Dragon rarely gets to make friends with other creatures who are most like him, so when he first heard that there are wingless dragons (that’s what he calls crocs) living in the Australian rainforest (and that there’s a boat that will take you to visit their lair) he didn’t waste any time begging us to let him go. So away we went to Bruce Belcher’s Crocodile Cruise on the Daintree River. And it was a beast of a trip!
- Full hour of cruising the Daintree River
- Complimentary Daintree tea or coffee
- Crocodiles spotted on 98% of cruises
- Bruce Belcher has over 28 years of experience on the river
- Cute gift shop for picking up souvenirs after your trip
The Gift Shop
The gift shop is full of crafts and souvenirs of things you’re likely to find along the river or inside the Daintree Rainforest. Dragon made friends with some cute lil froggies before practicing his boomerang-throwing skills. Since he’s not an Aboriginal, he says he still needs a little more practice. But he’s working on it.
The Daintree River
The Daintree River belongs to the much larger Daintree Rainforest and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Wet Tropics of Queensland. Because saltwater crocodiles flourish in the river, the location has become a prime spot for river tours. Multiple companies now offer Daintree River Cruises, but Bruce Belcher’s has over 28 years of experience on the river.
Bruce Belcher’s Crocodile Cruise
Bruce has been running Daintree River Cruises from the back of his riverfront home for 28 years. He’s logged over 40,000 trips. With that kind of expert experience, he and the other guides have grown adept at spotting crocodiles long before anyone else can. Even at absurd distances away, their trained eagle eyes can perfectly identify crocs that you simply just will not be able to see. But don’t worry – you’ll get the chance to move closer to get a better view with your own peepers after the experts have pointed them out. If you’re feeling daring, you can even opt to ride out front on a deck designed to give bold passengers more personal, in-the-moment encounters. Your guides will bring you as close as possible to encountering crocodiles in the wild without disturbing their habitats or compromising the safety of the passengers on the boat. On our journey, we saw four large crocodiles and lots of juveniles. The guides know all the crocs in the region by name, can tell you personal tales about all of them, and also delight in teaching you about the natural history of the region and the mangrove eco-system during your tour.
Prices, Times, and What’s Included
Bruce Belcher’s operates 7 days a week and runs 7 cruises each day. The lunch time cruise (12:00 time slot) includes a free meat pie and drink. The 4 pm cruise — dubbed the “Relax cruise” — includes a complimentary beer or wine along with some snacks. All other cruise times (9:30, 11:00, 1:30, and 2:30) include just complimentary tea and coffee. Fees currently run at AUS $27.00 for adults, and $12.00 for kids 5-15, but you can get a discount by buying a family pack or tickets in bulk.
Where to Stay
We stayed at Silky Oaks Lodge — a luxury treehouse hotel in the Daintree Rainforest. Check out our treehouse adventures here (coming soon).
Bruce Belcher’s Crocodile Cruise made the list as 1 of our top 10 favorite things to do in Cairns, Australia. To see the rest of the list, click here (coming soon).
Or check out one of our other Australian adventures here:
We owe a huge thanks to Allison Smith from Flights to Fancy for inviting Adventure Dragon to Cairns and teaching him the ways of the rainforest. All photos of Dragon in this Bruce Belcher’s Crocodile Cruise article are courtesy of her amazing photography skills, and you can check out her own experience on the crocodile cruise here.
Please do not copy or reproduce any of the photos or content on this page without permission. It makes dragons sad. And nobody likes a sad dragon. Except for maybe sad people. Away with you, you poopy pirate.
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