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10 Most Dangerous Animals of Australia

Australia is known as a beautiful country, with great surfing beaches and endless roads. But Australia is also known for having some of the most dangerous animals on the planet. Here is a list of Animals I encountered while living in Oz with which you don’t want get as close as I did.

Tiger shark Whitsundays

1. The Tiger shark I encountered while being on a sailing trip around the Whitsunday’s. On the last day of our cruise we stopped at a little bay to do some snorkeling. The dinghy brought us to the reef and after half an hour I was too tired so I decided to swim back through the open water back to the boat instead of waiting for the tender to pick me up. While swimming, I noticed a shadow around me the whole time but I thought that it was a school of fish in the dark water. When I got out of the water and took my Stinger suit off I saw that it was a 10 foot (3 meters) Tiger Shark.

Tiger sharks are the most dangerous of all sharks in Australia. They can ofter grow over 16 foot in length and can often be seen close to coasts. There are more recorded shark attacks from Tiger Sharks than from Great White Sharks. In the last 50 years 11 people died at a shark attack in Australian waters.


2. Under the water you can find a lot of deadly animals in Australia. One of the deadliest is the Box Jellyfish. On his account go more deadly incidents than from Sharks, Snakes and Crocodiles together. Since 1884 about 70 deaths have been recorded due to jellyfishes. During stinger season (December to May) especially in northern Australia it is mandatory to wear stinger suits when going swimming. You don’t want to get in contact with theses jellyfish. People who had an encounter with a box jellyfish say that it feels more like an electrical shock than a burn.

3. In an area in central Australia where a lot of travelers and tourists will not go you can find the Inland Taipan. The snake which can reach a length of 8.2 ft (2.5 meters) is known as the most venomous snake in the world. Australia only has “2-3” reported deaths caused be the Inland Taipan. While driving from the Uluru to Adelaide I stopped at the side of the road for a break and found an Inland Taipan next to my car. I decided that it was better to take a break somewhere else!

4. If you drive around Northern Queensland and Northern Territories you will most likely see some creeks and lakes with signs warning you of crocodiles. While wandering around Magnetic Island, which is famous for the koala population on the island, I spotted a Saltwater Crocodile sunbathing on a sand bank. Magnetic Island is not known for being a residence for crocodiles. But Salties have even been spotted in Brisbane. That’s quite a big journey and a distance of nearly 2000 km’s to swim.

5. Found in nearly all Australia, the Red back Spiders can easily kill a human. While living in the city center of Brisbane I encountered many of these black spiders with their name giving red dot on their back. A friend of mine was bitten by one while playing with the children in the garden but a quick ride to the hospital can easily safe somebody from death.

6. If you believe it or not but Cone shells can be pretty painful. When walking around the beach be careful picking them up, they sting you by pushing their tail out. They are to a certain degree poisonous.

7. If you go camping at Fraser Island you will definitely encounter Dingos. When hiking through the bush I was followed by two Dingos. They tried to surround me, it is important that you don’t panic and run away. Instead keep calm and relax and don’t look at them. Wait a little, normally they will back off automatically and if they don’t make loud noises, dingos are very shy animals. When camping with infants take good care of them, on Fraser Island some children have been killed by them in the past.

8. Mostly spotted off the coast of South Australia but also on the east and west coast of Australia the Great White Shark is also one of the most dangerous animals in Oz. The last recorded great white shark attack was in February of this year when a Diver was killed by 2 great white sharks. I wanted to go cache diving in Port Lincoln but after my encounter with the tiger shark on the Whitsunday’s I skipped that!

9. If you like to dive be careful of the Blue Ring Octopus. It is one of the most toxic sea creatures in Australia and as small as a golf ball. Until today no antidote has been found for the powerful venom of this octopus. While Diving off the coast of New South Wales my Dive instructor tried to show me one, I couldn’t really see it but I’m happy that I didn’t got really close to it!



10. Koalas, Kangaroo, Camels, Wombats, Possums are very cute but can also be very dangerous when you run one over with your car in the middle of the night in the outback. They can cause major damage to cars and to their passengers. A friend of mine told me a story of a truck driver who after sunset drove over a hill with a road train and found about 10 Camels laying on the street and hit them. When conscious again he found himself and the road train in the sand and a camel head next to him.



Which dangerous Animals have you encountered during your travels?

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26 comments on “10 Most Dangerous Animals of Australia

  1. Anita on

    OMG. Tiger Sharks…that’s why I didn’t swim through open water in Australia. You could see them from the beach in Fraser Island- apparently they are overpopulating? So glad your encounter ended safely- and with a great story to share!

  2. seba on

    I remember seeing them from Indian Heads. Yes they are overpopulating a little bit between Magnetic Island and Townsville, this strait is also called Tiger Valley!

