Want to see a salty in the wild? There’s no better place than a Daintree River Cruise.
The Daintree is Queensland’s crocodile country, and tours take you up the river where crocodiles have lived for a million years. A bucket list moment when you’re in the Daintree is seeing a giant saltwater (estuarine) crocodile in the wild. There are plenty of them around, but stumbling upon one isn’t really what you want, so the best way to see them in their natural habitat is through one of the many Daintree River cruises that operate each day.
The Daintree River is something to marvel at. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Daintree River boasts some of the best sightseeing in the world. From the beautiful rainforest to the stunning wildlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy. All the tours have their own specialities, whether that be their breadth of experience or their focus on sustainability, so we’ve found the best of the bunch.
Here are the top six Daintree River cruises for spotting crocodiles.
1. Daintree River Cruise Centre
The Daintree River Cruise Centre showcases all the wonderful aspects of the Daintree – from huge estuarine crocodiles and flocks of tropical birds to schools of fish, native mangrove species and everything in between.
With a 60–90-minute tour, the knowledgeable guides will impart their knowledge to you about the Daintree and the crocodiles who call the river home.
Tickets are $35 for adults or $17.50 for kids.
Why we love them: The Daintree River Cruise Centre is an Ecotourism Australia ECO-certified tour operator that displays the spectacular wildlife of the Daintree Rainforest without hurting the environment!
Daintree River Cruise Centre is an ECO-certified tour operator. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
2. Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises
Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises one-hour wildlife cruises will take you on a journey down the river to see the crocs up close and personal. You’ll also see plenty of tree snakes and birds! Guests are encouraged to stand on the front deck of the boat to really immerse themselves in the experience.
There are seven cruises per day, so you’ll be able to book a tour that suits your schedule.
Tickets are $30 for adults or $14 for children.
Why we love them: Bruce has a keen eye for spotting wildlife due to his over 32 years of experience as a tour guide on the Daintree River and more than 40,000 trips!
Stand on the front deck of the boat to get up close and personal. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
3. Solar Whisper
The Solar Whisper Crocodile Cruise River Tour allows you to get closer to nature, and really be able to hear, smell and experience the tour without the noise and fumes other boats create. That’s because Solar Whisper is a quiet, clean, solar electric boat!
Solar Whisper has a 99 per cent success rate of spotting crocs and other wildlife because the crocs spend more time underwater in summer. Don’t worry, if you don’t see a croc on your tour, they’ll keep taking you until you see one!
Tickets are $30 for adults or $14 for children.
Why we love them: Solar Whisper is the only zero-emission boat on the Daintree River. So, get close to the crocodiles and other wildlife without impacting their natural habitat!
Get even closer to the crocs on the Daintree River’s only zero-emission boat. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
4. Crocodile Express
Crocodile Express is the only cruise operator with two different departure points along the Daintree River, giving you the choice of two different river cruises. Experience the incredible wildlife of the Daintree’s amazingly diverse ecosystem with each tour!
The Lower Daintree River Cruise from the Daintree Ferry crossing goes through mud banks and mangroves and is guaranteed crocodile country. The Upper Daintree River Cruise from Daintree Village is popular for bird watching as it winds its way through dense rainforest.
Tickets are $29.70 for adults and $14.85 for children.
Why we love them: Crocodile Express was the very first tourism operator on the Daintree River, having begun operation in 1979.
Observe the crocs from Crocodile Express. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
5. Daintree Boatman Wildlife Cruises
Daintree Boatman Wildlife Cruises offers small group wildlife cruises that give you an insight into the Daintree’s environment and wildlife. With a maximum of 10 guests on board, there is plenty of opportunities to see the crocodiles and have a personalised experience.
The cruises go for two hours and are conducted at dawn and dusk – when the sun is at its best and you’ll get the most stunning pictures.
Tickets are $65 for adults and $40 for children.
Why we love them: The boat is a hybrid vessel with both a regular outboard and an electric motor powered by a portable lithium battery!
Daintree Boatman Wildlife Cruises go for two hours and are conducted at dawn and dusk. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
6. Daintree Crocodile Tours
Daintree Crocodile Tours offers both private tours and one-hour guided group tours of the Daintree River, so you can choose the option that best suits you. With an emphasis on education, you will gain all the knowledge about the rainforest itself, but also its resident reptiles.
Tickets are $40 for adults.
Why we love them: Kids aged 16 and under ride for free, so it’s a great family idea if you’re hoping to keep the costs down.
Learn all about estuarine crocodiles. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)