Category Archives: Animals

Crossing East Alligator River at Cahills

Day 469 – Day 477: Jungle Camp – Smith Point, Garig Gunak Barlu N.P

Sunday, 14 to Monday 22 September 2014                                                     667.1kms

On Sunday morning, it was moving day. The 85km drive back to the highway took us 2 ½ hours. The scenery varies a lot and all of it is beautiful. There are pockets of rainforest and swamp lands, through to dry floodplains with nothing but cracked earth. The day was hot, and already in the early morning, we could see heat haze over the land.

We stayed at Merl campground in Kakadu for 2 nights. After setting up camp on the Sunday, we enjoyed a lovely cool shower which brought a welcome relief. In the afternoon we went to Cahills Crossing on the East Alligator River where Nath tried his hand at fishing, but caught nothing. We saw plenty of saltwater crocodiles though, just like the last time we were here. I met a lady, who turned out to be the doctor at Maningrida in Arnhem Land. While we were chatting, she told me her family had just returned from a wedding at Cobourg Peninsula and it was her favourite place in all of Australia and there were huge shells. When Nath finished his fishing, I told him what this lady had said, and it was decided, we had to go and have a look.

The next morning we headed into Jabiru for a few supplies, fuel and to wait for our permit to Garig Gunak Barlu National Park to be approved. We enjoyed a bakery lunch and they are the cheapest meat pies and sausage rolls we have had in a long time. $3.70 for a pie! We were supposed to be basket weaving in the afternoon, but it was cancelled for Ceremony. That was the only reason we had come back to Kakadu was so I could finally learn to basket weave. But, that wasn’t to be, again.

On Tuesday morning, we packed up really early to catch the low tide, plus we knew we had a long drive ahead of us. We crossed Cahills Crossing at 8.57am and headed onto Oenpelli Road and there was almost no water over it thankfully. And no crocodiles!

Along the road we stopped to check on the van and something compelled me to look under the car. I noticed there was a piece hanging underneath and after Nath had a look, he discovered it was an exhaust bracket. Nath wired it back on, but we now have a big hole in the exhaust pipe and a very loud car!

Nath with the broken exhaust piece
Nath with the broken exhaust piece

Further up the road we stopped again to re-strap the boat as it had come loose on the corrugations. And then stopped again to strap the black waste pipe back onto the van. As you can gather, the road is pretty shot. There were sections of very rough corrugations, and then some smooth sections where it had been freshly graded, or had the tractor pulling 3 tyres to smooth out the bumps. We stopped briefly on a causeway at a billabong and Nath saw a barramundi from his car window.

The drive took us most of the day and we finally arrived at the visitor centre around 2.30pm. The visitor centre has a fabulous display of shells and historical artefacts from the first British settlers. After finding a ranger to check in with, we made our way to the camp grounds. We chose campground one, as generators aren’t permitted and it looked the nicest and shadiest.

In the afternoon we went for a walk on Airport beach which is the beach across the road from our camp. We found big shells, a turtle track and crocodile tracks! There is even a crocodile crossing sign on the road, and yes, it gets used. Every morning there are fresh tracks!

For the next few days we spent a lot of time in the boat in the Port. We didn’t venture outside the safety of the land as the wind blew up every day at some point and we usually pushed our luck too far and had to come back to shore in pretty terrible wind chops. One day in particular we were on the other side and had to make our way very slowly because they were quite big. To be honest, I was scared, and that doesn’t happen too often in our tinny.

The fishing was awesome. We never had to venture far from shore to find good size Trevally that fought hard.

We also found some bombies and caught reef species and estuary cod. Trolling we had a few big hits, and all but one Spanish mackerel busted us off, and it was my first.  And for the record, we returned all but the estuary cod to the water, as we just enjoy catching them.

