How Common Are Saltwater Crocodile Attacks In Australia?

How Common Are Saltwater Crocodile Attacks In Australia?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/20/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

With over 100,000 crocodiles in the country, are croc attacks actually common?

Saltwater crocodiles, also known as salties, are the largest species of crocodile and reptile. Male salties can be as long as six metres, while females are smaller, typically being under three metres.

The northern parts of Australia are known for saltwater crocodiles inhabiting various waterways. Therefore, while you’re travelling through the northern parts of Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland, it’s advisable to remain vigilant around water.

But are the saltwater crocodile attacks common in Australia? No, they aren’t. Attacks don’t happen often in Australia and are very rare. Generally, attacks happen when people swim in areas where warnings have been issued. It’s essential to be careful around any water, especially during the wet season when salties are more active.

Will I see a crocodile in Kakadu?

Kakadu National Park is known for its crocodile sightings. There are always crocodile spottings down at Cahills Crossing and Yellow Water, as well as around waterfalls.

  • Cahills Crossing

At Cahills Crossing, there is a platform from which you to safely spot out some crocs from a high vantage point. The platform overlooks Cahills Crossing, offering an excellent chance for some croc spotting in Kakadu. There are over 50 crocs between the 400 metre stretch between Cahills Crossing and the East Alligator River. On average, there are about five to nine crocs per kilometre.

  • Yellow Water

Yellow Water has a beautiful cruise through the wetlands. The cruises typically last for about 90 minutes to two hours taking you through this beautiful part of Kakadu. On the cruise you could come across a crocodile and a range of other wildlife.

  • Waterfalls

Crocodiles are spotted throughout waterfalls and waterways in Kakadu. Swimming in areas where crocodiles are present is risky, even during the dry season. While crocodiles aren’t as present during this time, it’s good to still be cautious before going for a swim. It’s safer to refrain from swimming if the water isn’t clear.

Be care when going for a swim in Jim Jim Falls during the dry season as crocs can still be around. Gunlom Falls and Maguk are freshwater, so the salties won’t be present here but freshwater crocs will be. The freshies aren’t as aggressive and won’t attack unless disturbed.

When in in croc country, you must be crocwise. Pay attention to warning signs, avoid camping near waterways, refrain from activities near the water, and avoid swimming where crocs may be present.


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.