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CROCODILES AND REPTILES

The natural habitat for Western Australia's crocodiles and most of its reptiles is the northern half of the State.

Knowledgeable tour and outback guides know where to find the many fascinating creatures in each region, and how best to safely view them.

 


Meet the Crocs

Contrary to common belief, not all crocodiles are man-eaters. Freshwater crocodiles ('freshies') are common in the Kimberley, where they bask in and around rivers, lakes and pools in gorges. While they may look ferocious, they are relatively harmless.
Spot them in Lake Argyle, along the Ord River, and in Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek.

CrocodileNearer to the coast, and sometimes inland too, are saltwater crocodiles ('salties'). These big guys with their gaping jaws should be treated with great respect - but it's a heart-pumping experience to see them in their natural environment. Go with a knowledgeable guide and follow their advice.

When you enter the North West region, you are entering crocodile country, so it's important to be 'Crocodile Wise'.

A completely safe way to experience these creatures is at Broome's crocodile farm. Here you can get up close while protected by secure fences. There are several thousand crocodiles here, making for an amazing trip.

Please take the time to learn about 'Safety with Crocodiles'.

 

Thorny Devils, Giant Goannas and Hundreds More

Thorny Devil

Several of Western Australia's national parks are home to hundreds of reptile species. You'll need to be patient to spot them, but they're always worth the wait. Again, it's best to go searching with an experienced local guide.

Nature safaris into the Francois Peron National Park will introduce you to other interesting native reptiles, including goannas and the quirky little thorny devils, which look more like a bizarrely patterned rock than an animal.

Lucky visitors will catch a glimpse of the stunning bungarra - a giant goanna. Look for them along the Coral Bay Walk Way, along with several other kinds of lizard.

BungarraWestern Australia has its share of snakes too, although it's rare to see them in the wild, as they're usually pretty shy of humans.

The most common around the Perth area are tiger snakes and dugites. Further north are the venomous mulga (king brown), gwardar (western brown), northern and desert death adder, and the taipan.


Getting up Close

To see some of these awesome creatures close up, head for the reptile centres at Armadale, just south of Perth, or Denmark on the south coast.

AQWA (the Aquarium of Western Australia) usually has baby crocodiles, and Perth Zoo's impressive Reptile Encounter features more than 25 species, including Australia's largest lizard - the perentie.

 

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