Croc One is the world’s leading crocodile research vessel

Research and expedition is her forte

During the months I spent designing Croc One, my focus and attention to conservation was paramount. We believe that with the assistance of cutting-edge research, our world’s precious wildlife will prosper and flourish.

Croc One is all about "Wildlife Warriors" coming together to work collaboratively on critically important research projects so that together we can help governing agencies manage wildlife more effectively, and bring back threatened and endangered species.

Saltwater Crocodile Research
Saltwater Crocodile Research
Together we’re changing the way we’ve historically viewed crocs. What a great team – myself, Professor Craig Franklin and Dr. Mark Read with a beautiful croc who’s got a satellite tracker attached and is ready for release
Saltwater Crocodile Research Gallery

I’ve been working with Salties, the world’s largest crocodilian species, for over thirty years and I am enjoying Croc One and all of her accessories for our hardcore croc work. Having such a huge vessel to carry croc traps, cranes, working platforms, and having a very comfortable bed at night, and a la carte dining is sensational.


It’s all about getting the job done. Our biggest Saltwater Crocodile study is the world-acclaimed Satellite Tracking project, "Crocs In Space".

The knowledge we are gaining is simply mind blowing.

Freshwater Crocodile Research
Freshwater Crocodile Research
Nets are by far the easiest way to catch Freshies without the risk of running into a big Saltie. Everyone gets involved – boots and all!
Saltwater Crocodile Research Gallery

There are two species of croc in Australia; the big, gnarly Salties and the smaller, more placid Freshies. Freshwater Crocodiles are quite common in all the remote northern wilderness areas, and we take great pride in furthering our knowledge of this beautiful species biology.

Like all crocodilians, they are the masters of their environment and camouflage, so it requires great skill to study them. During our recent Freshwater Crocodile Research Project with the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we learnt that Freshies can stay underwater for hours. This shattered previously held beliefs that they could stay under for less than a hour.

This knowledge can now be utilised to better manage the species, and provides us with a greater ability to conserve them and their important watercourses.

Shark Research
Tigers are my favourite sharks and catching this 11’ female was a highlight of my life. Check out the red tag on her dorsal fin
Sharks Research Gallery

I absolutely love sharks - always have and always will. Apex predators are indeed the rulers of their domain, and I take every single opportunity to share time with sharks. Croc One is fully decked out for shark research. She has a complete dive section, two dive masters (Brian and Kate), two aluminum shark cages and a perspex tube for viewing these big predators up nice and close – but safely.

The Australian continent is surrounded by three oceans; the Pacific Ocean, the Great Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean, thus creating the ultimate shark habitat. We have 166 shark and 117 ray species around our massive coastline. So sharks and rays are a part of daily life on Croc One.

Our most recent Shark Conservation Project is saving the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark, found right here in our backyard. Unfortunately the Grey Nurse Sharks look terrifying, with rows and rows of huge teeth protruding from their mouths, so they have been ruthlessly hunted down and killed. Luckily that practice is just about over. Now the threat to the tiny population of remaining sharks is from the fishing industry. We are working desperately to get Grey Nurse Sharks into people’s hearts so we can save this magnificent species that is so close to extinction.

We are constantly working in and around Reef Sharks and small Whalers – they are very common and generally no threat to divers. Our work with Tiger and Bull Sharks is a little more tense, but very safe and comfortable in our shark cages and perspex tube.

Turtle Research
This is about as big as they get. A full grown loggerhead is quite a handfull and the knowledge we gained from simply reading his tag was rewarding. The silver tag is on the left front flipper.
Turtles Research Gallery

All of the world's Sea Turtles are rare or endangered. We are actively involved in the research of Loggerheads, Green and Flatback Turtles. To study and collect turtle data is all about capturing the turtles, which can accelerate as quickly as dolphins. Jet skis and small speeding dinghies are utilised to track the turtles, then Steve dives into the water and locks onto the turtle’s shell. It is quite an enormous struggle with the turtle being twice his weight and possessing twice his power. Steve is able to guide them to the surface and hangs on for all he’s worth until the boat arrives. Unfortunately for the turtles, we are noticing that pollution like plastic bags, balloons, cigarette butts and other garbage is killing them. They also have mysterious diseases which so far have gone without care.

Research is the answer to stop these magnificent marine reptiles from the doom of extinction. It’s not all doom and gloom for turtles, all of the remote areas that Croc One visits have very healthy populations of turtles, doing what turtles have done for over 100 million years. We’re constantly visiting some of the largest turtle rookeries in the world, watching the heart warming spectacle of mating, nesting and hatching. There are not too many dives when we aren’t sharing an underwater paradise with some inquisitive turtles. Diving in remote areas is so good because the turtles don’t fear divers, and carry on their daily routines or come over to us for a look.

Sea Snakes

Snake Research
Milking venomous snakes is a specialised profession
Turtles Research Gallery

There are 53 species of Sea Snakes and 4 Sea Kraits found throughout the tropics and sub tropics of the world, 37 of these species live in the waters of Northern Australia.

Every one of them is highly venomous, with several species commonly biting and killing people. One species, the Beaked Sea Snake, accounts for over half of the world’s sea snake bites. This species accounts for 90% of human deaths, and they are regarded as the 6th most venomous snake in the world. They are responsible for killing thousands of humans throughout South East Asia, and have enough venom in one single bite to kill over 50 adults!

Steve will be capturing Beaked Sea Snakes and many other species both above and below water in the pristine estuaries, and milking them for their venom. This life threatening venom is turned into anti-venom by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory, and is used to save lives. It is a very urgent mission as there is a global shortage in Sea Snake anti-venom.

The capture of sea snakes is fast and dangerous, but their beauty and mobility underwater is sensational.


On-board fishing
View Fishing Gallery


Wildlife Dingoes
Sharks Research Gallery
Memorandum of Understanding

Steve and Terri Irwin, through their zoological facility, Australia Zoo, are committed to the protection of all wildlife and their habitat.

They have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which signifies the strong links between the conservation work of Australia Zoo and the Queensland Government. Through the MOU, Australia Zoo has committed to providing the Croc One marine vessel for priority threatened species research and management activities.

Croc One is a 75’ purpose built marine vessel that is a key tool in accessing the remote habitat where priority threatened species, including crocodiles, live. Thorough the MOU, the Zoo has committed to liaising with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and other research institutions to identify and progress marine threatened species research and management priorities. Croc One will be at the disposal of the QPWS for collaborative research expeditions.

Australia Zoo is proud to be associated with the conservation projects of the Queensland Government, and the MOU outlines clearly our joint commitment to crocodile and wildlife species management including research, rehabilitation, and release.