Overseas Tourism advertisements for Australia invariably show our cute wildlife, sunny weather, the Outback, smiling people, seafood and fabulous golden sandy beaches. Australia is awesome.
Australia is also home to some of the most fearsome creatures on earth. You’ve all heard me joke about our creepy crawlies. People, I am not joking. You risk imminent death just stepping out the front door to go to the letterbox in the mornings. I’m amazed the majority of us survive to adulthood.
I guess Aussies are just a tough bunch. And since we’re a no fuss kind of people, we just accept that we co-exist with multiple things that can kill us at any given moment and that nowhere is 100% safe. We just go about our business and rarely does anything fatal happen. But tourists – well that’s another matter. You don’t have the inbred antenna for danger we have and consequently some of you end up , well, kind of dead...
Wouldn’t it be fun if they ran an ad campaign that told it like it really is. The problem with that is that nobody would ever come to visit. So I'm going to give you the run down on Australia's fearsome creatures so you know what to avoid when you get here.
My first free piece of advice is you can’t poke a crocodile with a stick. Nor can you jump on them, blow raspberries in their faces, or scream "na na nee nar nar" at them. They don’t like it. They just don’t have a sense of humour . Crocodiles can't take a joke. And like elephants they have long memories. Piss off a crocodile and they’ll wait 20 years to pay you back. Plus crocodiles think you taste like chicken. All that's missing is the barbecue sauce.
( Cue Jaws theme song here )The heads up on white pointer sharks ? If you’re in their water space they’ll eat you. That’s the rule. To them , you’re just a Big Mac. A flailing trying to pointlessly get out of their way Big Mac. With secret sauce.
The skiing and swimming here is totally awesome . Our beaches are golden and sandy and our water is clear and warm. Just like on the ads. You just need to avoid the sting rays, stone fish, blue bottles, blue ringed octopus, stingers and poisonous jelly fish. Some of these things will kill you seriously, agonisingly dead within minutes. Or seriously screw up your holiday with a hospital stay. Another piece of free advice- load up on hospital insurance.
Any bushland is TEEMING with snakes. Bushland here is any garden over three square feet. Of the ten most deadly snake species in the world, 5 of them call Australia home. And those bas****s will chase you. Practice your four minute mile and the duck and weave before you leave home people. We also have flying snakes, swimming snakes and sneaky snakes. Give nature a miss on your travels. Our bushland is highly over rated.
You will not be safe indoors. We have redbacks, funnel webs and mouse spiders ( so named because they are the size of a large mouse or because they eat mice – I forget which ) The laws of physics say a spider that is 8 inches across CAN fit in a crack under a door 1/4 of a inch wide. (I wish I could suck my guts in like that ) Always check under your outdoor chairs before you sit down. Redbacks in particular like to make nests under chairs and breed about 1387 babies at a time. Approximately every 24 hours. If you get bitten, you should be fine because we have developed anti venom, providing you get to a hospital within 20 minutes and don’t panic in the meantime (panic makes the venom race through your bloodstream faster). Practice your zen like state before you arrive. We also have jumping spiders. I encountered one of these on my patio a month ago. They are called jumping spiders because that’s what you’ll do (onto a table if you’re like me ) when you encounter something with 8 legs roughly the size of a basketball. You will probably also piss your pants so bring Depends, or buy some when you get here. Just in case.
Bulldog ants grow to approximately 1.5 inches long. They love picnics. If one of these approaches you – just surrender your sandwich, fried chicken , lamingtons and your wallet and nobody will get hurt. We also breed flies the size of volkswagons here and those suckers bite. I once got bit on Green Island in Queensland and the pain was worse than childbirth.
Those cute kangaroos you see on the ads...don’t be fooled. Ever been sucker punched by a kangaroo? They fight dirty. I’ve been chased by a rabid emu too. Scary. You can’t outrun an emu. I had to pretend to be a bigger emu by making my hand into the shape of an emu head and holding it up in the air. (it worked -Emu's are fast but kinda stupid) And Koalas? Sure they look cute. The truth is they're whacked off their faces from all the gum leaves they eat and can’t control their own bladders. Koalas will pee on you ladies and gentlemen. Just like a 90 year old lady in a nursing home, and they’ll have the same amount of shame about it.
So by all means come for a visit, but the plain cold hard facts are that some of you are going to end up as a wildlife food. Maybe if you brought a lot of Oreo's I would consider being your personal bodyguard for the duration of your stay...or I hear if you rub vegemite all over your body it acts as a talisman against the fearsome creatures but I've never tried it because I'm not gullible like that.
Tourism Australia is sooooooooo going to sue my arse off for this post .. You guys know I'm just joshing about all of this dont you? But if you see a bunyip in the wild - run. My sister saw a bunyip 35 years ago and she's still in therapy. Oh and watch out for the drop bears too....