My Dh and son are visiting Sydney, Cairns and Hamilton Island in Australia in November. I am freaking myself out slightly reading about box jellyfish, poisonous snakes and spiders.
Do natives to Australia worry about such things? Should I worry? Anything preventative I should know?
Kathy In Canada
(if you ever visit Canada I will happily ease your mind on bears and the like )
PS - add crocodiles to the worry list!
I live in one of the places you are visiting. Happy to PM if you want to talk more specifically.
I don't specifically *worry* about any of the things you mentioned but I (and most Australians I think) do take sensible precautions. None of the creatures you mentioned are going to hunt you down and attack you but all will defend their personal space and territory if invaded.
Box jellyfish - only an issue during stinger season (October to May) in northern waters. So Sydney won't be an issue. In Cairns they should only swim in within stinger enclosures if they plan to swim in the sea. Hamilton Is is probably the same but it may be far enough off the coast that stingers are less of a problem. The local staff will be able to advise.
Snakes - only an issue of they're tramping through the bush. If they plan to bushwalk they should wear long trousers and solid shoes and watch where they're going but it's not a big deal.
Spiders - as long as they don't stick their hands into dark spaces or dead logs etc they're unlikely to encounter any poisonous spiders.
Crocodiles - not an issue in Sydney. Around Cairns they should avoid swimming in estuaries at dawn and dusk or in rivers big enough to have crocodiles in them. Everywhere is well signposted if it is a potential crocodile habitat.
In reality, if they want to see any of those things, they're going to have to go to a wildlife park or on a "spotting" tour.
I have lived in Australia all my life, some of the time in very rural areas and I have never seen a deadly snake or spider in the wild and I've only seen crocodiles at a distance. But I do take the precautions I mentioned above.
I've also worked in Emergency depts for the last 10+ years and I think I've seen one spider bite (gardener not wearing gloves) and one snake bite (person whose job it was to relocate poisonous snakes). According to the venon research unit there are only about 3 snake bite deaths a year. The last recorded spider bite death was in 1979 as we now have antivenom for both of the potentially deadly spiders.
So, pretty long-winded way for saying that I don't think you need to worry I'm happy to talk more if you want to know anything else though.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
I agree with Katelove,
Most of the dangerous creatures you see, you need to go to a reptile park or zoo to see lol. We don't ride kangaroos either :P Haha
From what I gather, the only thing you need to be concerned about in northern QLD are crocodiles. But like stated above, stay away from where the signs are.
Spiders you only REALLY need to worry about if you live in the blue mountains near Sydney. You might see huntsmans and daddy-long-legs plus little black house spiders but they are completely harmless. Maybe watch out for the redback spider. They like dark areas in dry, sheltered sites, such as among rocks, in logs, shrubs, old tyres, sheds, outhouses, children's toys or under rubbish or litter...
Normally you will only get bitten by a snake if you aggravate it. If you see a snake, STAY CALM and STILL and call wildlife rangers.
REGIONAL OFFICE (Cairns)
5B Sheridan St
Ph: 07 4046 6600
National Parks/Marine Parks
Ph: 07 4046 6600
Other enquiries (Cairns)
Marine Animal Hotline (dead/stranded marine life)
Ph: 1300 360 898
Commercial Permits Ph: 07 4046 6711
Wildlife Management Ph: 07 4046 6608
Wildlife Permits Ph: 1300 368 326
After hours (Emergencies only)
Ph: 07 4046 6600
But generally yeah, a snake won't hurt you unless it feels threatened.
oh.. just realised how old the thread is haha! I'll post this anyway for other people who stumble across it in the future :)
He has been and come back and all went fine!
He did have to wear a body suit at one time swimming just in case, but otherwise they were not near any scary critters as far as I know.
Both DH and Ds were very impressed with Australia - my turn in 3 years, yeah!