Do crocodiles live in Cairns?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/16/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Crocodiles are found in many locations around Australia and Cairns is no exception.

Cairns is a gorgeous tropical city, with heaps to explore. Just like other locations around Australia, there are some dangerous creatures to keep an eye out for. One of those animals to be careful of is the crocodile.

About the crocodiles in Cairns

Both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles live in Cairns.

Freshwater crocodiles are not very large and have a narrow snout. These crocs can grow up to three metres long, which is smaller than the saltwater crocodile. They can be found in shallow, murky waters including rivers and creeks.

Saltwater crocodiles are cousins to freshwater crocodiles. They can grow up to six metres long and have broader snouts. As their name suggests, they live in saltwater and can be found in the shallow waters along the ocean shores.

Where are there crocodiles in Cairns?

Don’t worry, you won’t just run into a crocodile while strolling down the street in Cairns.

Saltwater crocodiles will typically stick to the ocean. They don’t pose much of a threat to swimmers at beaches. They tend to stick to muddy and murky water, where they can blend in with their surroundings. So, if you visit one of the gorgeous beaches in Cairns, your chances of seeing a saltwater crocodile are extremely slim.

Freshwater crocs can be found in streams and creeks. That being said, you are safe to swim in the various swimming holes and freshwater areas in and near Cairns. Like the saltwater crocodile, freshwater crocs like to lurk in murky and muddy waters.

Can I safely see the crocodiles in Cairns?

If you would like to see crocodiles in Cairns, there are safe ways to do so! Your best option would be to see the crocodiles in the area on a guided river cruise. There are croc spotting cruises available on the Daintree River and in Cooper Creek.

Viewing crocs on a guided boat tour is a great way to experience the local wildlife. You will be at a safe distance from a boat. You will also get to learn all about the wildlife from a knowledgeable and local guide.

After reading all of this, it is good to remain cautious but don’t be too worried. Just keep an eye out for signs warning about crocodiles. If you are concerned, consider swimming in a patrolled area.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.