Croc coun­try camp­ing hol­i­day pro­vides plenty of snap­shot op­por­tu­ni­ties

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

WHEN we were plan­ning our cur­rent fam­ily camp­ing trip across north­ern Aus­tralia, the kids asked with ner­vous ex­cite­ment whether we would see any crocodiles.

The Top End is crammed with crocs and the kids have gone to­tally snap happy. They’re ex­perts now on “sal- ties” and “freshies”, reel­ing off stats about bite power and po­ten­tial dam­age.

Mind you, it’s taken a bit of train­ing to turn them into mini Bindi Ir­wins. Their fa- ther set them lit­tle tests. Dad: “Hey kids, when you pat a crocodile, do you pat its head or its tail?”

Kids: “Its tail?” Dad: “WRONG! You NEVER pat a crocodile!” Their first en­counter came on the way to Kakadu at a boat ramp.

About 15m away, a saltwa- ter crocodile slid out from un­der a plat­form of wa­ter lilies. The kids screamed and fled. Bril­liant, we thought. Tick. They’ve seen one now and they’re ter­ri­fied enough to keep clear.

Next we took a boat trip on Kakadu’s Yel­low Wa­ter. That place is so chock­ers with crocs that even the kids gave up count­ing.

In Dar­win we vis­ited Cro­cosaurus Cove, home to hun­dreds of them, sev­eral the size of minibuses – in­clud­ing Burt, the re­tired star of Crocodile Dundee.

We re­alised croc com­pla­cency was kick­ing in when at pop­u­lar swimming spot Wangi Falls. A sign warned of a freshie lurk­ing on the left side of the wa­ter­hole. No prob­lem, said our kids, pad­dling off to the right with the rest of the tourists. Now they’re more ter­ri­fied of cane toads. But that’s another story.

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