Crocodiles are found throughout Australia’s northern region, and Cairns is no exception.

There are two kinds of crocodiles found in Cairns – saltwater and freshwater. Crocodiles are both fearful and fascinating creatures. But don’t be too concerned, you won’t see any crocodiles casually roaming the streets.

About the Crocodiles

The saltwater crocodiles are the king of all the world’s crocodiles. They are the biggest and most ferrous and have remained at the top of the food chain for millions of years. First appearing next to the dinosaurs, these crocs survived their prehistoric past. They went on to last 65 million years until the present day. In this time, barely any of their structure has altered. They still have strong jaws, camouflaging abilities, and massive tails.

The freshwater crocodiles have many similarities and a few differences from their cousins. As their name eludes, freshwater crocs prefer lakes and rivers. They are smaller than saltwater crocodiles in both weight and size. They may not be as fierce compared to the saltwater crocodiles, but it is still a good idea to avoid them.

Why are crocodiles so Dangerous?

Saltwater Crocodiles are one of the most dangerous animals in the world. They are quite territorial and aggressive, so it is best to stay away from them. They are capable of harming a range of creatures such as small birds to even kangaroos or humans. They are huge creatures and can reach up to seven metres in length and weigh over 1,000 kilograms.

Their strong tails able them to sail through the waters at top speed. Using their brown and green scales, they can easily blend into the murky water. They will often roam in, slowly creeping up onto their prey until they catch the prey off guard and attack. Their strength in their jaw is also unparalleled. They are able to bite down on their prey and do the ‘death roll,’ shaking their victim until they have been split apart.

The best way to stay safe from the crocodiles in Cairns is by avoiding the water in which they live. Since they are difficult to spot, it is best to avoid swimming in the dark. One giveaway to crocodiles in the area is a ‘crocodile slide’. This is a mark left by the crocodile’s tail as it crawled into the water.

If all this crocodile talk has made you nervous, you can visit the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon. Otherwise, be sure to pay attention to any signs or warnings about crocodiles and do some research before jumping into the water.

Where can you see crocodiles in Cairns?

Although Saltwater Crocs can be found in south-east Asia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the most stable population is found in Australia. The large groups are found in the murky waters of north Queensland, across the Northern Territory and into Western Australia. The majority of the murky waters in Queensland have these crocodiles roaming nearby. There are even a couple of beaches and shallow seawater known to house them. Thus, when visiting, you must make sure you are aware of the signs and directions given by the local government.

One of the only safe ways to see these creatures is via a professional crocodile spotting cruise. You can join our Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Day Tour to see these crocs in all their glory!

The crocodile spotting tour departs Daily from Cairns and takes you to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure. You will have free time to explore the park. Here, you’ll find a range of animals that call the park home. You’ll get to learn all about the animals and join various animal presentations to learn about the creatures.

The popular highlight of the adventure park is the Crocodile Interaction Boat Tour. As you cruise through Hartley’s Lagoon, you will be able to see crocs in their natural habitat. You’ll get to watch crocodile feedings from the safety of the observation boat. Be sure to jump on this adventure to witness the crocs in action!

After the adventurous animal tour, you’ll get to grab a yummy lunch at Lilies Restaurant before returning to Cairns.

Now that you know all about the crocodiles in Cairns, you’re ready for an exciting Queensland adventure!

Related article: How Dangerous Are Australian Animals?

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Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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