun dip behind the trees. Although it looked beautiful, I’m not sure I’d like to have my accommodation in crocodile occupied waters. There’d be no swimming off the back of the boat that’s for sure.
The cruise is peaceful, beautiful and got a thumbs up from the whole family.
There are around 3 steps to get down into the boat and there is no room to take a wheelchair as the seats are fixed.
We left BJ’s wheelchair in the car after transferring him into the boat.
Cruises operate between April-October.
Cool water is provided on the boat but I suggest always travelling with water in the Northern Territory. Even in the cooler months it can be hot.
Once you leave the highway there is a dirt road to reach the cruise. After sunset watch out for kangaroos on the drive.
Nearby Corroboree Creek Tavern is a good spot to stop for a pub-style dinner. There are accessible bathroom facilities available.
Do not swim in the area and take notice and follow crocodile warning signs.
There’s a variety of cruises available which you can read about here.
We paid in full for our cruise experience.