Have you ever wondered what it’s like to jump into the water and go swimming with crocodiles? There are around 140,000 saltwater crocodiles in Australia and 80,000 of them are in the Northern Territory.
There are some enticing waterholes in the Northern Territory but I wouldn’t recommend swimming in a billabong with a wild croc. Wild crocodiles have been known to devour the occasional tourist.
Cage of Death
It’s called the Cage of Death.
Suspended above the crocodile pool – in a see-through cage – your heart thumps wildly as you’re lowered into the water.
The cage has four-centimetre-thick acrylic walls and its hexagonal shape helps prevent the crocodiles from biting it.
As you spot a crocodile slithering in the water, you’ll probably have second thoughts about this adventure you’ve signed up for. But swimming with crocodiles – big crocodiles – of around 5m is an experience you’re not likely to forget.
Actually, the crocodiles have huge teeth that are rather terrifying.
So if you’re planning on going into the Cage of Death, don’t look at the crocodiles through the viewing panels on the ground floor before you’re scheduled to go swimming with crocodiles or you might change your mind!
You’ll be asked to sign an indemnity highlighting potential risks, in case you happen to suffer from one of a number of potential issues including cardiac arrest, nervous shock, panic attack or hyperventilation attack.
Swimming with crocodiles
Dangling in a transparent cage wearing swimmers is almost as challenging for some people as swimming with the crocodiles, especially if you happen to be swimming with crocodiles on a busy day.
All eyes are on you as you float above the sea of onlookers so suck it in and wave to the crowd.
The cage is lowered into the water and you’re soon face-to-face with one of the resident crocs, with nothing between you and this man-eating crocodile.
Most of the crocodiles you’ll swim with are around 5m long and they are absolutely enormous.
Among them are Burt, a 5.1m, 700kg crocodile that starred in the original Crocodile Dundee movie; Chopper, a 5.5-metre fighter that lost both front feet in a fight with another crocodile and Houdini.
Water pours into the cage and you’re soon submerged up to your shoulders, as a crocodile swims around you curiously.
You slip on your mask, take a deep breath and dive to the bottom of the cage.
The scariest part is the anticipation of the swim as you’re lowered into the water.
Once you’re in the water, adrenalin kicks in and you’ll be too pumped to worry about being so close to a croc.
What else is there to do in Crocosaurus Cove besides swimming with crocodiles?
Crocosaurus Cove is a three-story attraction dedicated to crocodiles. Located in the centre of Darwin, Crocosaurus Cove has around 200 crocodiles.
It the place to find out all you need to know about these animals. There are display boards, feeding sessions and roaming crocodile handlers who are available to answer questions.
If you have a fascination for crocodiles this is definitely the place to visit.
Crocosaurus Cove has a 200,000-litre aquarium filled with sea creatures you’d usually find in Australia’s oceans, such as barramundi, stingrays and turtles.
The reptile house has an impressive display of Australian reptiles and there’s a fun Juvenile Crocodiles exhibit, which the kids will love.
Christina Pfeiffer was a guest of Tourism NT
Discover Northern Territory
Crocosaurus Cove (58 Mitchell Street, Darwin) is open from 8am to 6pm daily. The Cage of Death costs from $125 a swimming.
Where else to swim with critters?
In Australia, head to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia to swim with sharks, tuna, dolphins and sea lions. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is the spot to swim with the whale sharks.
Akaroa in New Zealand offers the chance to swim with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector’s.
South Africa’s Sardine Run is a bucket list experience when millions of sardines swim north along the eastern coastline from May to July.
Vancouver Island in Canada is where you can swim with salmon in the
Campbell River as the salmon swim upstream to return to the place they were born.
In Tonga, you can swim with South Pacific humpback whales during their annual migration.