Seventy four SNP genotypes and 54 E. coli genomes from kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, reptile, cattle, dog, horse, duck, bird, fish, rodent, human and environmental water sources were screened for the presence of the CRISPR 2.1 loci flanked by cas2 and iap genes. CRISPR 2.1 regions were found in 49% of the strains analysed. The majority of human E. coli isolates lacked the CRISPR 2.1 locus. We described 76 CRISPR 2.1 positive isolates originating from Australian animals and humans, which contained a total of 764 spacer sequences. CRISPR arrays demonstrated a long history of phage attacks especially in isolates from birds (up to 40 spacers). The most prevalent spacer (1.6%) was an ancient spacer found mainly in human, horse, duck, rodent, reptile and environmental water sources. The sequence of this spacer matched the intestinal P7 phage and the pO111 plasmid of E. coli.