Australia is known as a country that is full of some of the most dangerous critters in the world. Our oceans are full of sharks, and the north of our country is choc a bloc full of crocs.
However, millions of Australians live amongst these dangerous animals without giving it too much thought. We know they exist, but we are taught from a young age to be aware of these animals and how to avoid them.
As a native Australian who grew up with red back spiders in the shed and swimming in a beautiful ocean known to be full of sharks, I have put this post together with my top tips to keep you safe from sharks and crocodiles while traveling in this (otherwise) beautiful country.
I have another post on how to stay safe from snakes and spiders that you can also look at for some additional tips.
Our beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. They are also known to have sharks in them. Every year there are a few reported shark attacks. The following tips will help you to decide how you would like to manage the risk.
Swim or Surf at Monitored Beaches
Most of the busiest beaches are monitored for sharks during the summer months.
Generally, you can feel pretty safe if you notice a helicopter flying up and down the coast. It is probably on Shark watch.
If you hear a siren when you are at the beach, it may mean that a shark has been sighted. Get out of the water as soon as you can.
Also make sure you read any signs around. Sometimes beaches are closed if a shark has been sighted and signs erected near the carparks.
Surfers and Divers are more at risk
If you are a surfer or a diver you will be at greater risk, especially if you are surfing at more remote beaches that are not monitored for sharks.
There are some wetsuits that you can purchase that are meant to repel sharks. One of these may be a good investment, especially if surfing or diving is a part of your lifestyle.
Tips to Stay Safe When Swimming
If you are not into surfing and just want to go for a swim, don’t venture too far from the shore and try to swim between the flags at beaches that are monitored by lifesavers (this is a good tip for so many other reasons as well).
If you are attacked by a shark remember Mick Fanning’s classic move and punch it in the eye (amazingly this move may also be used for crocodiles)
I find it difficult to relax when I am in Croc country. It is such a shame that it is so beautiful and warm up there. The number one tip to keep safe from Crocs is: where there may be crocs Do NOT SWIM.
Do Not Swim
Let me repeat that DO NOT GET IN THE WATER ANYWHERE THERE MAY BE CROCS. In fact, you should even STAY AWAY FROM THE EDGE OF THE WATER.
Crocs are scary and they are PREDATORS. They will drown you and eat you if you are in their territory.
The only places that are safe to swim in Croc country are signed and monitored watering holes. You will see a sign telling you it is safe to swim there. If you do not see that sign, or if you are not sure DO NOT SWIM THERE.
I hope I am making myself clear. DO NOT SWIM IF YOU SUSPECT THERE MAY BE CROCS.
Off Ground Tents for Camping
You should also be careful walking in or near swamps or riverbanks and do not camp in these areas especially in a tent. If you are camping a lot in croc country you should consider an off ground tent – like a roof tent or a forward fold camper trailer.
Run in a Zig Zag
If you are being pursued by a Croc run fast in a zigzag pattern. (I actually don’t know if this will really work but we were taught this as kids because they will pursue you but they find it difficult to turn fast as they are so long.)
Poke it in the Eye or Punch it in the Face
If you are grabbed by a Croc you will need to react fast. They normally flip you over and drown you – this is known as the death roll. Once you are rolled you are a goner. People have survived a Croc attack by poking a croc aggressively in the eyes before the death roll.
For all of these creatures, awareness is the key. By being aware and careful about where you walk and swim and what you are doing you will be able to stay safe and enjoy our beautiful country like millions of Australians do every day.
No worries mate.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions.