Most travellers to Australia are surprised and relieved to arrive and find that the beaches are not swarming with sharks and Croc Dundee really was just a movie, not a way of life.
It's true that Australia has some large and savage beasts, but let's put them into perspective. Statistically speaking it's more likely you'll be killed by lightning or fatal bee sting than by a croc or shark attack.
The general rule of thumb is to look, but don't touch - most of the country's dangerous animals are only unsafe if provoked. If you take away nothing else from this article, remember not to poke the animals with a stick. Aside from this, here's some more practical tips to keep you safe during your Aussie adventure:
In Australia, there are two types of crocodiles - Freshwater (Freshies) which are smaller, less threatening and are not capable of killing a human; and Saltwater (Salties) which are much larger, more aggressive and much, much more serious. Don't think that because they're called Saltwater crocs, you'll only find them in the sea. They generally spend the tropical wet season in freshwater swamps and rivers, moving downstream to estuaries in the dry season, and sometimes traveling far out to sea.
As these Salties start at around 2 metres long and can get as big as 15 metres, it's unlikely you'll find one in your shoe or under your teacup. So you do have a chance to be prepared in advance. It can be hard however, to recognise when you've entered croc territory as they're well disguised, rarely showing themselves and approaching their targets very stealthily.
As crocs are often found in remote areas and wilderness, help could be far off, so it's best to err on the side of caution and pay attention to these tips:
Thinking about swimming or boating:
If you're camping, remember, these guys are great at lunging out of the water and grabbing stuff from the banks. So,
With 25,000 thousand kilometers of coastline, it's a point of pride that nearly every Aussie was taught to swim as a kid, and a love of the beach sits in heart of the nation's identity. Most locals will get through their whole life as keen swimmers and never encounter a shark up close. But it's also true that some parts of the coast are more dangerous than others so it's worth knowing how to stay safe.
If you need emergency help or witness someone who does, the phone number to dial in Australia for emergency services (Ambulance, Police and Fire) is 000.
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