Outback Floatplane Adventures from Darwin – Just Do It

In Reviews, Travel by PhilLeave a Comment

We had a day in Darwin in between jobs so naturally looked for the most epic thing we could find to do. I found Outback Floatplane Adventures online and knew it was what we had to do. Seaplane, airboats, crocs, helicopters, fishing all in one day, sounded amazing! The company was originally set up by Matt Wright, the Outback Wrangler so if his style is anything to go by we knew we were in for a treat.

Di picked us up from our hotel and the laughs started straight away. There were 5 other people on the trip with us and they were all as excited as we were. We loved the fact that they only take small groups. We took off from Darwin airport and it was a 25-minute flight out to Sweets Lagoon. It was amazing to see how the dry outback changes to wet, green swamp land almost instantly when you arrive.

The floatplane landed on the lagoon and it looked even better than the brochures. The guys met us and got us laughing straight away. Proper outback larakins. We jumped on their boat ‘Cyclone Creek’ and started to make our way through the Lagoon to spot some wildlife. They had already started cooking us Barra and Sausages for lunch, I could tell it was a very well-run trip already. Saw plenty of bird life too.

I popped out the back to see if I could catch a barra with one of the rods they have on board, Duncan was already onto it and had started putting them out. No luck straight away so I went and had some lunch. Within minutes I heard ‘fish on!’ I ran for it and after a good little fight I had a 50cm barra in my hand………maybe it was 40cm but it looks bigger if I hold it closer to the camera!

When we got back it was time to take out the fan boat and do some croc spotting. We went to see a female croc on the bank and our guide Kurt mentioned that Otis, the 4.7-meter male was somewhere nearby. A quick slap of the water with his stick and Otis scared the shit out of everyone by smacking his big jaws into the side of the boat. Amazing to see but so glad the mesh was there, Otis is a massive croc. He thrashed around a bit more and everyone was in awe.

We headed up further and saw another croc on the bank which Kurt jumped out to look at and then quickly jumped back on the boat because the croc lundged at him. We knew it was part of Kurt’s ‘amazing’ show………………or was it?

We then took the fan boat at speed through the grass and into a very swampy looking area where we found yet another big croc. I recently got the GoPro Hero 7 and had it on a pole. I said to Kurt that he could stick it in the water as close to the croc as he could, so he stuck it in its mouth! Whatever it takes for the shot. For the gram!

It was then time to head back and get ready for our chopper flight with Matt Wright, the outback wrangler. We had a little bit of time when we got to the platform to flick some lures but no more barra unfortunately. At this stage it had all been so epic I was getting a bit greedy for adventure.

So in comes this R44 chopper, sideways and lands on the heli pad like it could be landing on a 5 cent piece. Instantly I thought he must be a mustering pilot because I know a couple of those guys and they’re the most precise pilots but also crazy with a chopper. We were taken to the chopper by the staff and jumped in with Matt Wright, met the legend himself! At this point we realised that this was a door off flight, just how I like my chopper flights! It’s always fun shooting video and photos out of a chopper.

He took us over the lagoon, to see these massive termite mounds, their Australia map and overnight location and then to see the air boat in action from above. One of the coolest chopper flights’ I’ve been on.

At this point I was already so blown away by what we had done that I couldn’t comprehend more but lo and behold we still had the adrenalin pumping fan boat ride to go. So, they take you croc and wildlife spotting on the fan boat but they also take you for a high speed fang through the lagoon and do spins which is wild. After we had just seen it from the chopper it was even better than we expected. Kurt made sure to get us wet too on both spins. Worth it.

When we got back we had about 15 minutes left to have a swim in the croc cage. This is a little area on the pontoon that has a seat and some mesh where if you splash around in the water and a croc can come up to the mesh and you can come face to face with it. Unfortunately, the croc didn’t come while we were there even though we splashed hard. Fortunately we already had enough adventure for the day anyway. We saw the croc coming as we left so must have just missed him.

After saying goodbye to the guys, we got back into the sea/lagoon plane and took off back to Darwin. Sitting in that plane I couldn’t help but think that we had just experienced something very special. One of the coolest tours I’ve done for sure and well worth it if you have a half day or full day spare in Darwin. It’s trips like this that remind me why I love being a videographer and content creator.

Di (our friendly transfer driver) dropped us back at our hotel and we just smiled and laughed to each other at how lucky we are and how amazing that was from start to finish. Thank you, Outback Floatplane Adventures!! Can’t wait to explore more of The Northern Territory on the next visit.

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