than 860 species, Australia
has a huge variety of reptiles
- more than three times as many species as what is found in the whole
Being the kind of animals that cannot produce their own body heat,
reptiles need to rely on the outside temperatures for warming
themselves up, and therefore they
love warm climate.
Australia has that, and northern Australia has even more than the
southern parts of the continent - hence
the abundance of reptiles in Cape York.
There are two
in Australia and both are only
found in the northern parts of the continent.
The smaller Freshwater Crocodile Crocodylus
a slender snout and is found in freshwater creeks and gorges.
It is the
harmless species, even though it can bite when provoked, it does not
kill us for food like the saltwater crocodile.
The larger, Estuarine or Australian
Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus
on the other hand will kill a human to eat it.
It is a quick
efficient killer, and it is huge - it's the largest reptile in the
world. It is found in salt as well as fresh water but mostly in river
many species of
both fresh and salt water turtles in Australia and Cape York.
turtles are found in freshwater rivers, lakes and billabongs.
we have in Cape York are Cann's Long Necked Turtle, Northern Long
Necked Turtle, Northern Snapping Turtle, Saw Shelled
Turtle, Krefft's Turtle, Northern Yellow Faced Turtle, and
Jardine River Turtle.
There are also several species of sea turtles
in the warm, tropical
ocean waters around the Cape York Peninsula, and they include
Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle,
and Pacific Ridley Turtle.
They are amazing, large animals great to
We have lots of lizards
Australian reptiles) they love our warm temperatures.
Some of the more impressive ones, and quite easily seen ones, are the
We have the Water Dragon, Boyd's Forest Dragon, Two Lined and Nobbi Dragons,
as well as
Tommy Roundhead, Ta Ta Lizard and Frilled
Lizard, which is the most impressive one.
Eastern Australian Skinks
With 370 species, skinks is the largest group of Australian lizards.
The largest and most famous ones are the Blue Tongue
but we also have
Garden Skink, Prickly
Forest Skink, Major Skink, Eastern Striped Skink, Eastern Water
Skink, Lively Rainbow Skink and Black Mountain Skink.
Lizards The best
known are house
also have Ring-tailed
Gecko, Box Patterned Gecko, Bynoe's Gecko, Giant Tree
Northern Velvet Gecko, Zigzag Velvet Gecko, McIllwraith Leaf Tailed
Gecko, Pickly Knob Tailed Gecko, Mourning
Pelagic Gecko, Gehyra
dubia, and yes - Black
Mountain Gecko and Cooktown Gecko :-)
The largest Australian lizards are monitors
We don't have
perenties but we do have the two metre Lace
Yellow Spotted Monitor,
Sand Goanna, Mangrove Monitor, Canopy Goanna,
Black Headed Monitor, Rusty Monitor and Spotted Tree
By eyeweed via Flickr.com
The strangest looking lizards are the legless lizards, aka
flap-footed lizards - they are small snake looking animals
that are totally harmless.
In Cape York we have Burton's Snake Lizard,
Northern Hooded Scaly Foot Lizard, the Common Scaly Foot
Lizard and Delma
finally, we also have
lots of snakes
as they, too, love the warm temperatures. Pythons and colubrid snakes are
Australian largest snakes are pythons.
They are non-venomous snakes and
the ones we have in Cape York include Amethystine
Python, Carpet Python, Water Python, Black Headed Python,
Python, and Green Tree
(endemic to the peninsula).
This is another group of non-venomous
snakes and the ones we have in
Cape York are Brown Tree Snake, Slaty Grey Snake, Common Tree
Snake, Northern Tree Snake, Keelback, White Bellied Mangrove
Macleay's Water Snake, Australian
Bockadam, and Richardsons's Mangrove Snake.
also have venomous
They all belong to
the same family - Elapidae, and below are the main groups found in Cape
Taipan Snakes There are two
species of taipans in Australia.
The more venomous - Inland Taipan, aka
Fierce Snake (the most venomous snake in the world) is not found in
The other - coastal
taipan, is less venomous but can be more
aggressive and is found in Cape York.
are three species of Death Adders in Australia, and the only
one that is found in Cape York is the Northern Death Adder.
small, robust snakes that like to hide under leaf litter on the ground
where they catch their prey. Something to remember when walking on
Out of Australia's six poisonous Brown
Cape York has two. Common Brown Snake is found in almost whole eastern
Australia, however in Cape York
it is only found in the south-eastern parts of the peninsula. Western
Brown Snake is found in the whole
Cape York peninsula.
Snakes - Australian Reptiles
Out of Australia’s six species of Black
Snakes, two are found in Cape York.
King Brown, aka
Mulga Snake, is the
more common one, while Red Bellied Black Snake is restricted to a narrow coastal rainforest
area along the coast between
Cairns and Cooktown.
Yes, we have our 'own' gecko species in Cooktown - the Cooktown Gecko,also called Australian ringtail gecko (Cyrtodactylus sp.).
It is very large for a gecko, about 30cm in length, with a very distinctive stripy pattern.
They are found roughly between Mt Molloy in the south and Coen in the north, and their natural habitat is rocks.
But this one regularly hangs around in a shed in Cooktown :-)
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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This site uses British
English, which is the English we use in
best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information on this
website is correct, this site is not to be blamed should there be a
My main project is still to improve every single page on this website with more information and more, better photos. With almost 300 pages and so many photos to go through, it is very time consuming work, but it gradually happens, every day, right now :-)
This is the ORIGINAL Cape York Travel Guide run Locally on the Peninsula.