On our first day on the water, we were over at a reefy outcrop fishing away, when Hendrix all of a sudden wound his popper in quickly claiming there was a massive shark after it. We told him not to be silly and that there was no shark and to put the popper back in the water. Well, within moments of him reluctantly doing so (he hates losing fishing tackle, poppers and lures especially!) I saw a massive shark come out of nowhere and go for his popper. He tried to wind it in, but too late, the shark was hooked. I instantly grabbed his rod as it buckled over and was about to go flying out of the boat with Hendrix attached to it. This shark was no match for our little man, so I had to fun task of trying to retrieve his popper. It fought hard and we had to chase it in the boat and also drag it away from the ledge so it didn’t bust me off. Finally, with a sore back and tired arms, the toothy shark surfaced next to the boat. We don’t know what kind of shark it was, and as soon as Nath said sarcastically to Hendrix to reach over and grab the popper, the shark decided it didn’t want to co-operate any longer, rolled over and snapped the line on its abrasive skin and was gone, with the popper. Hendrix wasn’t impressed!

That day we also had a salty come out to the boat, saw a pod of snub-fin dolphins, a couple of ginormous sharks, schools of fish, two turtles mating and a big manta ray!

This place is truly amazing and I feel very privileged to have seen it. The coastal landscape is stunning, the fishing and wildlife superb, the only downside is that we can’t get in the water because of box jellyfish and saltwater crocodiles.

A few days later when we were over the west side of the port again, the kids and I went on the beach for a look around. The sand was burning hot and we forgot to grab our thongs, so we bolted from shady patch to shady patch until it became too much for our feet to handle and stayed put under a small shady tree. Nath had gone off for a bit of a fish in the tinny, when I noticed, probably the same one from the other day, a saltwater crocodile in between us and the boat. I yelled to Nath to come and get us as we were stuck where we were and had nowhere to run to safety. It was interested in the tinny, so it followed him, cruising along the bank in the water, still between us and Nathan. I screamed at him to hurry up as he had to go out and around a big shallow reef. I told Elokin and Hendrix to freeze as the croc had not yet seen us as it was fixated on the boat. Nath came speeding into shore and we made a mad dash for the boat scrambling in and I pushed us off, while the crocodile was still happily making his way towards us. It was very scary and I felt extremely vulnerable. Once safely in the boat, I took a couple of photos of the croc before pulling out the gopro and videoing him. He didn’t like us chasing after him with it, but as Nath said to it “just remember, you came to us and hassled us, so now it’s our turn”. Maybe next time, he will leave the next boat alone.

Saltwater crocodile that came in to hassle us
Saltwater crocodile that came in to hassle us

On our last day we went for a drive along the coastal track. Nath found a small dead dried out reef shark on the beach and decided he would attempt to take its jaw for Hendrix. What a stinky hard job that turned out to be. He did manage to get it completely intact so we shall see how it fairs.

 Nath and the dried up reef shark
Nath and the dried up reef shark

We also saw a beautiful dingo which seemed to be rather playful and didn’t run away immediately like I thought it would. Nath tried to call it over like a pet dog, but instead it lay down on the ground. What an awesome dingo.

Dingo of Garig Gunak Barlu
Dingo of Garig Gunak Barlu

That evening, Hendrix and I went back to the beach for one final walk at sunset. We had planned on going about ½ before hand, but now I am glad we didn’t. Hendrix and I walked down to discover a huge crocodile track where a big fella had not long left his sunbaking spot to return to the water. There was a skin print in the sand which was extremely cool. We could see the texture of the crocs skin. Its foot prints we ginormous. Glad we hadn’t come across it lying there. We also came across a turtle track that had come up to nest.

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Hendrix with his blue-nose salmon

Day 464 – Day 468: Coolalinga Caravan Park – Jungle Camp, West Alligator Head, Kakadu N.P

Tuesday, 9 to Saturday 13 September 2014                                                     302.3kms

While we packed down the camper, Elokin and Hendrix went and kicked the soccer ball around with Hendrick from Germany. He showed them how to do some tricky things with the ball, and they loved it.

