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Forums » Australia & the South Pacific » Australian beaches


Australian beaches

by denizov »

I have read and watched much about the beauty of Australian beaches which are often advertised as one of the greatest sight of the country. However, I am really worried about sharks, poisonous sea snakes ( in the waters around threTropic ) and poisonous jellyfishes. I read that in the past there were nets on the beaches to protect bathers from sharks but for some reasons they don't use them any more. How dangerous is it to swim in the ocean as I love swimming long distances and sometimes further away from land ( about 50- 100 metres from the beach itself)? How big is the risk? 

Pauline Frommer

RE: Australian beaches

by Pauline Frommer »

From what I understand, a lot will depend on which part of Australia you're heading to. I was in Sydney last October, and all of the nearby beaches were open, with no warnings about any of the items you mentioned. However, there have been issues in other parts of the country.


RE: Australian beaches

by hamiriver »

I know this is an old post, but thought I would add some thoughts to this. 

Some beaches in Queensland use shark nets. This obviously only protects you from sharks.  You do not tend to find sea snakes at all, as they are rather shy.  

The tropics of Queensland are rather different. It depends on when you wish to swim. Dry season and non stinger season is May-October and is safer time re not getting stung. You do not find the larger sharks in the tropics but only reef sharks- which are no harm and are smaller.  HoweverI have never seen them  except at a reef once in the shallows. rare and they do not bother you. 

You must not swim in the wet season as there are irikandji which are tiny and can kill you. Box jellyfish also . The wet season is October- end of May approx. 

There is a net at Port Douglas, but these can get hrough and it is taken out in the wet as the water gets rougher. 

What you will find find in the water closer to the beach in the far orth or Queensland are crocodiles, so I dont swim at all at that time of year. 

All the beaches that are safe for swimming have signs of what to watch out for. Councils have become very wary of this and especially tourists who have no idea about our beaches and hence we have warning signs and only swim between the flags. 

So, really I would only swim near the beach. It also is a safety thing as if you are alone then noone can help you.  Some beaches are partolled by lifeguards, however a lone swimmer will not be seen.



RE: Australian beaches

by GabSleeman »

No doubt Australia is know for its crystal clear water and beaches. But it can be life threating too if some points are not considered. Following beach safety is very important. Swimming at the patrolled beaches is always a better idea. While travelling around Australia, you will find many beaches are not patrolled. Well, North Queensland is prone to some dealy jellyfish and stingers.


RE: Australian beaches

by mquartz »

Ask the locals, swim between the flags, and you'll be fine, just like the millions who enjoy the beaches every year. Your chances of encountering a shark are as good as winning the big lottery. Ain't gonna happen.


RE: Australian beaches

by Travelmaria47 »

This has been a worry for me too! In Cairns, I have found the beaches are clearly marked and netted. The water here is warm and beautiful and most accommodations have stinger suits you can rent during stinger season (we definitely don't have that in Florida). I've been told the water is too warm up this way for Great Whites, but I did see a few reef sharks while snorkeling the GBR. While I was in Byron Bay Area I did hear more about attacks and sightings of Great Whites.


I have been staying at Villa Marine in Cairns, and the owner has been super helpful with tips on areas you should not go and dangers you may face while in Queensland. Best of luck on your adventure!


RE: Australian beaches

by Sean321 »

No doubt that Australia is famous for the beaches and other attractions. I also a big lover of beaches and I am going to share some names of beaches where I want to go at least once in Australia. I heard much about all of them and I am sure I can do it soon. The names are:

Bondi Beach, Sydney

Lizard Island, QLD

Byron Bay Beach, NSW

Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD