A British newspaper report suggesting Fraser Island is infested with crocodiles has puzzled Queenslanders.
The report, published in The Telegraph under the headline "The world's most dangerous beaches", warns visitors of possible encounters with saltwater crocodiles on the Queensland tourist island.
Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt says the story, under a photoshopped picture of a large grinning saltwater croc, might have been inspired by a prank in which a huge styrofoam monster was placed on a beach some years ago.
The Fraser Coast Chronicle published photos in 2006 taken by Korean tourists of the huge croc on the sand, paint peeling from its nose and eyes.
An Aussie couple also released photos of their baby daughter sitting on the fake monster's head.
The Tele-graph's story should be taken as seriously as the tales of mythical "drop bears" Australians have told to spook gullible tourists, Ms Jarratt says.
"If we're going to be concerned about the crocodile story on Fraser Island we might also want to look out for the drop bears," she said.
"As far as I can ascertain, this was based on a story in 2006 that was typical Queensland humour, where a fake crocodile was photographed on the island and made a bit of a hit around the world."
To avoid disappointment, tourists looking for crocodile encounters would need to look further north, the minister says.
"It would be very unusual to see crocodiles south of Gladstone, and I think people can travel to Fraser Island safe in the knowledge that of the many wonders they'll see, crocodiles probably won't be among them."
Tourism Queensland boss Anthony Hayes said the report wasn't likely to do any harm to tourism on the world's largest sand island, a destination favoured by families.
"Fraser Island is one of the world's great soft adventure destinations, a fantastic place to experience all the adventure Australia has to offer and it's a long way from one of the world's most dangerous places.
"The Telegraph readers would appreciate my response to the story - bollocks," he said.