On our way out on Arnhem Highway, we stopped at Window to the Wetlands, the visitor centre up on the hill. It was awesome. We read the interactive information signs, watched a movie on the seasons of Kakadu and Arnhem Land, and listened to a ranger talk on the viewing deck up top. We spent over 2 hours in there.

We spent 2 nights at 2 Mile Hole, on the road to West Alligator Head in Kakadu. We had an agile wallaby move in with us and become our pet for the time. When we walked down to the river for a fish, she followed along behind and then back to camp.

We launched the boat at the “boat ramp” next to camp and went for a fish in the Wildman River. It was an interesting and scenic river as it snaked its way towards the ocean. We saw 2 crocodiles and caught only 3 catfish, no Barramundi. Elokin was skipper for the afternoon, as she had turned 8 and said she could now drive the boat. She did really well, hugging the banks and the snags to maximise our chances of catching the fish.

The next morning we packed up and moved to Jungle Camp at West Alligator Head. Elokin decided in the morning that now she was 8 she could also drive the car. So with the camper in tow, Elokin let out the clutch in first gear and without a bunny hop, drove the car towards the exit. She changed into second gear using the pedals and steered without incident. Turns out she could drive the car.

Elokin driving the car
Elokin driving the car

Our Jungle camp was in dense rainforest on the edge of a mangrove alcove. With trees soaring above us and lots of beautiful palms to admire, it was one of the best camps we have had. Lots of shade to escape the oppressive heat and a breeze to keep the sand-flies at bay. The entrance to Jungle Camp is a narrow, tight-turned track in dense, overgrown rainforest. There is only 2 camp sites and our camp is the only place to turn around. A few times I had to flag cars to stop before they descended into our camp and got stuck.

On Friday morning, we headed to Pococks Shed to the beach. Hendrix caught a blue-nose salmon and we saw a crocodile swim past in the blue water. Thankfully he didn’t come anywhere near us as he cruised along the beach.

The next morning we went to Middle Beach for another fish and this time it was Nath that caught the blue-nose salmon. I found a tree to sit beneath for shade as the sun was blazing down on us.

Fishing at Middle Beach
Fishing at Middle Beach

Back at camp, we finally caught a glimpse of the resident croc we had been warned about. Supposedly he was an aggressive bugger that liked to come onto the bank and harass the campers. He must have liked us, as he simply watched from the mangroves before making his way out to see with the outgoing tide. I returned the favour and watched him from the bank with my camera.

Resident Saltie
Resident Saltie

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Our mezzanine level view of the river

Day 448 – Day 450: Oolloo Crossing – Daly River Esplanade

Sunday, 24 to Tuesday 26 August 2014                                                                46.8kms

Sunday we had a relaxing day of fishing and playing board games. Unfortunately no fish were caught. We saw water buffalo on the opposite bank just after sunset which was cool. We spotlighted for crocodile eyes that evening and saw 2.

Monday morning Nath went to check the trap and caught one cherabin overnight.

We had a fellow arrive in camp and start marking the big trees with a white X. Turns out they are mahogany trees planted back in the 60’s to provide shade for the camp sites, but now that they are old and huge, they start to drop dead branches and there is potential of someone getting hurt. Plus they drop seed pods and are easily seeded, so before us are at least 4 generations of mahogany trees. Parks and Wildlife have decided they want to make this area look like native Australian scrub and not a South African mahogany forest. So of course, guess what that means for us! Pack up camp and move on. Damn it!!!!

So after leaving camp and driving along a few tracks, having a difficult time turning around a couple of times, we found the Daly River again downstream from where we were. Before we could set up camp, we headed up the road to get some reception to re-direct the mail. After that was done, we headed back to make camp.

We have a nice spot under a huge mango tree complete with a mezzanine level for our chairs to sit, drink and watch the river from up high. Nath caught another cherabin in the trap while we bathed at the water’s edge in the afternoon.

