I was in Melbourne but at the same time not really. Being stuck in suburbia seemed like a cage, and so I tried to explore and shake off my shackles. The next thing I knew was facing a warning sign of deadly snakes.
Suburbia does have its excitements after all.[/su_quote]
What to Expect when it Comes to Danger in Australia
I was well prepared for my trip to Australia. Prior to my trip, I had read up on all things gruesome, deadly and mildly interesting museum-wise in Bill Bryson’s work Down Under. He sure know how to uncover stories about danger in Australia! As always he was an expert at making even the most boring museums and places intriguing and a master at collecting blockbuster adaptation worthy stories about people dying at the hands of vicious Australian animals. I was scared but knowledge was on my side.
Well, at least the knowledge of mean grass lurking about, just waiting to break off and fester inside my skin, was there. I also knew that of worms a few feet under me that were so enormous I could hear them digest. Ugh, I hate worms! I made it my mission to find more about the places Mr Bryson experienced by possibly experiencing them myself with the exception of touching said grass. I managed to see breathing stones, an outpost museum and got knowledge of the worm exhibit being cancelled.
The grass story, however, no one ever believed me. I managed to collect a real life story on that though. This, I would like to share with you because I am happy that for once, it did not happen to me. And it is a good warning for everyone trying to do their business in the outback. And trust me, in the outback you have to or at least want to after seeing the bush toilets. If you don’t like toilet stories, skip the next 300 words.
How Even Grass Can Be Dangerous
Once upon a time not long ago there was a young woman in need of instant relief. As it was the case in the kingdom of the outback, nature’s call had to be answered just there: in nature. Used to her lady-like ways and full of embarrassment, the young woman decided to venture out a little. But since distance would increase danger and possible harm lay at hand everywhere she looked, she decided the only way forward was down.
Hoping to disappear, she ducked as low as she could when suddenly the native vegetation greeted her from below. In the end, the leaves decided to stick to her and thus had to be individually removed by a helping stranger in the group. The lady’s dignity was forevermore flawed. And this, my dear readers, is a lesson of looking where you crouch and avoiding touching anything in Australia. With any part of your body.
And to back up the fear in the story a little, to show a little sympathy and understanding, let me tell you about my little walkabout in the middle of an Australian suburb. So there I was at the edge of a big crossing opposite a shopping complex and next to a row of family houses. I decided to turn right and just see what would come my way. Along the street, I discovered a collection of university bungalows in the middle of a field. Next to it was a native forest fenced off as a reserve under investigation by the university. It had some information boards about native flora and fauna as well as a larger connection of several reserves with an unassuming entrance right next to the road.
Danger in Australia Lurks in Suburbia
Of course, I entered. A minute before, I was balancing on the edge of concrete streets and peeking through a wired fence, and all of a sudden I saw myself in the middle of a gumtree wetland with wooden plans as my path. It was heavenly! If you have ever been to Australia, you might notice how the air was so different, a smell of eucalypt lingering everywhere. Now I was surrounded by it and felt as if I had really arrived in Australia.
A warning sign of crossing kangaroos as well as a stock of more warning signs, among others poisonous snakes, was all that I needed to realise: this was the red continent, the land of deadly creates, which 6 out of the most deadly snakes called home. And in the state of Victoria, all of them were found. It was my lucky day. I didn’t see any.
What I did see after some “bushwalking” was a family of kangaroos. My very first encounter with the jumping giants and I mistook them for wallabies. They were so far away and I did not want to believe the second largest kangaroo species were to be found in the city of all places. They were indeed and so I saw big grey kangaroos. Wary but deeming me harmless, I could observe the group of 5 without trouble and cursed myself for not having brought my camera. Kangaroos I would see hundreds of. If there is one thing you will see enough of in OZ it is them.
Did you like this story on danger in Australia?
More are coming soon to celebrate my upcoming book on my travel to Australia and New Zealand. Sign up for the newsletter to hear about the release update for next month. Become a beta reader a month before everyone else gets to read it! Shoot me an email now.