Croc Spotting Safely
Saltwater Crocodiles (not to be confused with Freshwater Crocodiles) are a fact of life in Far North Queensland, they inhabit beaches, rivers and creeks but they are not a critter you want to come upon unexpectedly. Most visitors to the area want to see them for sure. Even though you might favour seeing a crocodile in the wild, you are better to do this with a guided tour than to find one for yourself.
It is a truly magnificent experience to see a crocodile up reasonably close, they are pre-historic monsters that attract tourists from around the world so it is well worth the effort to get a look.
These are the best ways to see crocodiles:-
- Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures offers an opportunity, as near to natural as possible, when you take the boat cruise on their man-made lagoon. You will definitely see crocodiles going about their business and you can also see them being fed and in the various shows available throughout the day.
- Take a croc tour on the Daintree River where there are a variety of operators taking boat trips on the river and not only will you see crocodiles but also other interesting wildlife. While you are not guaranteed a siting, it would be rare to not see one.
Please do not go looking for crocodiles yourself. Even if you come across one on a beach, get out of there quickly!! This is an apex predator and you do not want to take any chances with them, they are a wild animal and unpredictable.
Here are our top tips for being crocodile alert:-
- Swim only at patrolled swimming areas when the lifesavers are present. Do not swim early morning or late evening.
- Stay away from tidal creeks, rivers and beaches where creeks and rivers flow in. If you want to get up close and personal with mangroves, do it on one of the boardwalks available for this purpose.
- Take notice of the crocodile warning signs that are present in all locations where a crocodile has been seen.
- Understand there could be crocodiles an any North Queensland waterways even if there is no sign. You might be the first person to see one in that spot.
- Check with the locals about safe freshwater swimming holes – they do still exist!
If you're driving from Cairns to Port Douglas, stop in the car park to your right just before you cross the Mowbray River. At low tide, it's not uncommon to see the local residents sunning themselves on the muddy banks.