The next day Hendrix practised on his didgeridoo while Elokin wrote stories to accompany the didj. The idea is to get them to busk in Darwin. They worked hard at it for hours which was fantastic. Hendrix has picked up his sounds really quickly.

In the afternoon we took a drive back to Oolloo Crossing to see what the loggers had done to our camp site. The place looked completely different. There were remnants of mahogany trees all over the place. They clearly had not finished cleaning up the area yet. All the shade that had made the place really inviting was gone. To be honest I really liked the South African Mahogany forest. It had a mystical feel that you would expect to see as the set of a kung-fu movie. I was left saddened by the whole thing. What was remaining on the ground before us was the useless bits to the big company so who knows what was going to happen to it. So much waste! They took the lengths of trunk they could use and threw the rest away.

 

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Elokin and Hendrix with Ted

Day 444 – Day 447: Flora River – Oolloo Crossing

Wednesday, 20 to Saturday, 23 August 2014                                                  462.9kms

Wednesday we left early and headed into Katherine. While we were shopping we found Kellie, Mark, Oscar and Ethan and went for coffee with them at the Coffee Club. Camped for the night 10kms north of Katherine at an unmarked rest area.

Camp at roadside 10km north of Katherine
Camp at roadside 10km north of Katherine

The next morning we headed out to Top Didj to look at the beautiful Aboriginal Art and didgeridoos. Turns out I have rather expensive taste as I there were 3 pieces I really, really liked, and they were all about $2500. We met a couple, Jon and Rhonda, from Crescent Head in the room with the didgeridoos. Jon was playing them all and gave us some pointers for Hendrix. Turns out, the didgeridoo will choose you, not the other way around. And he was right. The first one Hendrix picked up, he was able to toot out a drone easily. Nath thought it must be an easy didj to play, but couldn’t get it to work. Hendrix tried many others, but returned to that first one, time and time again. So that is the one he now owns. Elokin bought clap sticks, plus we bought an instructional dvd for Hendrix and Nath to learn with. While we were there, Elokin got to hold a 6 ½ month old agile wallaby named Ted. It was the cutest little thing, all bundled up in his pouch. Hendrix got to feed an older one named Balla (Aboriginal for “Fella”) a piece of sweet potato.

From here we continued out to Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and set up camp. The washing machines got a work out from us in the afternoon and they are $4 per load. We met a family camped near us in the evening and Elokin and Hendrix enjoyed playing with Jarrah and Keira while we chatted with Jodie and Josh.

Friday saw us do school work in the morning and go for a swim in the pool after packing down the camper. We then headed to the visitors centre where we had intended to go for a walk to the Katherine Gorge lookout, but spent too long in the centre chatting, and the kids played with Lex, that we had to go straight to town to collect the mail. As all of the school work didn’t arrive, or any of the other packages we were waiting on, it put us in a bit of a pickle that left us unsure what to do with ourselves for the weekend. Do we hang around Katherine, which is going to cost us loads to potentially get the mail on Monday if it arrives; or do we go somewhere close by and come back on Monday, although there is nowhere we want to go close by; or do we say stuff it and head north and get the mail redirected to Darwin? Over a cup of tea in a park we decided to do the later. It’s not worth waiting around for mail, even though Elokin has no school work for next week and Hendrix does. Oh well, we get the week off to catch up and take a break. After coming to a decision, we attempted to start the car to discover we had a flat battery! I finally managed to flag down a lovely family in a patrol from Coffs Harbour to give us a jump start. It was then McDonalds for dinner and driving north into the night. We arrived at Douglas Hot Springs after 9pm, pulled into a big open area and went to bed. What a day!

 

Camp at Douglas Hot Springs
Camp at Douglas Hot Springs

The next morning we went for a swim in the Hot Spring before driving the 45 odd kilometres to Oolloo Crossing on the banks of the Daly River.

