Crocodiles are a common occurrence in northern Queensland waterways.
No waterway in northern Queensland can ever be considered crocodile-free. That's why being Crocwise is so important.
Being Crocwise is easy
Croc Country (what is considered typical crocodile habitat) begins at the Boyne River south of Gladstone, and extends northward, up the east coast and across Far North Queensland. Crocodiles may also be found outside of Croc Country.
Just because you can’t see a crocodile, it doesn’t mean there is not one close by. Crocodiles can stay underwater for more than an hour. Even large crocodiles can be completely concealed in knee-deep water.
- Report all crocodile sightings to 1300 130 372 [Option 1] even if you’ve reported the animal before.
- Stay at least 5m from the water’s edge—crocodiles often hunt their prey at the water’s edge.
- Dispose of your food and fish scraps in a bin—don’t leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, around your camp site or at a boat ramp. Crocodiles will be attracted by an easy meal, and this puts subsequent visitors to the area at risk.
- Do not feed crocodiles—it is illegal, dangerous, and teaches crocodiles to associate humans with food.
- Be extra cautious at night, dusk and dawn when crocodiles are most active.
- Stay well away from crocodile traps. Crocodile traps are designed to attract hungry crocodiles so avoid fishing and boating near them and never interfere with them. People who deliberately interfere with the operation of crocodile traps face penalties that may exceed $15,000.
- Dogs are attractive prey to crocodiles. Keep your pets on a lead and away from the water’s edge.
- Watch out for crocodiles in unusual places after very high tides and heavy rains. Crocodiles can move further upstream during very high tides and periods of flooding and may move into new areas where they have not been seen before.
- Breeding female crocodiles will defend their nests aggressively. September to April is breeding season for crocodiles.
- Crocodiles are more active during the warmer months of the wet season.
I’ve lived and worked with crocodiles in Queensland for over 20 years. They make tropical Queensland special but they can be dangerous. When you're in croc country big croc wise and stay safe, don't risk your life. Remember just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there.
Treat all water waves as croc country. Crocs can be found in any waterway in the north.
Never swim wear crocs live and stay away from mud slides on the back.
Take notice of warning signs and stay well back from the water's edge.
Seeing a crocodile in the wild is an amazing experience but remember stay safe, be croc wise in croc country.
- Stand at least 5m back from the water’s edge when fishing.
- Use an esky, tackle box or similar object as a barrier between you and the water.
- Leave the lure. People have been attacked while recovering a fishing lure. It’s not worth your life.
- Tie off your cast net to your boat. In the event that a crocodile is caught in a cast net, this will prevent you from being pulled into the water.
- Dispose of unused bait and fish scraps in a bin. Leaving potential food sources around for crocodiles to find has a similar effect as feeding them directly.
Boating and recreational watercraft
- Your boat is your barrier. Keep the boat between yourself and the water when launching or retrieving it and face the water whenever possible.
- Keep your arms and legs inside your boat at all times.
- Do not use kayaks, paddleboards and other small craft in crocodile habitat areas. The smaller the vessel, the greater the risk—crocodiles have taken people from small vessels.
I lived and worked with crocodiles for over 20 years and I've learnt to be crocwise.
If you're planning on taking the tinny out this weekend, here's a couple of do's and don'ts.
When you're checking the ramp for hazards, always spend some time checking for crocodiles, on or near the ramp as well.
Always try and keep your feet dry, if you have to get wet, use your trailer as a safe zone.
If you have to do something out the back of your boat, take it out of the water first, never walk around the back of your boat while it's still in the water.
Crocs are smart predators, never clean fish around boat ramps, in you do crocs will soon learn that boats coming into the ramp mean fish frames will be on the menu.
Crocodiles are more active at night and during the breading season, September to April.
They use their long body and tail to herd fish into shallow water for a feed.
So stay well back from the water's edge or use well light boat ramps and carry a powerful torch.
And remember, never bring your boat within 10 metres of a crocodile in the wild just in case.
Seeing a crocodile in the wild is an amazing experience but remember stay safe, be crocwise in croc country.
- Camp at least 50m from the water’s edge. Crocodiles have attacked people at campsites too close to the water.
- Limit your time at the water’s edge when collecting water and don’t use the same spot repeatedly. Crocodiles are good at recognising repeated behaviours.
No waterway in Croc Country can ever be considered crocodile free. If you must swim, reduce your risk:
- Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches. Visit the Beachsafe website to locate patrolled beaches in your area.
- Do not swim at dawn, dusk or at night when crocodiles are most active.
- Do not swim in murky water.
- Read and obey all crocodile warning signs.
- Understand that crocodiles usually hunt by staying submerged and can attack in knee-deep water so wading can still be dangerous.
- The removal of crocodiles in an area doesn’t eliminate the risk of an attack.
View helpful resources on how to be Crocwise in Croc Country.