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Dangerous Australian animals

Get to know them - avoid any risks

You heard about the dangerous Australian animals? Read sensational articles in the media about man-eating crocodiles and sharks?
Are you worried about the threat of poisonous snakes and spiders in the Australian Outback? Are you even thinking you can never visit Australia because of all these dangers? Let me give you some answers to your questions.

saltwater crocodile
Australian saltwater crocodile

It is true that Australia has a wide range of dangerous creatures. However, you can avoid coming even close to them with some common sense.
For general Outback travelling you need some knowledge about Outback safety, and the same applies to dealing with Australia's wildlife.

So which are the most dangerous Australian animals?

The good news is, you do not find them in Australia's red centre and not in the Eastern Outback. Actually, Australia's lovely beaches, especially in the tropical north, inhabit a few creatures you should avoid by all means.

To be honest, box jelly fish & stonefish worry me more than spiders and snakes. But I am not a "water person" so it is easy for me to avoid them.

Dangerous animals in Australian waterbodies

  • The Box Jellyfish (Sea Wasp) is responsible for more deaths than snakes, salt water crocs and sharks together. When you come in contact with the sea wasp's tentacles they fire an extremely powerful venom. It can kill you within minutes. Victims often get a shock because of the tremendous pain.

    The Box Jelly Fish is abundant along northern Australia's coastline in summer, from October to May. Go figure! Some beaches in Queensland are protected with nets. Be sure to obey the warning signs. I think I wouldn't like to swim there.
  • Saltwater or estuarine crocodiles look like reminders from ancient times. "Salties" live in northern Australia. They spend the wet season in rivers and freshwater swamps. During the dry season they move to the estuaries and to the sea.
    An adult male saltie is approximately 5 m long, some exemplars growing up to 6 m. Of course, there are a lot of tall stories around about the size of crocs.

    Saltwater crocs are protected in Australia. Crocodile warning signs along the coast and rivers tell you to stay away from the water and the river banks. Take these warnings serious. Local wildlife officials know where the crocs are. They even move the crocs to a new habitat when they come to close to settled areas. Don't forget, salties move fairly quick on land, too. You won't win when they attack.
  • The Australian Freshwater or Johnston crocodile is much smaller. It also has a smaller snout. Freshies are not known as man-eaters, however, they will bite if they feel threatened. Don't take any risks.

    Freshwater crocs live in rivers, billabongs and wetlands in the north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
  • Blue Ring Octopus and the stone fish are other dangerous Australian animals that make a dip into the tropical waters a risk. The stone fish has sharp spikes on his back which have a very toxic venom. It is well-camouflaged, you won't see it until you step on it. Wear shoes when you walk in shallow waters on Australia's beaches.
  • Oh, and I nearly forgot the sharks! They can be found anywhere along the Australian coastline. However, your chances being killed in a car accident are by far bigger than dying from a shark attack.
    Not all sharks are dangerous, only the big ones. These come rarely close to the beaches, so surfers and divers have the greatest risk. And yes, Hollywood helped a lot to give these animals a rather dangerous reputation.

By now there are only beasts that live in the coastal waters around Australia on the list of animals to avoid. Sounds like I am slightly prejudiced, eh? Perhaps I am. I am not a "water person". A holiday on the beach is not my cup of tea.

I don't want to spoil your fun on Australian beaches. No way! I just want to inform you to avoid any risk. And yes, there are dangerous animals in the Australian deserts and in the bush, too. Information is here, just click on the "Creepy-Crawlies" link below! Everything you wanted to know about spiders and other creatures that live in the Outback.

I hope you enjoyed this page about dangerous coastal animals. Australian nature is just stunning, don't worry too much.

stingers warning sign
Stingers warning sigh on an idyllic beach

warning sign no swimming
When a sign says no swimming, don't do!

crocodile on a tree
Freshwater crcodile

Articles about other unique Australian animals you might enjoy

Copyright © 2007- Rita Amend.