Kakadu National Park

Wednesday 17 July 2019

There are around 10,000 crocodiles in Kakadu – that’s 10% of all the crocs in the Northern Territory!

We have two types: freshwater crocs and the ‘salties’ (saltwater crocodiles). Freshwater crocs have a narrow snout and a single row of four large scutes (bony plates) right behind their head. Salties have a broader snout and no scutes.

Freshwater crocs measure up to three metres long, while male saltwater crocs can grow to a whopping six metres and weigh in at more than 1000 kg!

Both species can live for more than 50 years.

Where to see it

See crocodiles safely on a commercial cruise on the East Alligator River or Yellow Water Billabong. Another option is to watch them from a high platform like the Cahills Crossing viewing platform or Yellow Water boardwalk.

The dry season is the best time to see crocs as shrinking water bodies force them to concentrate in smaller areas.

Remember that wherever there is water, there might be crocodiles. Be careful near rivers and billabongs and pay attention to croc warning signs.

Download a PDF guide to Kakadu’s crocs

Behaviour

Saltwater crocodiles mostly feed on fish but may also take turtles, birds and large land animals such as wallabies, dogs, pigs, horses, cows and buffalo.

Freshwater crocs eat fish and small animals such as frogs, lizards, snakes, rats, bats, birds and insects.

Like all reptiles, crocodiles rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. While basking in the sun, they open their jaws wide to prevent their brains from overheating (although an open mouth can also be a threat).

Mature crocodiles compete fiercely for territory, sometimes fighting to the death. After a dispute, the defeated crocodile may travel hundreds of kilometres in search of new territory.

Other names

  • Scientific names: Crocodylus porosus (saltwater crocodile) and Crocodylus johnston (freshwater crocodile)