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Fun Facts About Saltwater Crocodiles in Airlie Beach

Updated Mon 05 Sep 2022

A saltwater crocodile sitting on a riverbank

Crocodiles are a mysterious, intriguing and often intimidating aspect of your Far North QLD adventures. However, do not fret; saltwater crocodile habitat is not found either in Airlie Beach or the Whitsundays.

They are instead found in Proserpine, a neighbouring regional town. Home to the Proserpine River, which has the highest water-to-crocodile density in the world, you can spy one of these prehistoric reptiles in the tropical north! 


Facts about Saltwater Crocodiles


Crocodile lying on the muddy banks of Proserpine River


Crocs are the largest living reptile in the world! 

  • The saltwater crocodile is known for being the largest reptile in the world. Males can grow up to 7 metres long while females are smaller and only grow up to 3 metres. Their size and hunting abilities have led them to become one of the most feared animals in Australia and the world.

Crocodiles are prehistoric

  • They are as old as dinosaurs as they first appeared over 240 million years ago. Crocodiles also haven't evolved much over that time, unlike most creatures. It's a mystery how crocodiles have survived longer than dinosaurs did. 

Don't sweat it crocs

  • Crocodiles don't sweat. They're cold-blooded and can't produce their own heat. This is why they are found in the hotter parts of Australia. However, they do still overheat and have to cool down by resting on the riverbanks. 

Crocodiles never fully sleep

  • They do sleep with one eye open. They sleep with part of their eye open as if they are 'half sleeping.' In fact, half of a crocodile's brain shuts down when it sleeps while the other remains alert in case of any nearby threats.

Facts about Crocodiles in Airlie Beach & the Whitsundays


Whitsunday Crocodile lying amongst forest trees and mud


Crocodiles don't like the beach

  • Crocodiles don't live in the Whitsundays or Airlie Beach. They prefer murky, brackish waters which allow them to hunt and prowl stealthily.

A baby crocodile was spotted island hopping

  • Renowned as an incredibly rare event, a baby Saltwater croc was spotted in Hayman Island waters in 2016. This crocodile was spotted immediately and identified as lost due to heavy rains washing him from the Proserpine River mouth.

There have been crocodiles spotted in Airlie Beach

  • Over the years, there have been a handful of very rare crocodile sightings in Airlie Beach. These events are usually after periods of large rainfall or natural disasters, displacing these reptiles from their home. The most recorded sighting of crocs in Airlie has been at marinas due the murky, stagnant waters.

You can see a crocodile in Airlie Beach, safely

  • Dreaming of spotting a crocodile in the wild? Bredl's Wildlife Farm Crocodile Safari is an authentic cruise through the Proserpine River on which you are bound to see these majestic predators! 

For more information on Saltwater Crocodiles, check out our guide to sightings and croc-safety in Airlie Beach


Get in touch with our local experts to explore more local adventures or wildlife experiences today! 

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