Tourists slammed for careless act at Aussie river: 'Why they get eaten'

Tourists getting a little too close to nature at a known crocodile hangout have been slammed for being extremely irresponsible.

Cahills Crossing is famous for its crocodile viewing experience and now it's also known for tourists getting stupidly close to crocodiles.

A video shared by Sarah, a woman currently caravanning around Australia, had a lot of people worried.

In the video shared to TikTok, a large group of tourists were seen standing by the water's edge at the crossing, as a croc is seen swimming in the water.

Tourists very close to the water at Cahills Crossing in the Northern Territory.
Tourists got very close to the water at Cahills Crossing in the Northern Territory – while a crocodile casually swam across the way. Source: TikTok/travelling_sarah

Sarah took the video from higher ground, out of reach from any charging crocodiles.

"This is why tourists get eaten by crocodiles," she said in the text on the video.

This isn't the first time there has been such a scene at Cahill's Crossing. Just months ago, an ABC reporter raised similar concerns after going to the crossing and seeing people loitering on the embankment.

At the time, Kakadu National Park condemned the tourist's behaviour in a Facebook post, saying the way some visitors were acting left staff "disappointed" as they put themselves at risk of being attacked.

"Saltwater crocodiles are dangerous animals and have attacked and killed people at Cahills Crossing. It is not safe to stand at the water's edge," the Facebook post said.

"Safety around waterways should be the highest priority when visiting Kakadu and visitors should never be complacent around crocodiles."

There's some 10,000 crocodiles in Kakadu National Park and some at Cahills Crossing are as big as 4.5 to 5 metres in length.

Tourists next to the croc-infested water at Cahills Crossing.
Tourists were seen getting very close to the croc-infested water at Cahills Crossing in the Northern Territory. Source: Leo Compton via ABC

Platform at Cahills Crossing reopens

The recent TikTok video was uploaded while the viewing platform at the crossing was closed to make way for a new one.

The new platform opened on Wednesday, as confirmed by Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek and Member for Lingiari, Marion Scrymgour.

"The upgrade, which includes a new picnic area and three new viewing platforms linked by a new rainforest walk, will provide visitors a safe vantage point to view crocodiles in Kakadu," a press release said.

The $3 million upgrade of the crossing is part of the Government's $276 million investment into upgrading infrastructure in Kakadu National Park.

People standing on the new viewing platform at Cahills Crossing.
The new viewing platform at Cahills Crossing is the best way to watch for crocodiles. Source: Supplied/Kakadu National Park

The new viewing platform overlooks Cahills Crossing, giving visitors a safe vantage point to watch the crocs.

The new infrastructure was designed in close collaboration with the region’s Traditional Owner.

“The construction of the new Cahills Crossing viewing platform, picnic area and walking trail will give visitors to Kakadu National Park an unforgettable wildlife experience while keeping them safe," Ms Plibersek said.

“Importantly, this project was co-designed with Traditional Owners from Kakadu to ensure the natural and cultural values of the site are protected."

Cahills Crossing's Visitor Viewing Platform.
Cahills Crossing's Visitor Viewing Platform reopened in late September. Source: Supplied/Kakadu National Park

Deaths at Cahills Crossing

Saltwater crocodiles are the world's largest reptiles and are described by Kakadu National Park as "Kakadu’s fiercest predators".

People have been killed by crocodiles at the crossing.

In 2017, a 47-year-old man was killed by a crocodile while trying to cross the river on foot.

The most notorious death at the site was in 1987, when a fisherman was attacked and decapitated by a croc while wading in the water.

Tourists have been slammed for bathing in the water at the crossing in the past.

One woman was snapped sitting in the croc-infested water in 2019 and the image went viral. She later told Yahoo News Australia the dangers were not apparent to her at the time, despite the signs.

“Everyone keeps saying ‘didn’t you see the signs?’ Yes [I did] but everywhere has signs up here,” she said.

“I’m surprised people’s pools don’t have caution signs.”

A crocodile swimming in the crossing.
Cahills Crossing is known as a popular crocodile hangout. Source: Kakadu National Park/Facebook

Social media stunned by tourists' behaviour

People online couldn't believe some would risk getting that close to a crocodile. One person suggested those on the water's edge were ignorant to how fast crocs actually are.

Someone else noted that young children were down there with their parents.

"Children?!! One panicked move of the crowd, bumping into the child, knocking them into the water... Glad life seems cheap enough to take that risk," someone said in the comments of the video.

"It’s like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and [the crocodiles] can’t decide what to eat first," another person said.

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