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I'm afraid of salties, sharks, snakes, spiders, etc.,

I'm afraid of salties, sharks, snakes, spiders, etc.,

Jan 19th, 2004, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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There is a special section of H... well, you know, the very hot place, that is reserved for Aussies who use drop bears to scare Yanks and Canucks. The exquisite torture to which they are subjected is that they have to drink North American beer for the rest of eternity.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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We leave our fellow dominions alone. Mostly.

Although almost any beer is OK after the 6th or 7th glass, I'll pass on Bud and Millers, thanks. Mind you, they're no worse than some Oz products. However, I can handle a Sam Adams Boston Lager any time. Now, while I dodge the missiles throwsn by some of my compatriots - I have had one or two Canadian brews also that weren't half bad but the names escape me. Help me out, Judy.... (how do you defrost beer in Calgary, anyway?)

In view of the fact that this is supposed to be a source of helpful advice for travellers (albeit nothing to do with the issues presented by Amanda, who probably stopped reading days ago, with good reason), I advise beer fanciers visiting this country to be sure to sample the James Squire and Coopers premium beers. (And if there are any Kiwis listening in, please accept a vote of thanks for that great black stuff brewed by Monteiths at Greymouth.) Haven't heard from any Irish correspondents lately, so I won't mention Kilkenny.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:24 AM
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You made me laugh..not at you but with you. I am coming to New York later in the year and I am trying not to get too paranoid about "the dangers" of mugging etc .so I know what you are feeling.But I haven't seen a snake since I was a kid except in the zoo so that may give you an idea........ stay outa long grass is my tip! Seriously, you do what you'd do at home and you will be safe as houses. What the hell is a saltie??? I am born and bred here in Oz and I haven't heard of them..must be something from Queensland or Northern Territory. I might add that if you are going to Ularu (nee Ayres Rock), you will be amazed. Its fantastic and truely, truely spiritual. Have a great trip you will love it.
Jan 20th, 2004, 07:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 48
Ha! I am getting very excited about my trip and hope to meet people just like the ones who post here.

1) Is the "drop bear" a Kuala up a tree that drops pooh down on your head? This doesn't seem that dangerous to me unless the pooh is poisonous or stains.
2) Salties are salt water crocs that have no trouble swimming in fresh and salt water and even venture out into the ocean in search of tourists to eat. This is my understanding.

Also, I went to New York last year and never even thought to be afraid of muggers. Sigh.... I guess I am just a city girl at heart.
Amanda_Chicago is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Amanda, I read Bill Bryson's book as well - you're right, he does seem to focus on all the things that can kill you! In a humourous way, of course. We're going to Darwin in April, and of course we recently the newspaper reports about the boys who encountered a croc (and one died). It's always something, eh?
SusanInToronto is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 181
I will admit that Bill Bryson's book made me hesitate (for a few seconds), but I decided nothing will keep me from my dream trip!

I do appreciate everything that was written, tho - helps to reassure me!

benderbabe - are the "sun shirts" only available in OZ? Are they costly? Do you recommend that over the wetsuit for snokeling?
mishoe01 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:47 PM
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Oh Amanda - don't worry about the drop bears but crocs are serious. You won't see see signs in northern Australia warning you of "salties" - they're referred to as "estuarine crocodiles" which means they inhabit rivers and can travel some distance out to sea. The freshwater croc is much smaller and is considered relatively harmless. All crocs are now protected which means they cannot be hunted (the ones that turn up in "crocburgers" are farmed) and as there's no other predators that can handle a croc, they're proliferating. In heavy rain small ones sometimes turn up in drains in the middle of the city of Cairns, a good size one was run over by a taxi on the road to the airport (it decided to have a snooze in the middle of the road) Never swim at an unpatrolled beach, and then only between the flags anywhere in Australia and in the north, give the rivers a wide berth.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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Much worse than that, Amanda - the dreaded Drop Bear is a giant man-eating koala that falls on unwary hikers from rainforest trees. But before you cancel your travel plans, like the hoop snake it's a mythical beast. (OK, that's my spoilsport act for the day.)

