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Road Junky Letters – Australia Aint Dangerous!

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Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you in response to your list/article I stumbled onto Ten Reasons Not to Travel in Australia, the World’s Most Dangerous Country I have lived in Melbourne Australia for my entire life, yes given that it has only been twenty two years, not once have I had the experiences that you claim travelers to this bio and culturally diverse Country will have. You have published an absolute libel (written slander).

For instance The Great White shark isn’t only limited to Australia! And further more I spend as much time as I can in the sea during summer not once have I been eaten by a shark, nor have I seen one! In actual fact I would love to see a Great White in nature. FYI Great White Sharks do not like the taste of humans they are not man eaters, they prefer seals. If a shark happens to mistake you for a seal more often than not you will live, you may have a bit of blood missing, but that is about it. The Great White will test bite potential prey to ensure that what it thinks may be dinner is the correct prey!

What one has to worry about more is the Tiger Shark. The tiger Shark is unpredictable and isn’t fussy with what it will have for dinner. However even after saying that I do not know anyone who has been eaten or bitten, let alone who has seen any form of shark in the waters around us.

Secondly, the Box Jelly Fish is exclusive to the north of the country…. And far be it from me to say there is far worse in The US than the Box Jelly fish in Queensland. However in saying that there is a Jelly Fish that swims in the same waters that is far more of a danger to people that The Box Jelly Fish called Irukandji and it is so small you will not see it. I think it may be just under one centimeter in size, however life guards ensure all beaches affected are closed.

If you get stung by Irukandji you will be very sick and in a great amount of pain, it may result in death, however you could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Again Irukandji swim around Northern Queensland where the waters are quiet warmer than the rest of Australia. I have never been stung by a Box Jelly Fish or Irukandji, nor do I know anyone who has.

Thirdly Crocs ok, The Northern Territory and Northern Queensland are affected by the Salty most of them dwell in very unpopulated areas. Unless you are a moron or a backpacker with no sense you are in no danger. The Salty is very dangerous, however don’t invade it’s territory or antagonize it The Salty will leave you well alone. Again I have not been eaten by one, nor has anyone I have ever know, the only place I have seen a Salty is on the Discovery Chanel and maybe The Royal Melbourne Zoo.

The Funnel Web Spider is exclusive to Sydney and parts of the New South Wales area. I have heard stories about this spider hiding in washing, however not in the toilet, I have family living in Sydney who have never encountered the spider. As for the web of the Funnel Web spider, the Trap Door spider has a similar web yes it is a poisonous spider too, which lives in the Southern States such as Victoria where Melbourne is located, however only ever seeing one which my grandmother pointed out to me I still live.

The Trap Door spider I encountered had its web in the wood heap, where I doubt people would go without gloves for any reason other to get wood for the fire place or the bbq. What one would be more worried about is the female Red Back Spider which isn’t fussy where she lives. I have never seen one in Melbourne, however my father says there are a few in the shed. My father has never been bitten by one and he is very much alive he leaves them alone and they leave him alone. The only place I have seen a Red Back Spider was in Bendigo and country Victorian town about one hundred and fifty kilometers north west of Melbourne, This large female Red Back spider lived in the incinerator next to the wood heap, I believe it was killed when we burnt things.

I do not know anyone who has ever been bitten and died from a Red Back spider. My cousin who lives in Bendigo was once bitten by a White Tailed spider rumored to be deadly, she is still very much alive. However when she was bitten she vomited a lot and the doctor instructed her to put a prescribed cream on to it the bite cleared up within the week. The White Tail spider has been rumored to be deadly, however many cases the victim has a bad itch where the spider bite is and sometimes vomiting can occur. Reactions can vary from person to person. However unless you are allergic to it’s bite then you will survive. A common old house wives tail states put White King (a house hold bleach cleaning product) on the bite and you will be fine. I have done so in the past with what I thought may have been a White Tail spider bite the only effect it had on me is I appear the have bleached a small amount of skin on my left knee cap it immediately stopped the itching of the bite too. I am clearly still alive. Oh and spiders in the out house toilet, that is the Red Backs reputation.

