Australia’s Beaches: Look, but Don’t Touch

Australia’s beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. To look at, at least. If you actually want to go in the water, you might have a problem. Especially in the more remote areas.

I went this past February, one of the most popular months to go (the end of their summer) but it is clearly a bad time to visit the beach. Not only was it infested with vicious jelly fish (blue bottle, box jelly fish and other lethal ones), but it was also the crocodile mating season. Although stunning beaches stretch along Australia’s east coast for thousands of miles, it is recommended that travelers read the warning signs, such as the one displayed here.

Locals seem to prefer going in the water wearing full-body nylon suits (“stinger suits”) to protect their skin from the stingers (i.e., jellyfish). Nylon suits, however, don’t really work against the crocs. The “salties”, as Australians like to call the dangerous salt-water crocodiles, lay eggs in the ocean, but very close to the shore…and needless to say, they don’t want to be bothered with people swimming over their nursery. With crocodiles being a protected species–it is illegal to shoot them–they have become a problem for public beaches. And now, with Steve Irwin not around, I would predict the crocs will get even more comfy along the shore.