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Crocodiles—Be Crocwise

Crocwise video

Be Crocwise

Think twice – you’re in croc country

Crocodile danger is real – don’t risk your life. However, it is possible to live and play safely in croc country, just follow these guidelines and Crocwise.

  • Where is Croc Country? Croc Country is defined as the shaded area north of the Boyne River.
  • You need to take responsible for your own safety in Croc Country.
  • Expect crocodiles in ALL north Queensland waterways, even if there is no warning sign.
  • Warning signs are only placed in areas where crocodiles are known to frequent. Ignoring signs that are there to protect you puts your life at risk. But note that just because there are no signs, does not mean there are no crocodiles.
  • Just because you can’t see a crocodile doesn’t mean there is not one close by. Crocodiles can be very patient, and can stay underwater and unseen for up to four hours without even a breath.
  • 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 crocodiles had not been seen before.
  • 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 of up to more than $15,000.
  • Leave the lure. People have been attacked while recovering a fishing lure, even though they didn’t see a crocodile there all day.
  • Reduce your risk at the beach:
    • Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.
    • Do not swim at dawn, dusk or at night.
    • 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.
    • Removing one crocodile doesn’t eliminate the risk of an attack.
  • The smaller the vessel, the greater the risk – crocodiles have taken people from small vessels such as kayaks. Canoes, kayaks and other small craft are not suitable in crocodile habitat areas.
  • Camp at least 2 metres above the high water mark and at least 50 metres from the water’s edge. Crocodiles have attacked people in tents pitched too close to the water.
  • Dogs are attractive prey to crocodiles. Keep your pets on a lead and away from the water’s edge.
  • Bin your food and fish scraps – 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.
  • Don’t be the bait. Keep your arms and legs inside your boat at all times when fishing.
  • Your boat is your barrier. Keep the boat between yourself and the water when launching or retrieving it.
  • Report all crocodile sightings on 1300 130 372 even if you’ve reported the animal before.
  • Crocodiles have territories. When a problem crocodile is removed from its territory, another crocodile is very likely to move in and take it over.
  • Crocodiles can lunge at people and animals at the water’s edge. They are ambush predators, and you may not see them. Stand back from the water when fishing or cast netting. Wash dishes and prepare food well away from the water’s edge.
  • Be extra cautious at night, dusk and dawn. Crocodiles are more likely to attack during these times.
  • Breeding female crocodiles will defend their nests aggressively. September to April is breeding season for crocodiles – stay away and keep children away from crocodile nests.
  • Crocodiles are more likely to hunt prey during the warmer months of the wet season. Be extra vigilant with your children and pets near waterways at this time.

Understand more about the relative risks and how to be Crocwise in each of Queensland’s crocodile management zones, see the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan for more information.

Related information

Fitzroy River crocodiles

  • Risk assessment report—Fitzroy River crocodiles (available from the department’s online library catalogue)
Last updated
25 October 2017