How to safely cross Cahills Crossing

How to safely cross Cahills Crossing

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/15/2023

Reading time: 2 mins

Learn how to drive through one of the riskier crossings in Australia.

Cahills Crossing can be a bit risky to cross, especially if you do it at the wrong times and the wrong car.

You will need a permit to visit Garig Gunak Barlu National Park before you cross Cahills Crossing. The permit allows you to travel through the park which is open in the dry season only from May to October.

There are two important tips you will want to remember if you want to safely cross Cahills Crossing.

You need to have a certain four-wheel drive vehicle

You can’t just have any ordinary car when crossing Cahills Crossing. It’s highly recommended you have a high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle with a snorkel to be able to drive through Cahills Crossing safely.

Make sure you drive through low tide

Low tide at Cahills Crossing is another important factor to remember before crossing. If the low tide doesn’t work for your plan, it is usually safe to still cross a few hours on either side of the time of low tide.

The best low tide depth is about 0.5 metres, given you’re driving a high-clearance four-wheel drive. This also depends on the river conditions because if there is too much water flowing quickly, your car could get pushed off.

It’s important to look into the tide times before you plan to drive.

The best place to look into the tide times is on the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology website. These are only predictions, and you should still be cautious when driving through Cahills Crossing. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to be safe and not cross.

There is also the Cahills Crossing viewing area where you can spot some saltwater crocs in the river. There have been at least 50 crocs spotted between Cahills Crossing and the Eat Alligator River boat ramp. If you’re wanting to spot one of these crocs, the best time to see them is between July to November.


To safely cross Cahills Crossing, it’s best to drive a high-clearance four-wheel drive with a snorkel, and to ensure the tide is low.

If you find this isn’t for you, you can book a one-day Kakadu tour and see some crocodiles on the Jumping Crocodile Cruise and other major Kakadu highlights.

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.