Australian Myths

Australian Myths

Being Australian myself, I know first hand about what Australia is actually like. There are numerous urban legends and Australian myths that those in other parts of the world actually think is reality! I am here to help debunk some of those myths and reassure potential visitors that Australia truly is a great, safe country where it is highly unlikely to be taken by a crocodile or be devoured by a giant, man eating mammal!

Ok, first of all, the whole of Australia is not baked in scorching desert and year round hot weather. The country is so big that in fact, numerous climates exist. Sure there are the tropical regions of Northern Australia where you can wear shorts and a t-shirt every day of the year but, most of the major cities and towns do experience four seasons. And yes, it does snow in Australia! Actually, the southern part of the country has a thriving ski industry which is a big part of the tourism industry and puts a lot of money into the economy. It is even possible to see snow on occasions in major towns and the national capital, Canberra. This winter just past saw snowfall as far north as Queensland. Something usually unheard of. This made for an interesting spectacle with snow dusted onto the fronds of palm trees!

Wallabies frolick in the snow.
Wallabies frolic in the snow.

So, now you know a little more about the weather, it is time to debunk the myth that Australia is full of huge spiders, venomous snakes everywhere and a place where everything can kill you. I won’t shy away from the fact that we do have some of the deadliest snakes on the planet however, they generally will not attack unless provoked and are more scared of you than you are of them. In saying this though, I have only ever seen a snake in the wild on one occasion. Although they do exist in the suburbs of major cities, they are not a common sight. You are much more likely to see one in rural areas and even then, it is not common. If you are unlucky enough to encounter a bite, healthy people do not die anymore, thanks to world class medical facilities and anti-venom. So please, rest assured that you will unlikely see a snake outside a zoo or reptile park if you visit Australia!

Sure, we do have some other dangerous animals like Salt Water Crocodiles but, these are only found in the tropics. Taking common sense precautions like observing no swimming and warning signs means you do not need to worry about crocodiles. It is also a fact that the rare occurrences where a crocodile has attacked a human has been an oblivious tourist who has not used common sense. The warning signs aren’t just there to put on fridge magnets! We do have animals that are unique to this part of the world (80% of Australia’s fauna is found nowhere else) but, we also have many common species like rabbits, mice and deer. Species which are likely found where you live also.

I am hoping that this short piece has helped debunk some common Australian Myths. We have a very safe, clean and hospitable country with all the first-world comforts. I encourage you to visit at least once in your lifetime and please, watch out for crocodiles!

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