A Guide to Australian Wildlife (That Won’t Kill You)

When you think of Australia, one of the first things you generally think of is the wildlife. There are a ton of animals throughout the continent, and it also has a ton of biodiversity, as many of its native animals are not found anywhere else on the planet.

But if you think about wildlife in Australia, one of the first things that might pop into your mind is danger. There is a lot of talk about how Australia is home to tons of animals that can kill you, and this unfortunately keeps some people from visiting this beautiful country.

While there are indeed some dangerous animals there (just like anywhere), the vast majority of them are completely safe and harmless. With that in mind, let’s go over a few types of Australian wildlife that are very safe to be around, and certainly won’t kill you.


Australia is home to plenty of reptiles, and while they may look menacing at times. Most are harmless. A large majority of the snakes, lizards, and other reptiles you may see around the country won’t do you any harm, and are usually happy to keep to themselves.

In fact, some snakes and other reptiles (you can learn more about bearded dragons here) are even kept as pets, and can be perfectly safe in most situations. As long as you avoid reptiles you are unsure about, and not make a point to annoy them or intrude on their space, you will be fine. 

Of course, there are some poisonous snakes, but you aren’t likely to run into them. And even if you do, simply ignore them and don’t startle them and you’ll be fine. And if you are scared of running into crocodiles when visiting Sydney, don’t be. The tropical northern part of the country is where you will find crocodiles, and they are quite easy to avoid.


Many people have a phobia of spiders, and it is easy to see why. Their speed, how they look, and often their size can send shivers up the spines of millions. However, most of the spiders you see in Australia are not only harmless, but welcomed as they can help to control bug populations.

Many spiders in the country are nocturnal and prefer to be outside, so you may not even see any. Even if you see one, the chances of it biting you or advancing to you in any way are low. As long as you don’t provoke the spider or disrupt its web, they should leave you alone.

There are a couple of dangerous spiders in Australia (funnel-web spider and redback spider), but they haven’t been fatal in decades and there is anti-venom available, too.

Marine Creatures

With Australia being surrounded by water and being full of beaches, heading out in the water is a pastime that many visitors and locals alike are fond of. And the good news is, most of the marine creatures you see and encounter will not be aggressive by nature.

This means diving and snorkeling are generally completely fine as long as you don’t touch and/or provoke them. Admire from afar, but don’t push your luck. You may run into jellyfish, but most are harmless and will do nothing but potentially give you a sting that can be a little irritating.

The jellyfish you want to generally avoid being near are the box jellyfish and Irukandji, and if you are stung by them, you normally want to call an ambulance.

But in most cases, most other stings will be minor and if you quickly treat the jellyfish sting, you should be able to minimize discomfort. As far as sharks go, Australian beaches have lifeguards and other things in place to keep an eye out for sharks to ensure no one accidently swims near them.

In conclusion, we hope this guide has been able to help you learn a little bit more about Australian wildlife, and how most of it is completely harmless and safe to be around.