Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise and Litchfield National Park with Offroad Dreaming

I get picked up by Neville from Offroad Dreaming in a 20 passenger Toyota Coaster bus.  There are only 9 people on the tour.  It’s a 45 minute drive to our first stop, Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise.  The parking lot at the crocodile cruise is loose gravel and a little difficult to wheel on.  There is ramp down to the boat that is easy to wheel down then a small step up to the boat that Neville helps me out with.  Once on the boat there are two viewing decks, either down 4 steps or up 6 steps.  I transfer out of my chair to the floor then bump down the 4 steps.  Neville carries my chair down and helps me up a small step to the prime viewing area under were they feed the crocodiles.

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The boat ride is about 1hr long with a close up view of jumping crocs.  These are some very powerful animals.  The boat crew hangs meat over the side to get the crocs to jump for the food.  They can get up to half their body length out of the water.

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We then have a 2 hour ride to the Litchfield Tourist Park for coffee/tea.  This is a short stop so I do not get off the bus.  The entrance has loose gravel and pavers.  It would have been difficult to wheel through.  The next stop is Wangi Falls.  It is very accessible with paved walkway, boardwalk and lookout deck. Some of the deck has been wiped out by the recent flood only 2 weeks ago.  They usually allow swimming but it is prohibited for a while because of possible crocodiles.  Our guide, Joan, walks us to the falls explaining some of the uses of the surrounding plants by the aboriginal people.  We have lunch at the picnic area by Wangi Falls.  This area is also accessible with accessible bathrooms.

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Our next stop is Tolmer Falls.  There is a paved walkway to the falls with some steep down hills in sections.  It is a very hot and humid day and the push rims on my chair are hot.  The friction from the hot rims on my hands causes small burns on my hands.  It’s very difficult to control my speed going downhill and I make several stops to let my hands cool down some.  I make it to the lookout without help but will need Neville’s help going back up some of the hills.

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We head to our next stop, Florence Falls.  The falls are only accessible to the first lookout via a paved walkway.  I have the same issues as before with my hands.  The rest of the group head down the steps to the bottom of the falls, Neville and I go back up the walkway.  He backs me down 15 steps close to the top of the falls.  I can wheel around a few places once we make it down the steps.  This area is not accessible but a nice quite place to relax for a few minutes.

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Neville and another guy on the tour pull me forward up the steps.  There is an accessible bathroom located next to the parking lot.  I don’t even get out of the bus at our next stop, Buley Rockholes.  This stop is not at all accessible and no accessible bathroom. The Cathedral and Magnetic Termite Mounds is our last stop.  It is accessible with packed red clay to wheel on and a lookout deck.  The Cathedral mound is over 5 meters tall and estimated at 50 years old.

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On the way back to Darwin we make an ice cream/bathroom stop in the city of Bachelor.  There is an accessible pubic bathroom and the Bachelor store is accessible.  It’s about a 1 hour ride to Darwin from Bachelor.

Most of this tour was accessible.  Neville went beyond what he had to do for me to see as much I could. The bus is not wheelchair accessible but if you are able to transfer from your wheelchair to the steps, then up to the floor of the bus, then to a seat this tour is possible. Not difficult but will need good upper body strength.  This tour would be good for an independent wheelchair user with a light manual chair.  I would suggest wearing gloves for part or all of the wheeling on this tour.  The tour lasts about 10 hours so be prepared for a long day.  I would highly recommend taking this tour with Offroad Dreaming.

Accessibility wise this tour would receive a 3/5 rating.

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