If you’re in Kakadu National Park, you can’t miss out on the Cahills Crossing over the East Alligator River. The river here is a feeding ground for lots of saltwater crocodiles, and it’s one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the country. Crocodiles are the main attraction at Kakadu National Park. In fact, there are about 10,000 of these creatures in the park, but they are especially plentiful at Cahills Crossing where they gather here to feast on the fish headed upstream.
The crossing gets its name from Patrick “Paddy” Cahill, a famous buffalo hunter who was one of the first European pioneers to relocate to the area. He did so in search of the many buffalo that at one time were running. Now, of course, buffalo are an afterthought for tourists. They come in search of the crocs! Here’s what you should know if you want to add this infamous crossing to your travel itinerary.
The Infamy of Cahills Crossing in Kakadu National Park
Cahills Crossing itself is a flooded causeway and Australia’s most dangerous water crossing. It’s dangerous both because of the intense tides and a large number of crocs constantly circling and feeding in the area. When the East Alligator River is experiencing high tides, it can get over six meters high. During the wet season, vehicles commonly get washed off of the road into the floodwaters. At times, the river might flow like a mild stream, but it can also have the power of a vicious sweeping river.
While you’d hope that crocodiles would remain in the waters, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. It’s fairly common for these enormous reptiles to come up onto the crossing, blocking oncoming traffic. Usually, the best way to get rid of them if you have to go over the crossing is to simply honk your horn as you approach. They should flee to the water.
Cahills Crossing is actually the only road connecting Kakadu National Park to Arnhem Land. Because it’s in such a remote location and there are a lot of dangers associated with the area, this is not a place you want to try to visit on your own. In fact, you can’t. You need to get a permit from the Northern Land Council which must approve the vehicle you’d be using to make the expedition. You’d also want to keep a close eye on the tide levels to avoid crossing at a time when it’s dangerously high.
Wildlife Near Cahills Crossing
Don’t let the notable dangers and the rules turn you off from visiting entirely. There are still safe ways to go croc watching Cahills Crossing. Although Cahills Crossing in Kakadu National Park has been the subject of many viral videos, there’s nothing like seeing it up close in person. Because the crocodile population is so densely populated here, there are several feeding platforms where you can view these enormous crocs at a safe distance. If you want to maximize the possibilities of seeing some fearsome crocs, go toward the end of the dry season which would be August to November.
Although the crocs are the main attraction here, there is plenty of other wildlife to enjoy as well, including some rare bird species. There are dozens of species of fish in the East Alligator River, and the ample plant life around the area is also very impressive.
Experience Cahills Crossing with Autopia Tours
If you want to experience Cahills Crossing in a way that’s both safe and educational, do so with a 1-day tour to Kakadu National ParkAutopia Tours. We’ll make sure to give you a tour you won’t forget! Call today to find out more or book your Darwin tour!