We found a lovely shady camp in amongst tall trees on a concrete slab and set up camp.

Nath and Hendrix flicked lures around in the river and the water was so crystal clear we could see the Barramundi come in to give them a tap. No hook ups this afternoon, but there is always tomorrow.

The family watched the Didgeridoo dvd in the evening and practised on the didj. The boys are getting really good at it.

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Romandar crossing the creek

Day 438 – Day 443: Keep River National Park – Flora River Nature Park

Thursday, 14 to Tuesday, 19 August 2014                                                         603.9kms

Thursday morning while we were packing up, Ranger Lance came by and gave us some steak and corned silverside that he had made from a Hereford feral cow that he had obtained recently. We left camp just before 12pm headed east. Along the highway I saw a sign for a Zebra Rock Mine and Campground along the Duncan Hwy and decided we had to make the 10km detour and check it out. We met Ruth and her daughter Opal and with hubby Kim, they own Zebra Rock Mine. For starting from scratch 3 years ago, they have an amazing gallery that has a lot of awesome rock pieces, crystals, driftwood and historical photographs from the area, as well as hand crafted jewellery, plus photos of sculptures and tables previously sold. They have achieved so much in such a short amount of time. Their love of the Zebra Rock and creating unique pieces is inspirational. I can’t wait to see where time will take them. If you are ever over this way, be sure to stop in and check it out. They offer camping at $20 per couple unpowered, kids free; and also do Lake Argyle Wetlands tours which are choreographed to music and definitely something original. We fossicked in the fossicking tub in the gallery and bought 3 raw pieces for $10! I couldn’t resist the urge to stay the night, so we picked our spot and set up camp near the dry creek bed that we were free to rummage in. Elokin and Hendrix loved playing with Opal for the afternoon, and got to hold the pet Bearded Dragon “Matilda” Ruth is pet-sitting for friends.

Camp at Zebra Rock Mine
Camp at Zebra Rock Mine

Friday we had a late start to the day. We left Zebra Rock Mine after saying goodbye to Ruth and Opal just before 12pm. We found the Gregory Tree, where Augustus Charles Gregory and his party of explorers had set up their base camp on 13th October 1855 to explore the Victoria River.

 

The Gregory Tree
The Gregory Tree

From here we stopped in Timber Creek for diesel and had a cup of tea. Then it was a race against the sun to make it to Bullita Homestead Campground in Gregory National Park. Along the road we saw 3 donkeys and I almost had them convinced to come over to the car. The sun set but we made it safely, narrowly avoiding hitting a wallaby as it sat in the middle of the road. We must have stopped centimetres from his face.

Donkeys on the side of the road
Donkeys on the side of the road

Saturday morning, like Friday night was freezing! We didn’t drag ourselves out of bed until almost 9am. We had some school work to catch up on as we did none yesterday and then played around with some of the rocks we found at Zebra. In the afternoon we met a family from Katherine; Brett, Christine and their 3 children; and another Brett, and his family from Brisbane. Elokin and Hendrix were stoked they had kids to play with.

Camp at Gregory National Park
Camp at Gregory National Park

Our drive back out of the National Park on Sunday morning had us see a dingo, a herd of donkeys and a bustard on the side of the road.

 Donkeys
Donkeys

From Gregory National Park we made our way east along the highway stopping at Joe Creek Picnic Area for lunch followed by a look at the Old Victoria River Crossing. It had the remnants of the old ford in a shallow part of the river. We found some nice treasures amongst the river rock.

 Hendrix and Elokin at the old Victoria River crossing
Hendrix and Elokin at the old Victoria River crossing

After a splash of fuel at the Victoria River Roadhouse, which is now open under new WIFE, we made our way along the dirt road to Flora River Nature Park.

Upon arrival we were greeted with lots of kangaroos around the campground and a pig. Yep, a big black hairy PIG! Not another person around though which was a real treat. This place is beautiful.