Need I say anything about Snakes… Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. My old dog was bitten by a Tiger Snake in Bendigo because he was antagonizing it we took him to the Vet they gave him a shot he lived for another seven years after that. His death was of very old age. You, however forgot to mention the Taipan snake which does not live in the Southern states. The Taipan snake is apparently the deadliest Australian snake and one of the most deadliest in the world.

I have only ever seen one snake it was two years ago in January it was a forty degree Celsius day I was driving in a undeveloped industrial area past a prison on my way to a friends place ( I was using a short cut it was peak hour on the freeway and I didn’t feel like being stuck in traffic) anyway on my way to my friends house when I saw what was either a Tiger or a Brown snake crossing the road it slithered like a snake in the desert sideways like a wave, it was one of the most magnificent sights of nature I have ever seen. Snakes are all over the world and Australia has a few venomous ones, however we are not the only ones. The Black Mamba lives in Africa I believe the northern part.

Dingoes, I have never seen one and no, they have not taken anyone’s baby. Yes, I have heard they can be vicious I have seen footage of one attacking a child off one of the islands off Queensland, however the silly child did not read the warning sign at the entrance of the area the child entered. Shame on the parent for thinking that everything would be ok and the sign was there for what fun. I believe they were French tourists too. So someone should educate these people if you see a sign saying danger do not enter, don’t enter! They tend to print signs in foreign languages too and they use pictures so it should be quite clear. Dingoes don’t come down south, apparently there are huge fences across the country to keep them out, not too sure how that works however I have heard they are in place. Dingoes are apparently desert dwelling dogs too.

Bull Ants – they don’t jump and they have a nasty bite which will give you a bit of pain for between ten minutes to half and hour. Bull Ants have never jumped at me. There are tons of them in Bendigo in summer on the foot paths in trees, etc some show interest in a passing foot most just carry on doing ant things. My cousin and I, as silly children use to poke sticks down their nests holes we were never attacked, I have never ever heard anyone on the news saying they were bitten by a pack of Bull Ants.

Ok, Kanagroo’s are a pest, there are far too many of them, yes, they love to hop out in front of your car at night, but a good driver is responsive and mostly breaks and/or swerves in time. Wombats do far more damage to cars than Roos, Koala’s jump out of trees onto roads and do a fair bit of damage we refer to koala’s as drop bears they are awful little creatures but again Deer in the US wouldn’t be much fun to hit with a car doing 110 kilometers per hour. Roo’s don’t really box you up, however frighten one or intimidate one or interrupt one in the wild you may get a nasty kick and would need to seek doctors attention as soon as possible.

Cane Toads are a pest, but they are not invading cities. You hit the nail on the head with Cane Toads. Queenslander’s are not happy with their immigrated friends.

Australian Drunks. Well for starters most Australian men if they drink beer do not drink fosters that is a English misconception most beer drinking men drink Victoria Bitter (VB) or Carlton Draught. The drunken Australian’s you describe come under the category of Bogan. A Bogan is a un-cultured, mostly rural, un-educated, moronic Holden Commodore driving pig. A Bogan is equivalent to the American Red Neck. Most Bogans died out in the late eighties, however there are still a few around, the only time a person comes across one is in the country areas, small capital cities, such as Adelaide in South Australia and the outer suburbs of major cites that do not have a proper public transport system set up. Not all Australians are drunks I have been very intoxicated but that has not been for a while now. Most of the people do not binge drink as you have lead on.

Correct me if you have had any of the experiences you described, however I find that very un-likely. What you have written could be deemed as very offensive. And is a unwarranted generalization and very misleading!!!!!!!!! I understand you have the right to publish your opinion, however to mislead the general public is ethically wrong!

Yours Sincerely

Australia’s most dangerous inhabitant one of Australia’s woman folk. – Catherine