Before my family and I headed off to Far North Queensland for our adventure, my friend and neighbour (who was born and bred in Townsville) warned me about three things: crocodiles, crocodiles, and crocodiles. Well, she warned me about a fourth thing, too-the tiny Irukandji jellyfish. But that's for another article!
So with my head now filled with terrifying visions of monstrous crocodiles roaming the streets of Port Douglas and eating everyone in their path, we set off on our adventure.
Fortunately, there weren't any monstrous crocodiles attacking tourists in Port Douglas (not while we were there, anyway). But we did so want to see one crocodile at least (you know, so that we could boast about it when we returned to Canberra-after all, Canberra only had boring deadly eastern brown snakes and red-bellied black snakes slithering about).
My Townsville friend/neighbour had highly recommended Bruce Belcher's Daintree River Cruises for crocodile spotting. So on a trip to the Daintree Rainforest one day, we hopped aboard a Bruce Belcher river cruise- and we found what we were looking for.
Spotting Crocodiles with Bruce Belcher Bruce Belcher's Daintree River Cruises is a small family-owned Daintree River cruise business that offers tours from Bruce's home on the banks of the Daintree River in a secluded wildlife boutique facility. Bruce and his family are celebrating over 28 years as a tour guide on the Daintree River.
There are six one-hour cruises that depart daily. The boats are comfortable, covered (with clear screens in the event of rain) and quiet (perfect for sneaking up on unsuspecting crocodiles!). Very knowledgeable, experienced and friendly guides (including Bruce Belcher himself) take you up and down the Daintree River searching for wildlife.
My family and I visited during the rainy season (March) so we didn't see the hundreds of crocodiles that I had expected to see. (They were all probably swimming under our boat, following us and waiting to see if anyone would accidentally fall overboard!). Our guide, however, was not discouraged by the rainy season and was determined that all of us on his boat would get our money's worth and what we all came to the Daintree River to see. So he continuously steered our boat up and down the river, and even fearlessly rammed us through islands of bright green river grasses where mother crocodiles were known to nest.
I was very, very pleased that we didn't come across a mother crocodile guarding her eggs! But then finally, we found him. Hiding under a small cave on the riverbank. The guide had a name for him, which I can't recall. (The guides know each and every crocodile living in the river and have names for all of them). I snapped about a million photos of him, all of which looked very much like the log below. But I was happy that I got my crocodile at last.
My crocodile! He looks like a log but he's there if you look closely enough
Bruce Belcher's Daintree River Cruises is definitely an experience you don't want to miss when you visit the Daintree. It's a local Australian family-owned business, the boats and facilities are superb, and the guides are absolutely friendly, helpful, and very experienced. We will certainly be back one day for sure, this time during the dry season so we can spot more crocodiles basking in the sun in all their splendid scaly glory.
2018 prices for Daintree River cruises are: adults-$30.00, students & seniors-$26.00, children (age 5-15)- $14.00, children (age 0-4)-FREE, and the Family Package (2 Adults & 2 Children)-$75.00.
You can enjoy a complimentary Daintree tea or freshly brewed coffee before or after your cruise. A special lunch cruise and 'relax' cruise are also available. Please see the website for more details. Before or after your cruise, you can also relax in the garden room and browse for gifts at the souvenir shop.