Thursday, June 9, 2011

Darwin: The Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise

As Sunday morning dawned, off we drove to the first of two cruises today, the Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise. If you need a reminder more detailed than the lyrics of Waltzing Matilda, a billabong is either a dead-end branch of a river, a creek bed only holding water in rainy season, or a stagnant backwater or slough formed by receding floodwater. None of those definitions prepared us for the beauty we saw.

Birds - hawks and eagles and ibises and more - are everywhere. So, it turns out, are crocs.

Here's lookin' at ya...

Crocs and more crocs with absolutely no fear of us. It's said, legendary crocodile hunters aside, a croc's only predator is another croc.

Crocs submerge more quickly and efficiently than any submarine.

It's obvious the crocs don't eat the lilies and lotus flowers, because we saw some beautiful specimens throughout our cruise.

Our cheerful guide even demonstrated some of the uses to which the Aboriginal people put those huge lotus leaves. They're virtually waterproof and thus good water carriers, and they also make cute hats on hot days.

Monkey see, monkey do.

On our way back to the dock we spotted a houseboat.

It looks like fun, just as long as Junior isn't dangling his feet over the side of the boat.

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