Is Australia as Deadly as People Say?

Whenever I talk about Australia with any of my foreign friends or readers from overseas, they ask me if I’m scared to live in Australia or they say that they won’t travel to Australia because there are too many deadly animals and insects here. 

I feel bad for them because they are so set in their ways that they stay away from such a wonderful country. I’m here to tell you there is no need to fear.

Yes, It IS true that Australia has some of the most deadly animals in the world. We have more deadly snakes that any other country, and let’s not forget the sharks, the crocodiles, the jellyfish, spiders and even our beloved Kangaroo (they are suicidal).

In saying this, its rare that you will actually come across them or even see any of these “scary animals” while on holiday in Australia (except for a Kangaroo – maybe), unless you go to one of the zoos.

It’s like saying you won’t go swimming in the ocean because you have a fear of sharks – which embarrassingly this is my irrational fear but a good example none the less.

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Lovers Tiff
Photo Credit: Louise Docker

So is Australia as deadly as people say? Well yes, it is. We will not deny that Australia does have some of the deadliest animals in the world, but why miss everything that Australia has to offer because of this? 

You will rarely see any of these scary guys when you are in the city or in most of the country side areas. Most wild animals are shy or scared and stay away from humans but the basic rule applies “if you do see a wild animal, stay away from it”.

Australia isn’t all about deadly animals, we do have some very cute, fluffy, cuddly animals, such as:

Cute cuddly Koala’s, people love to have a cuddly and a photo taken, don’t approach them in the wild only ever go for a cuddle with a professional caretaker around.

Pygmy possums are very cute but they are also very shy, they usually hide high up in trees and rarely interact with humans. So you can’t really cuddle one but they are still very cute from.

Wombats are very cute and a little cuddly although I should warn you NOT to try cuddle a wild wombat, if they don’t kill you, they will leave with some very severe injuries. Wombats are very muscular and have strong and very sharp claws but if you go to zoo or wildlife centres that have tame wombats, you might be able to interact with them.

Creative Wombat - Common Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus)
Photo Credit: Susan

Baby Kangaroos are of course Australia’s cutest “icon” but again I warn you not to get too close to a wild kangaroo; they have very powerful hind legs and can easily kill you with 1 kick.

They also tend to jump in front of your car when you are drive along country roads around dawn, dusk and at night. If one does jump out, do NOT swerve just hit the kangaroo and check on it afterwards.

People are usually killed by running into trees or on going traffic due to kangaroos. I’ll stop freaking you out now…. Kangaroos in wildlife centres or zoos can be very friendly and love a good cuddle.

So the lesson here is don’t let the “deadly Australia” image cloud your judgement, cuddle one of our cute animals, just don’t attempt a cuddle with a wild animal (its common sense.. come on people!).

Oh and watch out for Australia’s Deadliest animal of all…. The Drop bears….

What do you think about Australia? Are you still scared?


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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  1. Gosh that last photo of the ‘drop bear’ was really scary! is that a real drenched koala?? lol
    i agree Australia has the deadliest, but also the most adorable cutest creatures! I cannot resist the wombat, and quokkas!

  2. In my experience most wild animals do their best to stay away from me! I tried chasing a tiger shark once but his fins were more efficient than mine under water…

    Not sure why we have this reputation for having the deadliest animals – and why it seems to be getting more pronounced. I blame Buzzfeed 🙂 I used to work with a South African girl who complained that (compared to Africa) Australia’s animals were BORING.

    Anyway, just keep your eyes on these overhanging branches for drop bears and you’ll be safe!

  3. oh my gosh Deborah! you chased a tiger shark, i would liek running along the top of the water to get away from it!
    I think Africa has scarier animals! More that can eat you alive!!

  4. That’s so interesting to hear that people think Australia is dangerous. I’ve never been there but it’s on top of my bucket list and my dream country to visit! It’s funny when people have such … different ideas about a country that aren’t true. People think the same about Costa Rica – they think it’s super dangerous, filled with snakes and insects the size of your head and that everyone carries a gun when it’s completely opposite. I can’t wait to go to Australia one day and experience the amazing things it has to offer! Although I do have to say if I ever run into a koala like the last picture I will be scared out of my mind!

  5. I’m planning on going to Australia next year, so it’s good to hear that these animals don’t live in the cities! And who knew a kangaroo could kill you? I always thought they were so cute!

  6. Hey Hannah,
    Yeah, animals dont venture into the cities, its too noisy for them.
    haha yeah, Kangaroos wont go out to kill you but if you get too close and they get scared they might kick you which will probabaly hurt you badly or kill you, they have very powerful legs.
    BUt if you go to a wildlife centre or zoo you can pet tame kanagroos that are used to being around humans.

  7. Holy smokes, where the heck did you find the pic of the Koala? Poor little guy looks terrible. Great post tho guys, I get a good giggle when I hear just what people from other countries think and know of our wildlife. I loooovvvveee Australia, dont particularly enjoy spiders and bugs, but Im not scared of the animals you speak of.
    Hope you guys are well, happy weekend. Cheers, Anna

  8. I spent 2 weeks in Australia during New Years 2013. Never saw as much as a spider and had a great time.

  9. I traveled around Australia , drove 25000km, seldom payed for accommodation, free camps were just fine….. a nasty spider found me somewhere in Kimberley WA, and that was all …. Wild animals never worried me …..
    But then , I live in Africa

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