  3. Miriam on

    For me, the Red Back Spider was the most frightening one. I met one of those suckers in a toilet in Western Australia. Scary!

    • seba on

      the only difference was that you were prepared to see a shark :))) I was so scared that I couldn’t go swimming for 2 weeks 🙂

  4. Angela on

    Wow, you were followed by a Tiger shark, that’s cool! Or not :S I would have had a heart attack from panic. Although, my father has worked very often with groups of sharks around him (he’s a deep diver) and said they never attacked, they just floated around like the other fish. The only thing, it seems they are attracted by blood, so that might be dangerous..
    The other animals you describe don’t look too friendly either, except for the koalas, they are so cute 😀

  5. Behymer on

    You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  6. Monica on

    Of all the animals in Oz, I found dingos to be the scariest – the way they stare at you like they aren’t afraid of anything!
    I came across tiger sharks a few times while diving and snorkelling but (thankfully!) they’re actually quite timid. Phew!

    • sebastian on

      I remember when I saw the first dingos on fraser island. They were standing in front of me and just starring at me…

      Luckily the tiger sharks are timid… if not I don’t know if I would still be able to write this comment!

  7. Chad @ Road Dog Travel on

    The only run-in I’ve ever had with an animal is when a buck charged at me. He stopped about five feet short of hitting me, then ran away. Never thought of a deer as a “dangerous animal”, but it was kinda scary. #10 reminds me of a clip I saw of a “trained” Kangaroo attacking a TV host.

  8. Steve @ Back-Packer on

    This is Australia 😉 People often think twice before travelling to this beautiful places because of the dangerous animals out there. To be serious: i guess sometimes it is much more dangerous to cross the street in big western european country.
    Nice list and lucky you (@ #1)

  9. travellyn on

    What scares me the most is the great white sharks. They do seem to like people (to eat that is). I don’t like diving so I’m probably pretty safe. However it is very easy to hit a kangaroo,wallaby,wombat on the roads out west and do extensive damage to your vehicle or yourself.I think you have more chance of getting killed in traffic though,than by our dangerous animals.

  10. Wheathead on

    I have had the good fortune to spend a bit of time in the bush and the waters of Oz. I recall a big red boomer killing a family of 3. A mate of mine ran over a snake with his ute so big it just kept going. Be careful around any places with water in the scrub, that’s where critters like to congregate. Its a beautiful country

  11. Heidi - For Travels Sake on

    The funnel web is way more poisonous than the Red Back!

    But seriously, these animals hardly ever attack, I hate the thought that people miss out on some great Australian adventures because they are worried. It is beautiful place, and just remember, the snakes are more scared of you than you are of them!

  12. Anna on

    Awesome I reckon all the animals of Australia is what makes Australia what it is now with out animals we wouldn’t live and there would be no fun in anything

  13. Anita Mac on

    People always talk about all the deadly animals in Australia. Yes – they have a large number of them….but to be honest, the biggest risk I saw when I lived there for 7 years was the risk of hitting a kangaroo with the car. That was only when I left the coast. People adapt….tap your shoes against the wall if there is a spider risk, don’t swim in jelly season and shark attacks…follow the guidance of the locals! I learned from my surfing friends that the higher risks were at dusk and dawn – something about looking like a turtle aboard the surf board! Your shark encounter is insane….lucky you didn’t realize it until you were out of the water…I imagine the fear factor would have been beyond belief if you thought you were trying to outswim a shark! My heart probably would have stopped right there and then!

  14. James on

    Australia really isn’t that dangerous you just have to be careful and remeber that most of these animals will leave you alone if you leave them alone. There was a case of backpacker in North Queensland who was bitten by a crocodile when he tried to hit it with a stick, better photo opportunity apparently. Just respect the animals and they wil respect you.

    P.s Your Box Jellyfish photo isn’t a box jellyfish.

  15. Emma Pascoe 金属战士 on

    I’ve had an encounter with a Blue Bottle, also known as a Portuguese Man Of War (due to the top part of it). It’s a jellyfish. It stung me on the inside of my right elbow, but, I didn’t see it. I just FELT it…my Dad has also been stung by one, they DO hurt. You often see them washed up on the beach, but, don’t touch them, as they can still sting after being onshore for hours…

    Also, I would say that Tiger Sharks or even Great White Sharks are the most dangerous of the sharks – Bull Sharks are by far worse, as they can go into freshwater. We have them in the Swan River, and, one attacked my Mum’s friend, many years ago.

    Also, male Red Kangaroos can go territorial, and, they go back on their tails and shred you with those powerful claws. Even the Grey Kangaroos can do the same thing, if they feel threatened. A girl was attacked on our property, back in 2012, apparently, all of her back and legs were torn open by this one six foot male Grey Kangaroo…