Is Australia Really That Deadly? 10 Animals to Look Out for When Visiting Australia

Wednesday, 5 September 2018
We've all heard the rumours: 'be careful when you're in Australia because everything will try to kill you.' It's true, some of the worlds most deadly animals reside in Australia. When I moved to the country, I was worried I would frequently be fighting off killer snakes, spiders, and sharks. But I was most surprised to discover its the cute, cuddly animals that are most likely to kill you. So how deadly is Australia?

Venomous spiders
Australia is home to some of the most venomous spiders in the world. But what are your chances of actually encountering one? Well if you live in suburbia, you're relatively likely to face the poisonous wolf spider (I had one residing in my car side mirror...I lit the car on fire to be safe), redback spiders, and, if you're unfortunate enough to reside in Sydney, the funnel web spider. The funnel web spider is the deadliest spiders in the world. 

Interaction scale: pretty high. Just remember to always check your shoes before you put them on and avoid reaching your hand in warm, dark places and you should survive. 

Deadly snakes
Australia is also home to some of the most deadly snakes in the world. If you're residing in the suburbs, the likelihood of coming across a venomous snake is pretty slim. However, if you're out in the bush, you need to pay attention to your surroundings. I've only witnessed a venomous snake twice in my four years of living in Australia. I once saw a tiger snake at the 12 Apostles, and the other was seen while hiking. 

Interaction scale: Low unless you're in the bush. Always be sure you have excellent recall of your animals as they are more likely to be bitten then you are. 

Treacherous Ocean Creatures
As if Jaws didn't give people reason enough to fear the ocean, Australia decided to up the ante and fill the ocean with deadly creatures. Or are they? The box jellyfish is the most lethal jellyfish in the world. But unless you're in murky water, it's highly unlikely you'll be stung. 

What about the deadly octopuses? The blue-ringed octopus is the most deadly octopus in the world. However, most stings occur when an individual picks up the octopus. Moral of the story? Don't pick up Australian sealife. 

And the sharks? Everyone has heard about the Great White shark, but you also should be cautious of the tiger and bull shark. Unless you're surfing, its pretty unlikely you'll be bitten by a shark. Even then, you have a greater chance of death by kangaroo than a shark. 

Interaction scale: moderate. The ocean is a big place. Please be sure to adhere to all warnings posted at the beach. Basically, follow the rule of keeping your hands to yourself, and you'll be right. 

Scary Salt Water Crocs
As if alligators and crocodiles weren't creepy enough, Australia had to go and make a hybrid croc that can swim in fresh and salt water. Not only can they swim in the ocean, but they also grow up to 5 metres (16.5 ft)! Fortunately, these crocs reside mainly in the Northern Territory. Unfortunately, it makes the waters rather unswimmable. 

Interaction scale: high. These crocs are no joke. If you see a sign posted anywhere, stay the heck out of that bloody water. Too many a tourist have gone missing due to these ferocious beasts. 

Creepy Crawlies
Oh, the bugs. There are paralysis ticks, honeybees, bull ants, centipedes, mozzies, wasps, and other deadly insects just waiting for their next tasty snack. You'll find these critters all over Australia but can their bite kill you? In most cases, a bit will just cause numbness or intense pain, however, some of these bugs can kill you. 

Interaction scale: meh. You'll see some of these critters from time to time, but the likelihood of getting bitten (let alone dying from a bite) is incredibly slim. 

Don't be fooled by the friendly creatures one will find in the Hundred Acre Woods, Kanga and Roo are not your friends. They are adorable af but don't get too close. The red kangaroo is known to throw a punch or two and is rumoured to inflict massive amounts of pain when kicking people. If you want a cuddly Aussie animal, stick to a wallaby or a pademelon. 

Interaction scale: came in like a wrecking ball. Avoid driving at sunrise and sunset to ensure you're not playing a real-life game of Frogger. Also, do not approach these animals in the wild. It's like asking to get hurt. 

You wouldn't think this adorable, cuddly animal would want to kill you. But you'd be wrong. Yup, even the koala's are out to get you. They can be a grouchy little bugger, but it's the chlamydia that will get you. Yup, koalas are riddle with chlamydia. 

Interaction scale: low. It's rare you'll see a koala, not in a tree and at it's worse it can give you chlamydia. It's not the chlamydia koalas you need to look out for, it's their bloody cousin, the drop bear. Those buggers will kill you! 

This oddly adorable beaver-duck is one of Australia's most unique animals. It's also one of the few venomous mammals. These little guys are most active from dusk till dawn so if you're planning a late night swim, be sure to avoid the males. Male platypuses (yes that is the correct word) have poisonous ankle spurs whereas the females are nonvenomous. 

Interaction scale: low. Yea they're poisonous, but the likelihood you're actually going to encounter a platypus in the wild is rare. So rare, many indigenous tribes believe seeing a platypus brings good luck. That is good luck until its poisonous spur slowly ends your life. 

Is a magpie going to kill you? Probably not. But it will f**k you up during swooping season. These bloody birds dive bomb out of trees and attack those who dare come too close. And worse, they remember you. Archer loves to chase magpies at the park, and they remember him. Luckily he's fast. 

Interaction scale: high. During swooping season, please avoid these birds at all costs. Seriously, walk on the other side of the street unless you want to lose an eye. 

