Isabella Quaid

Australia often gets a bad reputation for its deadly animals but that doesn’t distract from its beauty. When travelling Down Under, these are the most dangerous animals you should be mindful about, according to a local.

1. Box Jellyfish 

Box Jellyfish

Image from Flickr user Gautsch

The Box Jellyfish is found on northern Australian beaches in the summer months (December to February). They're called box jellyfish because their bell — the top of the jellyfish — has four corners, as well as clusters of trailing, stinging tentacles that can stretch more than two metres (6.4 feet). Human encounters often occur when the Box jellyfish comes close to shore to breed.

Symptoms if bitten: A Box jellyfish sting can be extremely painful. The venom is designed to paralyse fish, so it immobilises your nerves and affects breathing and movement. A large dose can cause cardiac arrest and death within minutes.

2. Irukandji jellyfish

Irukandji jellyfish

Image from Flickr user Rob Williams 

Despite being smaller than a match, the Irukandji jellyfish can be deadly because they are unseen to the naked eye. While the Box jellyfish is found in shallow water, the Irukandji habitats deep water, often washed towards the beach with the current.

Symptoms if bitten: It is common to receive Irukandji syndrome if stung. Severe lower back pain, cramps, sweating, nausea and extreme pain are signs of an attack. 

3. Great White Shark 

Great White Shark

 Image from Flickr user bellamy.andrew

Great White sharks frequent coastal waters so an encounter is most likely in major oceans all around the world. Characterised by its predatory skills, swimmers should be careful in waters with low visibility or other situations which impair the shark’s senses as they do not intend to bite humans.

Symptoms if bitten: Oh, you’ll know.

4. Saltwater Crocodile 

Saltwater Crocodile

Image from Flickr user thinboyfatter 

These animals can be found in oceans but are more commonly found in estuaries and occasionally, freshwater in Northern Australia. Tourists should take caution signs seriously as the crocodile is good at ambushing prey.

Symptoms if bitten: The sharp teeth clamped around your leg is a definite clue.

5. Eastern Brown Snake 

eastern brown snake

Image from Flickr user Bernand DUPONT

More than one metre (3.2 feet) in length, the eastern brown snake is easily aggregated if humans come close. This species is involved in most snake bite occurrences as they are found all over Australia and can strike out and bite quickly. 

Symptoms if bitten: A bite is undetectable initially as it is relatively painless. However, its venom can result in eventual paralysis and uncontrollable bleeding so urgent medical attention is needed.

Accidents can be avoided if you excerise caution when exploring the great outdoors in Australia. Going on a guided tour is the best way to ensure you avoid areas where you’re more likely to come across these deadly animals. But for peace of mind, remember to cover yourself and get travel insurance. 


Isabella Quaid is the kind of traveller who spams her social media with photos pretending to hold up famous landmarks. With a goal to visit 25 countries before 25, follow her adventures as she aims to trot the globe, one country at a time.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.