Other dangers at Queensland Beaches
With all this talk about dangerous creatures at Queensland Beaches, it
is easy to be scared off and avoid the coastline altogether. But you shouldn't
do that - for a couple of reasons. First, no visit to Queensland is complete
without spending a couple of days at a beach. And second, the dangers
are minimal if you take the correct precautions. You have a much higher
chance of being hit by a car while crossing the street than by encountering
danger at a beach. By using your common sense and following local advice,
you are safe.
Unfortunately, dangerous creatures such as crocodiles and sharks have
been romanticised in movies as living monsters that would eat the entire
human population if we didn't have guns and big knives to stop them. This
creates an unnatural fear in people and often causes visitors great angst
when in unfamiliar territory. Although the dangers do exist, marine creatures
are not as threatening as most people think.
Hey, don't worry too much about these fellows. Crocodiles don't like hanging
out with humans, and we don't like hanging out with them. It's a good arrangement
and it means we rarely ever see each other.
At some Queensland beaches the large estuarine crocodile can be spotted,
although this is extremely rare. If there is any chance of seeing a crocodile
at a beach, or anywhere else for that matter, signs will indicate this.
General rules to avoid contact with crocodiles are:
- Do not approach riverbeds flanked with mangrove trees.
- If you see a crocodile, walk away. Do not feed it. Do not take a
photo. Just leave.
- Report crocodile sightings to local authorities.
At popular beaches throughout Queensland, the chances of seeing a crocodile
are exceptionally low.
are amazing creatures of the ocean and are always a thrill to see. They
can be found gliding over the Great Barrier Reef, the shallows of sandy
beaches, or in muddy estuarine swamps.
Medical treatment should be sought if stung by a stingray. It should be
noted, however, that incidences of stingray jabs are very rare. It is possible
to swim at a beach where the rays are present - as long as you leave them
alone they will leave you alone.
The danger with stingrays is the barb on their tails. Disturbing a stingray
can cause the creature to jab the poisonous barb into your leg, causing
Stingrays lie very flat on the bottom of the ocean, making them difficult
to spot and easy to accidentally step on. To avoid this, the best practice
of walking through the water is to shuffle your feet in the sand. This
will make the stingray move to another location.
Visitors to Australia
are often more fearful of sharks than anything else in the country. This
fear is exaggerated and unnecessary. The JAWS movies of the 1980s spread
misinformation to the western world declaring sharks as man-eaters and
highly dangerous creatures with a bloodlust for humans.
The reality is vastly different. The chances of encountering a shark at
a beach in Queensland, let alone being attacked by one, is so low it is
barely worth mentioning on this website. With less than one shark attack
per year in Australia there is more chance of a piano falling from a high-rise
building and squashing a pedestrian.
Though it is true that sharks are predators, humans are not among their
Despite this, shark nets are prevalent at many popular beaches along
the Queensland coastline. Baits and large nets lay offshore and are checked
every two days for sharks.
To help avoid the possibility of shark attack, here are some common sense
- Always heed the warning of life-guards at the beach
- Do not swim at night
- Do not swim in murky waters
- Do not swim if you are bleeding
- Do not throw food scraps into the water
- If fishing, do not discard fish scraps or guts into waters where
During the summer months of the year, cyclones pose a threat to Northern
Queensland. In the event of a cyclone, frequent and detailed reports about
the crisis are available on all forms of media: television, radio, internet,
Tropical Cyclones are low-pressure weather systems that spin clockwise.
The winds in the radius of a cyclone are strong enough to cause damage
to properties, trees, cars etc.
Cyclones are considered dangerous because they produce furious winds
that cause damage to everything in their path. In addition, they cause
storm surges of ocean water that can wash up on beaches, swamp low-lying
houses, and severely batter boats.
Cyclones travel at speeds of up to 20km/h, and can last from anywhere
between 6 and 24 hours.
The Queensland region averages four to five tropical cyclones per year,
but most of these do not reach the coastline. It is rare for a single
area to be hit by more than one cyclone per year. In fact, many years
may go by before a cyclone hits a region.
Cyclones are ranked from 1 to 5, with a category 5 cyclones being the
It should be made clear that all cyclones are destructive, no matter what
category they fit into. All persons should stay inside safe accommodation,
and anything unsecured outside should be secured or brought inside the
house. All boats should be securely moored to avoid damage.
A small amount of damage to houses, agriculture, and trees.
Winds are up to 125km/h.
Damage to houses is possible, however most damage will occur to road signs,
trees and agriculture. There is a possibility of power failure in some
Winds are up to 170 km/h.
Structural damage to buildings will occur and power failures are likely.
Winds up to 225 km/h.
A category 4 cyclone is very serious. Major damage can occur to properties,
crops, boats, trees, caravans etc. Power failure is certain in many areas.
Winds up to 280 km/h.
Although very rare, a category 5 cyclone is extremely dangerous with winds
causing widespread destruction. Fatalities are to be expected.
Winds up to 280 km/h.