Three Crocodiles Snapping,
Two Red Kangaroos,
And a Kookaburra in a Gum Tree.
Next up is the deadly, dangerous Saltwater Crocodile!
As a child we went on quite a few holidays to Disneyland Florida, I know I was living every child’s dream! During our visits we were always aware of the potential crocodiles living in the area. All of the nearby villas had a protective net around the swimming pools to stop crocs from making a surprise visit. As you can imagine, it gave my mum the creeps!
That was the closest we ever got to crocodile territory, until we landed in Oz!
When we first booked our trip to Australia, we knew that most of the local wildlife were dangerous, venomous and some even deadly! Everyone knows about the sneaky snakes and speedy spiders. Little did we know that the areas of Northern Australia were densely populated with crocodiles, there are certainly no nets to protect us this time!
During our time in the Northern Territory we learnt so much about all the freshwater and saltwater crocodiles that live in the region. They are cold blooded creatures, making the hot temperatures of northern Australia the perfect place to call home. These king reptiles can’t create their own body sweat for when those temperatures start creeping a bit too high, so to cool down they lie along riverbanks with their mouths wide open! Just like our pal in the photo above!
They may be masters of disguise in the depths of the murky waters but they actually can’t eat any of their unsuspecting victims below the surface. In order to finish their meal they need to lift their prey out of the water, putting on a show for any onlookers. A crocodile can apply up to 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch with their jaw. To put that into perspective, us mere mortals can only apply up 1000 pounds of pressure with our legs, and that’s on a good day!
Where to find Saltwater Crocodiles?
These snappy reptiles live within tropical areas, as they need their stomachs to be above a certain temperature in order to digest their meals.
Far north QLD, the Northern Territory and Northern WA are the most likely places to find crocodiles in Australia. In most of these areas you will be advised to stay out of any, if not all, of the different bodies of water.
We could actually swim at cable beach in Broome which I thought was a bit weird…
Seriously though, within these areas you can find them anywhere, rivers, estuaries, billabongs, most pockets of water. Please be careful and don’t stand too close to the waters edge. They are stunning to watch but always know that just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you!
Kakadu National Park is home to over 10,000 crocodiles and is your best chance to spot these rascally reptiles in the wild. Cahills Crossing is the gateway to Arnhem Land from Kakadu national park and has a reputation to be one of the most dangerous crossings in the world. Which is fitting considering how many crocodiles live within the river system it crosses. In the peak of the dry season the smaller billabongs and rivers start to dry up, forcing crocodiles all into the same water ways within the national park, especially the south alligator river.
In my opinion the best time to visit Cahills Crossing is during the 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after high tide. We spent so many days sitting at the lookout and watching the crocodiles come in to catch their dinner. One day in August we saw 40 all on the waters surface, I dare to think how many were under the water too!
Another must see spot you are guaranteed to see a crocodile is on the Yellow Waters Cruise at Cooinda Lodge. Take a trip on their sunrise or sunset tour and you will be transported to a stunning wildlife haven.
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