Family enjoying a dip at a popular swimming spot suddenly realise danger lurks metres away – so can you spot it?

  • A northern Queensland family saw a crocodile in Wenlock River, near Cape York
  • The massive crocodile was just metres from where they’d set up to go swimming
  • Locals said it served as a warning to tourists who frequent QLD’s northern tip 
  • There have been 12 fatal and 41 non-fatal croc attacks in QLD from 1975 to 2021

Aussies were warned against swimming in one of the country’s biggest tourist spots after a family were forced to surrender their gazebo and thongs to a massive croc.

Jeremaine Agale shared an ominous photo of the Wenlock River near Cape York at Queensland’s northern tip, on the To The Cape York And Back Information Facebook page on Thursday alongside a dire warning.

‘I know we live in croc country but always be vigilant. A pic from a local family enjoying time on the Wenlock River cooling off until a visitor shows up,’ he wrote.

The photo showed a crocodile floating in the middle of the river, which is a popular swimming spot for adventurers heading to the very top of Australia.

A family swimming in Queensland’s northern Wenlock River spotted a massive crocodile (pictured, the crocodile floating to the right of the gazebo)

The Wenlock River (above) is a popular swim spot for tourists heading to Cape York at Queensland’s northern tip, but is known to locals as a crocodile hotspot

The viral post quickly gained more than 4,600 reactions and hundreds of comments.

‘I was told in Darwin that for every one that you see there is another seven,’ one person wrote.

‘Lucky Kings have their gazebos on sale at the moment…that one lives there now,’ another commenter joked.

‘Wow, look how well it blends in,’ another said.

However, many locals wrote the photo was a timely reminder for tourists. 

‘The Wenlock is full of crocodiles and a lot bigger than that one in the picture,’ one person wrote. 

Locals said the massive croc (circled in red) serves as a warning to tourists planning a trip to northern Queensland

Much of northern Queensland is considered ‘croc country’ with an average of one fatal attack every three years (pictured, a map of crocodile habitats)

‘Never swim in dirty water, always make sure the water is crystal clear so you can see the bottom but even still your not safe because that’s their territory.’

Australia’s north is infamous for being a crocodile hotspot with large, dangerous saltwater crocs often frequenting freshwater creeks and rivers.

Despite Queensland MP Bob Katter’s infamous rant that ‘every three months a person is torn to pieces by a crocodile in north Queensland’, the actual figure is a lot less.

But it’s still too high to get comfortable.

Data from the government shows there were 12 deaths in Queensland from 1975 to 2021 and 41 non-fatal attacks, averaging one fatal crocodile attack every three years in the state. 

To stay up to date on Queensland’s latest croc sightings, visit the Queensland Department of Environment and Science’s website. 

Queensland’s northern tip at Cape York (above) is the highest point in Australia and a massive travel destination


Report all crocodile sightings as soon as possible even if you’ve reported the animal before by:

  • using the QWildlife app available for iOS and Android
  • accessing the sighting report online, or
  • calling 1300 130 372 (select option 1)

Stay at least 5m from the water’s edge — crocodiles often hunt their prey at the water’s edge.

Dispose of your food and fish scraps in a bin — don’t leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, around your camp site or at a boat ramp. Crocodiles will be attracted by an easy meal, and this puts subsequent visitors to the area at risk.

Do not feed crocodiles — it is illegal, dangerous, and teaches crocodiles to associate humans with food.

Be extra cautious at night — dusk and dawn when crocodiles are most active.

Do not use kayaks, paddleboards and other small craft in crocodile hotspots — the smaller the vessel, the greater the risk, crocodiles have taken people from small vessels.

Stay well away from crocodile traps — crocodile traps are designed to attract hungry crocodiles so avoid fishing and boating near them and never interfere with them. People who deliberately interfere with the operation of crocodile traps face potential penalties of over $15,000.

Dogs are attractive prey to crocodiles — keep your pets on a lead and away from the water’s edge.

Watch out for crocodiles in unusual places after very high tides and heavy rains — crocodiles can move further upstream during very high tides and periods of flooding and may move into new areas where they have not been seen before.

Be cautious during breeding season — breeding female crocodiles will defend their nests aggressively. September to April is breeding season for crocodiles.

Crocodiles are more active during the warmer months of the wet season.

Source: Queensland Department of Environment and Science

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