Camp at Flora River Nature Park
Camp at Flora River Nature Park

On Monday morning we walked to Djarrung Falls, a pandanus and paperbark lined pool in the Flora River. At 2pm while we were schooling, someone let off two bombs nearby that deafened and scared us pretty good. They sounded like they were right on top of us, even though the nearest defence training base is around 75kms away, as the crow flies.

Tuesday morning we walked the 980m return to Kathleen Falls. This waterfall is actually a series of waterfalls that encompass the river and the water is an emerald green from the rich quantities calcium carbonate in the water.

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Elokin and Hendrix picking their own cherry tomatoes

Day 435: Keep River – Keep River National Park, NT

Monday, 11 August 2014                                                                                         188.9kms

We managed to catch the tide coming in, but it wasn’t a wave like we expected. It just ran in quickly.

We left camp around 9am, and passed two road trains moving slowly on the dirt. We grabbed diesel at the Ord River Co-Op which is the cheapest diesel in Kununurra. We headed back out the other side of town to Packsaddle Road, to the Zebra Rock Gallery. We got to look through the gallery, see a man working in the workshop and Elokin and Hendrix got to feed the fish off the jetty in the Upper Ord. They were catfish and black bream, and one of the dogs loved to stand in the water watching the fish swim and then chase them around. Elokin and Hendrix found it rather amusing. We bought ourselves a bag of unfinished zebra rocks for $25 before heading a bit further up Packsaddle Rd to Oria Orchard where Elokin and Hendrix enjoyed picking their own cherry tomatoes. They picked 500g and they were so delicious, they didn’t make it to town. We got replacement ribs at Coles which we thoroughly enjoyed for dinner tonight with chips.

At 4.30pm we officially crossed the NT border, which then meant we lost 1.5hrs so it became 6pm rather quickly! We raced the sun to Keep River National Park arriving at the first campground to find it full as the sky turned to red. We then continued to Jarnem campground and arrived just as it was getting dark to take the last camp spot.

 

Welcome to the Northern Territory
Welcome to the Northern Territory

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Crocodile eating

Day 429 – Day 434: Keep River

Tuesday, 5 August 2014 – Sunday, 10 August 2014                                         96.2kms

Nath changed the flat tyre for the spare off the van as we realised that our spare rim on the car is dicked from falling off at Hill End and we had forgotten to replace it.

We took it for a test drive down towards the river mouth. We didn’t find the mouth, but drove for about 20kms, which was a lot further than we thought we would have to go. When the cracked, dry saltpans started to get sloppy, we turned around and headed back to camp to pack up and move 4kms upriver. By the time we were ready to move, we were once again racing the sun. Our new spot is better though and well worth the move. We have more water in the river and even crocodiles, which means there is fish!

On our first morning in our new camp spot as the sun was rising, I was lying in bed while Nath rummaged around in the back of the car to free one of his fishing rods for an early morning fish. All of a sudden there was a raucous on the opposite bank that caught my attention. A big kangaroo came crashing over some fallen trees, landing badly. It picked itself up quickly and continued to bound full pelt towards the river. I started shouting at Nath to “look, look, look”, which of course doesn’t tell him which way to look! The kangaroo made the edge of the river in about 3 big, fast bounds and then jumped as far as it could into the water and went under. I saw on the bank behind it a big golden dingo had stopped high above the water level. It had been chasing the roo and had clearly scared it out of its mind. No sane animal would jump willing as far as it could into a crocodile river! The kangaroo surfaced again and seemed to be trying to swim. I called to Nath that the kangaroo was trying to swim to our side of the river. Within seconds, it started to turn around and head back to the bank closest to it and I saw why…. A huge crocodile had appeared from nowhere and was right behind it. I called out “a crocodile is going to eat the kangaroo” and then there was a splash and both the kangaroo and crocodile were gone. All of this took place in about 15 seconds, from the initial crash of the kangaroo coming down onto the bank to it being taken by a crocodile. By now Elokin and Hendrix had made it onto the bed with me, but both they and Nath had missed the whole scene.

