In short, No. Crocodiles are not usually spotted in the Whitsundays or in Airlie Beach. However, there have been a small handful of sightings recorded over the decades in the area. This handy guide outlines these rare crocodile sightings, safe swimming spots in the Whitsundays area and everything you need to know about being croc wise whilst visiting far-north Queensland.
Known officially as the Australian Monitor Lizard, the Goanna is a common sight around the Whitsunday islands. These large predatory lizards can grow up to 2 metres in length and have sharp claws and teeth, making them a fearsome sight. Dark grey in colour with flecks of yellow along their bodies, they are most often seen clinging to trees and branches, or sunbaking on large rocks.
The Green-Tree Ant, also known as the Weaver Ant is a common sight amongst the bushland and rainforest of the Whitsundays. The Green Ant is famous for the elaborate nests it constructs in the hanging branches of trees, and also for the ferocity and territorial aggression it displays to any attacks or intrusions. Named after the vibrant colour of its abdomen (the large, tail-end of the ant body), the green ant is found all throughout Northern Australia.
Generally found living on the coast or within 300 kilometres of the sea, the Australian Masked Owl is one of the many avian inhabitants of the Whitsunday Islands. While nationally their numbers are in steady decline, they maintain a strong population around the Whitsunday Islands and mainland Whitsunday region, and can often be spotted on bushwalks or nature excursions.
The Boobook Owl, also known as the Spotted Hawk Owl, is common and abundant throughout Australia, being found all over the mainland and on many offshore islands, including the Whitsunday Islands and surrounding region. While its habitat is wide and diverse, including tropical forest, farmland, grasslands or urban areas, it is most commonly found in temperate woodland areas such as those surrounding the Whitsundays.