Warning after huge crocodile spotted off popular beach days before Easter

The creature seen in the Whitsundays is estimated to be about two metres long.

Holidaymakers heading to one of Australia’s tourist hotspots this Easter long weekend have been alerted to a danger in the water after photos emerged of a massive creature lurking off North Queensland’s coast.

A local sailor says she was out in Woodwark Bay in the Whitsundays at around 8.30am on Wednesday morning when she spotted something floating on the surface. “Crocodile in Woodwark Bay!” she wrote on a local community Facebook page. “At least 6-8ft.”

The croc seen in the distance from the woman's yacht (left) and a close up of the croc swimming in the water (right).
The local sailor said she saw a large crocodile at Woodwark Bay on Wednesday morning. Source: Facebook

Alongside her caption was a series of three photos taken from her yacht in which the large and long reptile can be seen swimming in the water. The woman later revealed that she’d nicknamed him ‘Woody’.

'Getting out of here'

The photos on Facebook have since left hundreds alarmed. “They are everywhere now, [it’s] not safe to go for a swim, bugger,” one person wrote. “I am never going kayaking again,” another said.

“This is so not cool,” a third commented. “Bags are packed, getting the f*** out of here,” someone else added.

A close up of the croc swimming in the water (right).
Locals said it was no longer safe to go for a swim. Source: Facebook

While others debated whether they should “change their spots” ahead of the long weekend, another joked that the croc was just “heading to Airlie for his Easter holidays”. But some insisted the sighting was nothing new. “They have always been here,” one person wrote. “Don’t live here if you don’t like it. Simple.”

Croc 'just passing through'

According to a Queensland croc expert, the nearby Proserpine River has the “highest density population of crocodiles on the east coast of Australia”.

A beach in the Whitsundays.
Croc expert David White said the nearby Proserpine River had a huge population of crocodiles. Source: Getty

“For some reason the habitat there is just ideal and the crocodiles love it there but they don't tend to go out of the river much,” David White, the owner and operator of Solar Whisper Wildlife Tours told Yahoo News Australia.

“It's not unheard of that a crocodile leaves the river… it’s just very unusual to see them off the coast… They can't live in the sea, it's too salty for them, but they can spend a bit of time out there, moving from one river to another, looking for new mates, new territories, or hunting for food.”

David says the sighting is “nothing really to worry about”. “It’s just passing through I would imagine,” he explained. “People shouldn't get hysterical about it. There are sharks in the same area as well but people still go snorkeling.”

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