Around lunch time Nath and I were sitting in our camp chairs high on the bank when a reef shark jumped completely out of the water by at least a metre, flipped and then disappeared back into the water. Nath had his eyes shut and missed the whole thing!

The next morning we watched as a huge crocodile swam downstream with a kangaroo or at least part of it, in its mouth. We believe it to be the one I saw yesterday.

In the afternoon, the four of us sat admiring the river from our camp chairs high on the bank. On our side, there was not a breath of wind. We looked across and saw the tree tops bending in a strong wind that we could hear. Upon closer inspection, Nath discovered it was a willy-willy moving up the bank.

On Friday it was Nath’s Birthday. Something changed and the river was different. We didn’t see a single crocodile anywhere on the banks where we would normally see them or swimming in the river. There was an almost eerie feeling about, it was very bizarre. Nath did lots of fishing off the bank, but the only fish caught were catfish, and a few of them. He also caught a few small mud crabs in the dilly that were all safely released.

 

On Saturday morning, we watched as 8 big crocodiles headed downriver cruising on top of the water.

Saltie that came to check out our bank
Saltie that came to check out our bank

A couple of hours later a big gust of wind blew in and with it came the tide. It came in quickly and got the highest we have seen it and we lost most of our bank. Along with the water came the crocodiles back. The first one to arrive landed on the bank opposite us and through my camera I could see it had food in its mouth. It looked very fat already, but proceeded to put on a huge show for us. It lifted its head up high and began to chop on its meal of kangaroo. It was the same one again.

 

After a few chomps with its almighty jaws, it flicked its tail up as it launched its body out of the water standing on its back legs. It threw its huge head around and landed again.

Croc eating sequence
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 1
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 1

 

Saltwater Crocodile Eating 2
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 2

 

Saltwater Crocodile Eating 3
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 3
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 4
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 4

 

Saltwater Crocodile Eating 5
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 5
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 6
Saltwater Crocodile Eating 6

Again it chomped its food, but didn’t swallow all of it. It began to make its way upriver a short distance, so I decided to follow. While on my way Nath and Elokin began yelling at me that it was doing it again. The three of them got to watch it jump up in the air again, I got to see it eating with its head up in the air again. It then moved up onto the bank, fat and content to lie in the sun.

His slumber was interrupted by another big male croc cruising up to the side of it, laying in waiting. They turned to face each other and the new comer spun to avoid the altercation. Our fat friend chased it off and it left at a speedy pace, tail swishing the water.

I followed the loser of the disturbance, nicknamed “white lips”, as he headed upriver. Not too far up, he found another male to have a go at. He won that rumble and sent the loser scrambling up and along the bank to get away. On the bank was another smaller croc, and it left as soon as the big guy came close. Wise move I believe. The big guy then slinked onto the bank and lay in the sun. All up, Elokin and I counted 10 big (up to 3+ m) and huge (over 4m) salties lazing on the bank in the sun in just our stretch of river.

On Sunday morning we got up and started to pack down the camper as we had planned on leaving. We had been looking at the river on and off and after a while, Nath discovered that the tide had come in higher than yesterday and in as much time as it took to boil the kettle; somehow we had missed it. Well, with a quick family discussion, we were staying another day to watch it come in tomorrow morning, as we didn’t want to miss the “wave”. With the tide higher than we had seen before, Hendrix was able to fish with a lure off the top bank so he was stoked.

In the afternoon we went for another drive towards the mouth to see how much the tide had come in there. It was out now so we stopped where the landcruiser was buried in the mud bank for a look. Nath discovered millions of mullet lining the shore so threw the cast net around for some bait. Most of them must have been too small as they were getting out of the net. He did manage to get over a dozen, so that was good.

 

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.