Safety Tips in Australia and Oceania

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Australia and Oceania

  • unravelau's Profile Photo

    Australia:Snakes, spiders and sharks

    by unravelau Updated Jul 30, 2006

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    I am a grandmother now and to my knowledge have never been bitten by a snake or spider here, but they do exist and a bite can be dangerous for you. Every living thing has its place in the world and I guess the best way to avoid harm is to respect the living spaces of these creatures.

    A bite by any one of the above will definitely land a story in either the local or Australian news outlets, so it is indeed an event. Considering the numbers of creatures alive here....far more than cars at least for the first two, surprisingly few have caused anyone harm. So just as you wouldn't walk in front of a moving car, please don't poke your fingers in holes, underneath piles of timber or swim outside patrolled areas where they might be living.

    Avail yourself of the first aid information readily available from local councils and always remember not to panic in the unlikely event that anything like a bite happens to you.

    Shark information available at :-

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  • Freebeacher's Profile Photo

    Just In Case!

    by Freebeacher Updated Jan 2, 2006

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    Most Australian cities are quite safe, certainly compared to the USA or parts of Latin America. I never had any trouble in 5 trips. I have hitched around most of Australia but probably wouldn't do that anymore. I think recalling which side of the street traffic drives on (the left) is more useful to preserving your life when crossing, quite frankly! If you are planning on working under the table, whatever you do, don't carry a paper c.v. (resume) on you through customs. In this day of electronic data there is no reason to anyway. Put it on a CD or in an online virtual briefcase like Yahoo has. In the tropical north DO beware of stingers, the marine box jellyfish, that are around half the year, usually Oct. to April. This area includes Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, and Broome. Stings can be fatal. I take great effort to avoid accidentally stepping on snakes, good advice anywhere, but especially in Australia as so many are poisonous. They like to sun themselves on warm rocks. Just try to keep a lookout and don't be paranoid-they try to keep away from you too! Of course, the danger is mostly from having too much fun with locals and your fellow travellers that you will get very hung over and miss your travel connections!! Speaking of missing travel, if you overstay your visitor visa/ ETA, it depends how much suffering you will endure by how long past your visa you leave. If you are only a week, maybye two weeks late, it is usually no big deal (or it wasn't before 9-11) you just leave like you normally would. If you are more than two weeks, you cannot just go to the airport and catch your flight. You have to go to the Immigration office in the capital city and fill out some forms and be interviewed why you are so seriously overstayed, etc. Then, you have to sign another form understanding you are banned from returning for three years! That's how it works. Trust me, Freebeacher knows all about it! Been there, done that!

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  • pepples46's Profile Photo


    by pepples46 Updated Apr 6, 2005

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    always look so inviting, and certainly most often then not, they are just that. but before you jump in, make sure: in AUSTRLIA : is it Shark free! if there is a warning sign take it VERY SERIOUS!
    for NEW ZEALANND : first of all, they are not as warm as you might think, and when just been in Aussie or the other Islands in the Pacific, you might get a shock from the cool waters of the fine NZ Beaches :-))the North Island are the warmer waters, and the top of the South Isand, Nelson the very south :-(((((
    and one other the Summer, make sure you swim between the Flags ,staged out by the Life Guard..that is a secure bet. off season, ya on ya own.
    unfortunatly, many people lose their lifes by swimming in the Pacific... strong currents totally misjudged or the ripp, which are not easy to spot. Make sure, you take good care of yourself

    Beach at Kaiteriteri
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  • skatzcatz's Profile Photo

    Always wear a seatbelt

    by skatzcatz Written Jul 17, 2004

    anytime you take a drive, wear a seatbelt. This is the result of my car being rolled on 17 July 2004. thankfully for the occupants we had seatbelts on and crawled from the wreck. And especially take care on dirt roads, unless your experienced 'slow down'.....

    take care on all roads
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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Red Back spider

    by Kate-Me Written Aug 20, 2003

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    The red back spider is one of Australia's deadliest spiders.
    Fortunately, it is quite small, and not that often seen, mostly outdoors in wood or old pipes, or in old outdoor toilets (prompting the old Aussie song 'Redback on the toilet seat').
    I've never seen one venture inside.
    They are rather tiny (just a few mms) but you can still easily identify them, by the red spot on their back.

