Best Time to See Crocodiles in Daintree Rainforest

Saltwater crocodiles are one of Australia’s most dangerous predators, yet they are also extremely fascinating creatures, which is likely why we constantly seek them out to see them in action in their natural habitats.

The world’s largest reptiles, they outlived the dinosaurs and have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and unlike many other animals, they haven’t really changed all that much. It’s this persistent fight for survival that makes them so interesting, and their place at the top of the food chain only adds to the human intrigue.

Whilst a croc creeping up on you could definitely lead to an untimely demise (have you ever heard of a crocodile death roll?), there are fortunately much safer ways to see a croc in the wild and admire the strength and resilience of these cold-blooded animals.

Is it easy to spot a crocodile?

It depends on the time of day, and where you are trying to spot them. Since saltwater crocodiles are only found in the warmer, tropical climates around Australia, the people who live in these areas have made a living out of getting travellers out onto the water, and spotting the crocs in the water and on the banks.

During the peak of the day, more specifically during the wet season (when the weather is a little cooler) is a generally good time to spot them on the banks. Crocodiles are cold blooded and need to regulate their body temperature to stay around 30 degrees, so they will bask on the river banks to warm up their bodies in the direct sun, before plunging back into the water.

Whilst they can hold their breath for at least an hour – due to being able to slow their heart rate to 2-3 beats per minute – in the more densely populated areas the pros can spot them just hanging around the water’s surface. They do like to camouflage in murky water, but again, our croc hunting pros can spot them.

Of course, for a bit of extra excitement, you can always lure a crocodile with bait, and this will allow you to see how strong they can be. Seeing a crocodile lunge upwards out of the water, using their tails to propel their bodies, is equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.

The 1 Day Cape Tribulation & Daintree Tour includes a river cruise with croc spotting!

Crocodile safety is no joke!

And that’s because they are extremely territorial, hungry and strong. Did you know a crocodile has the strongest bite of any animal? They don’t just look scary, they are scary. Australia has a slightly unfortunate feature in that many of our most crystal clear, calm beaches look perfect to swim in, but are in fact home to 6 metre crocodile families.
If you find yourself at Cape Tribulation Beach for example, where the Daintree River meets the Great Barrier Reef, do NOT go in the water. There are clear signs all around this part of the country, and other areas crocodiles inhabit saying to stay clear of the waters edge, and this is to be taken seriously.

So, no swimming in Tropical North Queensland?

You can swim! Just research your swim spots before jumping in.

There are many beautiful freshwater swimming holes in the Daintree area of Far North Queensland that are perfect for a relaxing, cooling dip after you’ve taken part in a big hike through a rainforest or national park.

Mossman Gorge, Cassowary Falls, Emmagen Creek, 4 Mile Beach at Port Douglas and Stoney Creek all have refreshing water holes or beach to cool down in, and swim without fear of a croc making themselves known.

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