Australia Today

Crocodiles Seen on Queensland Streets During Record-Breaking Floods

“There’s crocodiles swimming around in the flood water now because the crocs want to find the nice calm water rather than the rushing river water.”
queensland flood waters crocodiles
Crocodiles have been seen in Queensland floodwaters.

Photo: Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Getty Images

Northern Queensland is experiencing unprecedented flooding, less than a year after the last major-flood clean-up in the region, that is seeing crocodiles venture into floodwaters looking for refuge. 

Queensland’s new Premier Steven Miles declared a “serious weather emergency” on Monday morning after thunderstorms and heavy rain in the aftermath of Cyclone Jasper over the weekend caused widespread flash flooding. 


Flooding in Cairns has already broken a 46-year record and the Barron River reached its highest levels since 1913 last night, with heavy rain continuing today.

Cairns airport closed on Monday with no flights in or out and more than 14,000 homes were without power.

Crocodiles have also been seen in floodwaters. Chief executive of the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council Kylie Hanslow told the ABC on crocodiles had been spotted in floodwaters in the cut-off town.

“There’s crocodiles swimming around in the water now, because the crocs want to find the nice calm water rather than the rushing river water,” she said.

One journalist stranded in the town of Ingham, which is also cut off by road, captured footage of a 2.8m crocodile caught in a flood drain.

The crocodile has since been safely removed by wildlife rangers and will be released back into the wild after the floodwaters ease.

Despite this being an El Nino year, which is expected to bring less rainfall than the previous La Nina year in Queensland, hundreds of millimetres have fallen in the last 24 hours. 

queensland floods crocodile

Queensland rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am Monday. Source: BOM.

Cairns Mayor Terry James told ABC RN the flooding was “unbelievable”.

“It’s widespread, there is absolutely water everywhere … I don’t think there’s a road that hasn’t been covered or damaged. "This is something that we haven’t seen for decades,” he said.


Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said he hadn’t seen “anything like this before”.

“To have a cyclone come across [and] for it to just stall, stop and sit directly above us and drop the amount of rain that it has is very unusual.

“It’s something I don’t think we were prepared for and the fact that the amount of rain that came from the system we weren’t even anticipating that would be the case.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said this morning the Australian Defence Force was ready to “spring into action” and that the federal and Queensland state governments were working together to ensure those stranded were rescued and assistance was available. 

The most urgent priorities in the coming days will be food, water and shelter. Cairns Regional Council posted on Facebook that clean drinking water across the region was in “very limited supply” and may run out by Monday evening, while areas accepting evacuees said shelter was available but bedding, food and water were scarce. 

With many roads across northern Queensland cut off, all supplies will have to come by air or sea.

Premier Miles, whose cabinet was only sworn in early afternoon on Monday, said ADF helicopters would be on their way as soon as possible. 

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Aleksandra Bliszczyk is the Deputy Editor of VICE Australia. Follow her on Instagram.