Posted by: travelrat | November 19, 2012

Darwin Harbour Cruise


Darwin: 17th April 2012.

Most of the things to see ‘around Darwin’ are, in fact, a fair step out, and you can spend a lot of time sitting in coaches. Not on this trip, though. After visiting the Wildlife Park, we only rode a short way on the bus before boarding a boat, which was going to take us back to the city.

Now, just about everywhere there’s a harbour, there’s usually a harbour cruise, and Darwin is no exception. In fact, in size and quality it is, in my opinion, bested only by Sydney. There are islands, and there are mangrove swamps and on more than one occasion we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins which were, unfortunately, gone by the time I could get a camera or a camcorder into play.

I think this is the first harbour cruise I’ve ever been on that we stopped to check to skipper’s crab pots. I got ‘volunteered’ to help with them, and we found that the second pot we checked contained a crab. The correct way to hold a crab, the skipper instructed me, was to hold each claw firmly. What he didn’t tell me that crabs have more legs, and they’re bloody sharp!

Catching a Crab (Photo by Lorraine Kellett)

At the same time he stuck his leg into my hand, he shed his claw, and dropped squirming to the deck, leaving me clutching the dismembered limb. I began to suspect a wind-up. Nevertheless, I picked the crab up by his remaining claw … and succeeded in picking up only a claw. The skipper returned the now clawless crab to its element, explaining that the claws would grow again. Then, he put the detached claws into a coolbox; I understand they’re pretty good eating, and I wonder if just the claws were actually the object of the exercise.

Finally, we cruised into Darwin to meet the coach, which took us to an excellent museum, before depositing us at our new hotel, where we would be picked up for our train ride the following morning.



  1. That’s all there is to it. String, bait and saltwater equals lunch. It makes for a great family activity that even the youngest family member can participate in! Careful, though, those claws pack a pretty powerful pinch. Mom and Dad may want to remove the crab with a pair of thick gloves.

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