    Red back spider
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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Crocodile Danger...

    by Kate-Me Updated May 14, 2003

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    This tip is especially pertinent in the Northern Territory.
    For your own safety, don't swim in rivers, rock pools, dams and billabongs (water holes)....even if some might be blase about it and say it 'should be ok'. There have been a couple of tourist tragedies quite recently where this occurred. Tourists get hot and desperate for a swim.... but you'd be better off finding a hotel swimming pool even though it's so much less picturesque than a waterfall. It's not worth the risk.
    My aunt (who after 30 years in the outback should surely know) will not even stand with her back to a water hole, for she well knows just how fast crocs can be.

    my aunt's croc pic
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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Snakes, Spiders, Scorpions

    by Kate-Me Written Mar 11, 2003

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    Especially in the outback, you need to keep a bit of a watch out for snakes. I'd say keep an even better watch out for creepy crawlies, as they're much less easily seen, and could crawl into your shoes or clothes and not be noticed.
    Australia has many dangerous snakes and spiders, the latter including the huge black Funnel Web (Sydney area rather than outback but it may be more widespread), and quite small White Tailed spider and tinier red back, just to name a few of the most common. Don't be alarmed though - maybe just get into the habit of shaking your shoes before you put them on, for peace of mind.

    how would you like to meet one of these??
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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Ask photo permission

    by Kate-Me Written Feb 24, 2003

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    If you want to take a photo of an Aborigine, it is most important that you ask their permission first, because some hold the belief that if you take their photo, you steal their soul.
    Bearing this in mind, you can see how they might get very upset......

    Ask first!
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  • RamSter's Profile Photo

    Funnel Web Spiders!

    by RamSter Written Sep 10, 2002

    Found Especially in and around Sydney Suburbs, This nasty looking spider is our nastiest arachnid, is extremely agressive,especially if cornered,where it will rise up & strike with its huge fangs & should never be approached.It has caused many deaths over the years until the anti venom was discovered.It has been found in homes looking for a mate, I have only seen one once at the Sydney Botanical Gardens Running on the floor, i approached it with a stick and it was EXTREMELY aggresive- keep away.. The female of the species is much larger than the male ,but the male is 6 times deadlier.

    Though dont fear it is VERY rare to see/be bitten by them.

    Funnel Web Spider

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  • rovnguy's Profile Photo

    In whole there are very few...

    by rovnguy Written Aug 26, 2002

    In whole there are very few things on these islands that can hurt you, but there are a few that you need to be aware of. There are three critters in these islands that can cause you some grief if you do not pay attention where you are walking, are not careful and provoke or threaten them. The coconut crab can take a finger or two and the brown tree snake is venomous. The sea urchin will leave a very painful wound in your foot if you step on one of them.

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  • MargieGo's Profile Photo

    Don't ever swim in waters of...

    by MargieGo Written Aug 26, 2002

    Don't ever swim in waters of particularly the Northern Territory. There could be crocodiles. Don't even dangle your feet in the water of a Billabong (water pool) or that could be the end of you!

    Don't take photos of aborigines without asking. Their beliefs are different to ours and many traditional aborigines believe that to take a photo, you steal that person's soul. And you don't want to do that, do you?

    Don't hitchhike. It's can be a dangerous past time in Australia as the past has shown. Cheapest way is probably to express bus your way around Australia. Tiring but easy and far safer for you.

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  • Be especially careful of your...

    by CarlyT Written Aug 26, 2002

    Be especially careful of your property when in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. I had a lot of my stuff stolen and I know of a lot of other people who had the same done to them whilst they were there. Use the security lockers and safety deposit boxes at hostels.

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  • leanne_pearc's Profile Photo

    This really isn't a danger but...

    by leanne_pearc Written Aug 26, 2002

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    This really isn't a danger but it is something that should be brought to your attention...Australia is a real affordable place but by researching, creating contacts etc. You are guarnteed to save on money. Yes, Australia is for the budget traveller and there a lot of opportunities out there.

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  • Newcastle Mall (outdoors mall)...

    by jess79au Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Newcastle Mall (outdoors mall) is known for muggings after dark.
    Gangs of young adolecents hang around this mall as there is not much people around at night so just keep this in mind as they like to intimidate people. (daytime is fine - a busy mall).

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  • Karing's Profile Photo

    If you are going to be in the...

    by Karing Written Aug 26, 2002

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    If you are going to be in the Australian outback, a fly net is not a bad thing---regardless of how dorky you look with it on. It beats shooing hundreds of flies from your face or worse swallowing one. Maybe it was the time of year I was there (early Oct), but the flies were rather thick in some areas. Someone would pass me and their back was covered with flies. Ugh!

    Watch out for snakes also. I freaked out the guide on a 3-day camping trip when I told him that I saw a snake while we were picking up firewood. He kept repeating that Oz has 7 of the 10 most deadly snakes in the world. Okay from what I could see (just the middle) it did sort of look like a brown snake, but it wasn't like I stopped to pet it. For once I didn't even snap a photo (too hard to do when collecting firewood).

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