Incidentally, while visiting friends in Cairns a few years ago I was startled to see a newspaper article headed "Cassowary Attacks Jogger". I was surprised that anyone would take up jogging in Cairns' climate, not that he was chased by an outraged bird. Anyway, the fact that the local rag saw fit to report the attack probably suggests that it doesn't happen too often. A bit like "Man Bites Dog" perhaps.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 12:03 AM
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I also read Bryson's book before my departure to Oz and it was indeed written with an abundance of "literary licence" in regards to the creepy crawlers. But it still made an impression, as I could not forget about them as I prepared for my trip -- especially the part about the six-foot long worms! Which leads one to further speculate: If the worms are six feet long, how big are the fish? However, once in Australia, I was so entrenched in the experience that I totally forgot about such dangers. In fact, the second day there, as I was cutting across a vacant lot on the way to the Salamander Bay Shopping Centre in Port Stephens, something bit me on the toe! It never occured to me that it could be something lethal, even though my toe became very red and swollen. I survived,obviously, with enough health to complain about the price of food! (See Ten Things I Liked and Disliked About Australia.) Guess the only thing that took a real bite out of me (or more like my wallet) were the restauranteurs!
Airsick_ is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 03:56 PM
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PoorAmanda is going to be sorry she started this. Neil, just thought I'd tell you about the cassowary which attacked the jogger in Cairns. He used to live in the rainforest behind our house at the bottom of Mt Whitfield, his life of crime started when he began raiding garbage bins in nearby houses, then people started to feed him and if they didn't, he turned very nasty. He also bailed up a German tourist on a nearby walking track and made off with her handbag. He finally came to grief when invading another yard, and was killed by the two resident pigdogs. Now, thankfully, there's a heavy fine attached to feeding wild cassowaries.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2004, 01:25 PM
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A bag-snatching bird, Pat? This is getting too weird for me.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 10:34 PM
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Hi Neil - some of the tourists are weird too. A few days ago a smallish croc was swimming near the stinger net at a Cairns beach, which bears the strange name of Yorkey's Knob. The lifeguards duly closed the entire beach (the rest of it was closed anyway because of likelihood of box jelly fish) and left a very obvious warning sign, in about 6 languages -large picture of snapping crocodile, teeth everywhere, in front of the netted enclosure. Next morning lifeguards are amazed to see people swimming in enclosure - when asked why they disregarded the sign they replied - in English, "we thought it must be a joke"!
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 02:31 PM
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Pat - I believe you. Human stupidity knows no limits.

Last time I was in Cairns the protected status of crocs was causing some angst. I think a large saltie had taken up residence on Ellis Beach and showing no inclination to move, nor was the National Parks & Wildlife Service showing any inclination to move it: the only solution seemed to be to just wait until it departed. I think many local citizens felt that a much more draconian solution was called for. So did I.

While on the subject of Weird Things, I also heard a story - probably the locals pulling my leg - about a past cyclone which had washed a number of cattle out to sea, where they proved to be reasonable swimmers.

It seems that not long later, a party of Japanese tourists was enjoying one of the local beaches when a large and furious Texas Longhorn emerged from the breakers, picked itself up and gave chase to every human in sight. If that's true, one can only try to imagine the stories of yet another marine threat those visitors took back to Japan.

Hey, I don't care if it isn't true - why let the facts interfere with a good story? (Amanda, if you're still tuning in, you can add angry seagoing cattle (sea cows?) to your list of Queensland nasties.)
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 11:13 PM
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Hi Neil - that probably is true. After cyclone Steve, 3 years ago, upstream cattle were swept into the Barron River which flows into sea just north of Cairns. A friend was walking her dog early on suburban Holloways Beach and came face to face with a large, confused cow. Sadly, as the river rose, the cattle could no longer fit under the Barron Bridge and perished.
pat_woolford is offline  

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