The Sun
Ah yes, the sun. The beautiful ball of burning elements that helps keeps us warm on our orbiting rock. It too is trying to kill you in Australia. Thanks to the world not thinking about the future, there is a nice little hole in the ozone situated relatively close to Australia (the hole is technically over Antartic) Australians are faced with more intense UV radiation. It is why from a very early age all children are required to wear sunscreen and a hat to play outside. 

Interaction scale: deadly! The sun here is no friggin' joke. WEAR SUNSCREEN! While the hole in the ozone isn't technically above Australia, the sun is lethal. And nobody wants to go on holiday and bring back skin cancer as a souvenir. Just remember to Slip. Slop. Slap. and you should be ok. 

So yes, Australia is trying to kill you. It is said only the strong survive in Aus and if you make it 10 years you're a true blue Aussie! If you're feeling up for the challenge, pack a bag and give Australia a go. Just make sure a dingo doesn't eat your baby and it will be a holiday you'll never forget!

And until next time...
Stay curious! 


  1. I'm not sure if Australia is really like that.. but i definately wanna c this animals if visit Australia

    1. It is but as long as you use common sense, stick to paths when hiking, check your shoes before putting them on, and follow all posted signs you'll be fine. I've managed to survive 4 years! You definitely should come to Australia. I would recommend wildlife sanctuaries to see the different Aussie animals

    2. I grew up in Australia, can confirm that everything is deadly. People don't die very often because we learn early just not to touch anything that isn't your own pet.

      also there was a snake on Collins st earlier this year. They're invading the cities :((((

  2. We spent five weeks in Australia at the beginning of this year, and I have to admit I was very nervous about the spiders and snakes! We didn't come across anything alarming during our stay though.

    I remember when we visited Whitsunday Island, our guide spent about 20 minutes warning us about the stingrays, snakes, spiders, jellyfish etc. But again no problems :)

    It's super helpful to know about the dangerous creatures though, and also interesting for someone like me who's a bit of a wildlife nerd. A very enjoyable article all-round.

  3. i never been to Australia , but i probably not going to swim with the shark ( too scary )
    maybe i watch the meg before :P

  4. Australia is on my bucket list <3 Koalas are sweet and yet again we got the warning :) And to be very specific I am arachnophobic... that part I really wanna avoid. I have heard tarantula too are good in numbers in Australia. :(

  5. Looks are deceptive. So true when it comes to Kangaroos!

  6. Somehow, this doesn't make me want to visit! But overall it's probably not any worse than Florida, everything there wants to kill you too.

  7. Good to know! I'd still enjoy Australia though. I'd just use common sense and avoid the scary creatures.

  8. I hands up would absolutely love to go to Australia, but I do feel a bit worried about all the different animals that are out there! I'd definitely be on guard!

  9. Koala are so adorable tho but I didn’t know they can do harm too. I gotta say Kangaroo on the road. During road trip it’s best to drive slowly because kangaroo jump out of nowhere and the impact not only hurt them but hurt you too

  10. awesome, as I read your blog I was thinking about Noah's ark. The vast amount of animals is very cool

  11. I always thought that no matter how many animals there could potentially kill me, I have always wanted to go to Australia! It has been on my bucket list since I was a kid.

  12. I've never been to Australia but it is the top on my bucket list of places to visit! I would definitely not pick up any sea life and shall stay far away from the kangaroos.

  13. Wow, I had no idea Australia was home to so many deadly animals. It makes me rethink going there haha. I still think I'll visit one day, but I'll definitely be more cautious now!

    May from

  14. Whoa I never knew Platypuses and Magpies could be so dangerous!

  15. When my mum went to work in Australia, she told me with relish that her induction included checking under the seats outside for funnel webs before taking a lunch break.

  16. I would love to visit Austrailia. The spider issue is the same there as it is here in the US, just be careful. Lol. Good to know about the Kangaroos!

  17. I never thought that platypus or kangaroos can be dangerous, and koalas, no chance. Thanks for this informative post.

  18. Although, it is dangerous it appears to be a beautiful destination to visit.

  19. Oh goodness! I never want to go to Australia because of fear of these animals. HA! But Australia looks amazing. SO I guess I still want to visit but yes to using common sense. lol!

  20. To be sincere, Australia is a place I have been wish to visit since I became a mature guy. I can't wait to visit and check some strange animals you mentioned here

  21. I've always wanted to visit Australia but my husband is afraid of spiders. Hope I'll go there soon and I'll definitely look out for these animals and the sun lol

  22. And I went in with the stereotypical impression of just harmless kangaroos. Damn, this is one killer list lol

  23. Every place had its own set of deadly animals ...looks can always be deceptive and one gas to be careful..but if the tourists follow the laid down instructions and control their adventurist attitude nothing will go wrong
    Nice informative article..great details

  24. Wow, I had no clue there were so many dangerous wildlife critters in Australia! I think the one that surprises me the most is the koala! They look so cute and cuddly, so I can see why people could feel a false sense of security and safety around them!

  25. koalas? And chlamydia? Now, that's something I never thought would go together. I guess in this case, looks can really be deceiving.

  26. Australia is one of my favorite place. I haven't see these animals there. If I again go Australia, my aim will be surely to see them.

  27. My sister lives in Australia and says the exact same thing. She's survived 30 years there so I'm sure shes doing something right in avoiding everything haha!