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THE small tin­nie floats through the inky black wa­ters of a river in the Kim­ber­ley. A spot­light, held with grim de­ter­mi­na­tion by ac­tor Bryan Brown, picks out two small yel­low globes glid­ing across the sur­face.

Quick as a flash, croc­o­dile hunter Nick ropes the pre­his­toric beast around its jaw and hauls it in. Brown swears and his wife Rachel Ward screams as the an­i­mal thrashes against the side of the open boat, its huge jaws snap­ping.

‘‘ You’re fas­ci­nated and ter­ri­fied by the sight of the bloody things,’’ says Brown about the noc­tur­nal croc­o­dile ex­pe­di­tion for new Lonely Planet doc­u­men­tary Free Rein.

Un­der­lin­ing the point, Nick ex­plains that the next croc he ropes is so big that if he doesn’t let it tire it­self out be­fore he brings it in, it will cap­size the boat.

‘‘ If you ac­tu­ally stopped to think ‘ I’m in a lit­tle tin­nie here and I could fall in there’, you might never un­der­take it,’’ Brown says.

‘‘ So I just do ex­actly what I’m told.’’

Ward loved the ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘ She gets

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