Croc spotting cruise snaps back into action



Last updated:
Croc Express owner, Dean Clapp, is bring his popular croc-spotting cruises back to the Daintree River. Image: Douglas Shire Council.

Croc Express Daintree River Cruises has snapped back into action as COVID-19 restrictions ease across Queensland.

Located at the Daintree Village, the popular crocodile-spotting cruise is now offering COVID-Safe trips with social distancing measures in place.

It comes as the Queensland Government announced an easing of travel restrictions, allowing residents to travel up to 150km from their place of residence from this weekend.

When travel restrictions in March completely stopped people coming to Daintree Village, Croc Expressowners Dean Clapp and Anja von Keyserlingk had no choice but to suspend river cruises, close the tourist information centre and pull down the roller doors of the Croc Espresso Café.

Find out more: Buy Douglas: Build Douglas

There was, however, lots of activity behind the closed doors. Dean spent much of April working through the Job Keeper paperwork and talking to his bank about a line of credit and staff were busy refurbishing riverboats, repainting the tourist information centre and cleaning out the storeroom.

“We have had to stand down all but one of our 20 employees but I’m pleased to say we now have 10 staff registered for Job Keeper and the bank has approved a line of credit which means we can cover wages, and still have money to buy groceries and toilet paper,” he said.

- Community spirit shines: Douglas businesses working together
- Video | campaign launched to encourage local spending
- Call for tradies and suppliers to register for council projects

“We made the decision to open the café for takeaways for the May long weekend.

“We did have a few customers including a few who ran the gauntlet and travelled 55kms from Port Douglas to grab some lunch and enjoy a picnic experience beside the Daintree River.”

Croc Express usually offers six river cruises every day from two different locations along the Daintree River and owner Dean Clapp has already mapped out the next four months.

“We can offer COVID-safe Daintree River cruises,” says Dean.

“We can take 10 to 15 people on our 50-seat vessels and this meets the social distancing requirements.

Dean has been through ups and downs since he first started in tourism in 1986, making him one of the first.

He has seen the pilots’ strike in 1989, a fire in 1995 which burnt almost the entire street in Daintree Village, followed by a flood in 1996 and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/09.

Douglas Shire Council are calling for businesses with a story to share to contact them at mediadouglas.qld.govau 

 #Do It In Douglas

Letters to the Editor. Do you have an opinion or point of view you'd like to share on one of our stories or a community issue? Please submit here.

* Readers are encouraged to use their full details to ensure letter legitimacy. Letters are the opinions of readers and do not represent the views of Newsport or its staff. Letters containing unlawful, obscene, defamatory or abusive material will not be published.

Got a great news tip or video? We'd love to see it. Send news tips to editornewsport.comau

* Comments are the opinions of readers and do not represent the views of Newsport or its staff.
Reader comments on this site are moderated before publication to promote valuable, civil, and healthy community debate. Our moderation takes into consideration these guidelines and rules before comments are approved for publication.