When a crocodile bites down it exerts around 350 kilograms per square centimetre of force – that’s around eight times what a Great White Shark can do.  I always thought it would make a snapping sound, but it actually sounds more like someone banging two wet surfboards together really hard, a THUNK noise that suggests you really should stay as far away as possible.

With that in mind, we headed down to the Adelaide River, about an hour from Darwin, to get up close and personal with a few crocs on a “Jumping Croc Tour.”  Initially I wasn’t that interested, it seems pretty cheesy to watch a guy waving meat around and coaxing crocs into jumping out of the water (not to mention unfair on the poor crocs), but a few recommendations convinced us it was worth a look.

Within five minutes on the water I’d completely changed my tune, after seeing a six metre croc about 30 centimetres from my face, flying out of the water and snapping at a sizeable chunk of meat.  These reptiles are awe-inspiring: huge, prehistoric in appearance, with a glare of intelligent hatred in their eyes, and amazingly patterned skin.  Their speed and agility in attack is fearsome, especially when contrasted with their apparent laziness.

We definitely got our money’s worth – the tour was an incredible opportunity to see these giant predators about as close and as deadly as I’ll ever see them and still live to tell the tale.