See the world’s deadliest reptile up close and personal within the picturesque Whitsundays!

The Whitsundays; Australia’s tropical wonderland with sapphire waters, golden stretches of sand, and lush greenery of the rainforest. But this paradise is also home to the infamous and intimidating saltwater crocodile. Which is one of the biggest and most dangerous animals in Australia?

About the Salt Water Crocs

These crocs are known to be the largest living reptiles in the entire world. Growing up to 5 to 7 metres long and weighing a whopping 1000 kilograms. Their rough scaly skin ranges shades of green and brown, blending in perfectly to the dirty or deep water they roam within. These waters include rivers, lakes, and all sorts of watering spots, with only tropical areas, swarmed with these creatures. They are carnivores’, normally preying on small reptiles, fish, turtles, and even larger animals. Unfortunately, we run under the category ‘prey’ for these creatures, making Australia’s waters a lot riskier.

Their Age

Saltwater Crocodiles first appeared on the planet over 240 million years ago, making them one of the oldest creatures alive. They are so old, they live in the same era as the dinosaurs, but was capable of surviving the fall of these species. There are many theories as to why these creatures survived and other, powerful creatures did not. One is due to them being cold-blooded creatures, whereas dinosaurs where warm-blooded. This meant crocs could survive alot longer without food, whereas others would perish without constantly eating to fuel their metabolisms.

Their Abilities

Seeing as these creatures have been on top of the food chain for over 100 million years, it’s safe to say they’ve got a lot up their sleeves. Despite their size, they are capable of being very sneaky, camouflaging themselves in the water and becoming so still they seem like fallen logs. After their prey has come close enough, the crocs instantly pounce, sprinting up to their prey in seconds and grabbing them before they can even register. They are so fast, they can reach speeds of 10km per hour in water and can run up to 11km on land. Their massive jaw is strong and deadly, able to lock their prey in once they have grasped a hold. The famous ‘death roll’ which is a hunting behaviour the crocs are famous for; using their lock jaw ability to latch down on their prey, and rolling rapidly in the water in order to remove the limbs of the creature. This is due to their teeth being designed for gripping, not ripping, so to get smaller pieces to eat, the crocs must use the roll technique.

Where They Are in the Whitsundays

As the Whitsundays is a popular destination for water activities, with sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving all top attractions, working out which waters are safe is essential? The Whitsunday is a wide surplus of water, with inlets, lakes, rivers, and ocean, all ranging from saltwater to fresh. While sightings of crocs are very rare around the islands themselves, they typically are seen along the mainland. The Proserpine River, which flows into the ocean south of the Whitsundays, has the highest number of crocodiles in the entire area. It is never advised to travel to this river except on boat tours, where you can safely and easily see these animals in their natural environment.

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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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