Northern Territory Government

Stay safe while swimming

Only swim where there are designated safe swimming signs

It should be assumed that any water body in the saltwater crocodile’s natural range in the NT is unsafe to swim, unless signposted otherwise.

Most fatal crocodile attacks in the NT in the past 20 years have occurred when people have entered the water outside of designated swimming areas.

Croc signs 

Managing the risks of saltwater crocodiles

The Northern Territory Government has a number of strategies in place to protect the public against saltwater crocodile attacks.

These include:

  • active management in specific locations using traps, harpooning techniques, and/or surveys to find and remove crocodiles;
  • educational programs to tell people about how they can keep themselves safe in crocodile habitat;
  • promoting responsible behaviour in crocodile habitat.

Are there certain times of year that it is safe for me to enter the water

No, it is never 100% safe. While crocodiles may be more active during the warmer months (Wet season), when the air and water temperatures are higher they are present in Top End waterways year round.

Is it safe for my pets to swim, even if I can’t

No. Crocodiles will also prey on other animals, including pets.

Where you can swim

If a waterway does not have a swimming area sign, do not swim in this area. 

There may still be danger if there is no sign. The area may not be safe or free from saltwater crocodiles. 

It is safe to swim in some areas at certain times of the year, as shown in the following table:

Park or Reserve

Location

Time of year

Leanyer Recreation Park

Darwin

All year

Lake Alexander

Darwin

All year

Wave Lagoon

Darwin

All year

Berry Springs Nature Park

Main pool and Lower pool

Dry Season only

Howard Springs Nature Park

Toddler pool and rock pools

All year

Litchfield National Park

Wangi Falls

Dry Season only

 

Florence Falls

All year except during extreme flooding

 

Buley Rockhole

All year except during extreme flooding

 

Walker Creek

Dry Season only

 

Cascades

N/A

 

Tjaynera Falls

Dry Season only

 

Surprise Creek Falls

Butterfly Gorge Nature Park

Darwin region

Dry Season only

Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs Park

 Douglas Daly

Dry Season only

Umbrawarra Gorge Nature Park

 Pine Creek

Early to mid Dry Season only

Nitmiluk National Park

Katherine Gorge above the first gorge

Dry Season only

 

Leliyn (Edith Falls) plunge pool and upper pools

Dry Season only

 

Sweetwater pool

All year except during extreme flooding

Elsey National Park

Mataranka thermal pool

All year except during extreme flooding

  Bitter Springs All year except during extreme flooding

Limmen National Park

Butterfly Falls

Early to mid Dry Season only

Last updated: 18 Apr 2017