While Australia is one of the safest countries to visit, there are quite a few dangerous creatures inhabiting this country. This is not meant to scare you, as most tourists will never see any of these dangerous animals. However, when visiting Australia you should be aware, especially if you are planning to enter the water or head into the bush!
The three dangerous animals of Australia that you hear most about are sharks, crocodiles, and jellyfish – all can be easily avoided.
While commonly believed to be lurking in all ocean water, if you haven’t noticed Aussies love the water and we (for the most part) still have all of our arms and legs attached thank you very much!
Lifesavers patrol the beaches, setting up flags in areas that are safe to swim. The more people around where you are swimming, chances are the safer it is.
The only real shark danger comes from the Great White Shark, which frequents the Southern Ocean. Sharks can be found in any ocean of the world, and most often do not come close to shore, so you can breathe easy. As long as you are not in the deep water you should be safe.
Never enter water where crocodiles may live! While humans are not their first choice of a meal, Crocs have been know to mistake humans for their natural prey.
There are two types to be wary of: the Saltwater Crocodile (Saltie) and the Freshwater Crocodile (Freshie). Both are found in Northern Australia wherever there is water.
The Freshie will leave you alone as long as you don’t both it, however the real danger comes from the Saltie. They have been know to live far from the sea, so don’t assume you are safe in fresh water.
Be sure to check with local rangers before entering any body of water, and never swim alone!
The deadly Box Jellyfish, known as stinger or sea wasp, is found along the north Queensland coast, past Great Keppel Island, from November to April. While it is best to avoid all jelly’s as their stings do hurt a bit, a sting by a Box Jellyfish is cause for real concern. Those stung should be treated like snake bite victims and rushed to hospital.
This jellyfish is not know to exist anywhere else in Australia, and it is assumed that you are safe from them when south of Great Keppel Island in Queensland. When visiting the area always ask locals before entering the water to make sure it is safe.
If stung you will know it! A pain and welt forms immediately, resulting in fast first aid response and a higher rate of recovery.
Stings should be doused with vinegar. Do not remove any imbedded tentacles, and artificial respiration may be required.
This deadly jelly lives in the Northern Australian waters from Exmouth, Western Australia to Gladstone, Queensland. These tiny creatures can go unnoticed in the water, reaching only 2.5 centimetres across they are almost invisible in the water. Be aware that unlike the Box Jelly, they are not confined to the coast and have been far from shore.
Irukandji stings are often felt as only a painful irritant, resulting in a rash and prickly heat. By the time the more serious symptoms begin it is often too late.
If swimming within the Jellyfish arc, treat all pain with suspicion, especially if a rash appears. Get first aid treatment as soon as possible!