A New Zealand kayaker has survived being held captive for two weeks on a remote Australian island - by a giant crocodile.

The man, known only as Ryan, had been exploring the northern West Australian coast and was on the Governor Island when he realised he did not have enough supplies, so went to paddle the four kilometres back to the mainland.

However, he then noticed a six-metre (20ft) crocodile stalking him and hurried back inland on the 250-acre island in the hope it was too far inland for the saltwater crocodile to reach him.

Every time Ryan went to leave the island, he was tracked by the crocodile who would make his presence known, stopping the New Zealander from leaving.

He had got to the Governor Island by hitching a lift with a solo yachtsman. When he left the yacht, he had 160 litres of water, some flour and some dry food stores.

Local Don McLeod eventually rescued Ryan after seeing a light on the island. After investigating, he found Ryan shirtless, hatless and desperate.

He told ABC radio: "I went across and Ryan came out looking a bit distraught. He came down the beach, he had no hat on and no shirt on.

Chased by a monster

"He was relieved and shocked, and thankful someone had come along because he was running out of options pretty quickly. He is a very, very lucky man.

"He said every time he got in his little kayak, which was only 2.5m long, this crocodile - who has lived there for many years and is a monster - has chased him.

"He was desperate for water when I trotted up. We gave him a cold beer, which was probably the wrong thing, and then he went to sleep about three-quarters of the way home."

Ryan is now thought to be recovering on mainland Australia after being given a bed at a church mission.

McLeod confirmed the size of the crocodile, saying it had passed his boat in the past: "He was going by quite fast one day and he just happened to surface alongside me as I was going past ... My boat is 20ft long and he was well up on the 20ft mark."

He added that many tourists, like Ryan, are not aware of crocodiles living in the area: "A lot of people are a bit naive about these things.

"Even though the crocodiles have been reduced along the coast by this poaching business, there's still a number of these very old ones that are cunning and certainly on the lookout for an easy meal."