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21. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 10y

hi everyone,

it's so funny reading these replies your right huntsman's scare the crap out of anyone but Australia is truly a remarkable place and if you decide not to go just because of spiders then you will regret it for a lifetime !!

I was born and bred in a place 2 hour's north of sydney called newcastle no one ever stops there cause they just don't have time (but it is a great stopover). I hate snakes but i have to say Australia is still home to me regardless of the creepy crawlies !!!

22. Posted by lil j (Travel Guru 1303 posts) 10y

Ahhh sod the spiders...i fond them pretty kool, altho if it was heading towards me i wouldt be too happy. We've had a couple in the house but the guys sort em, lol!

23. Posted by shootash (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

I've been reading about the spiders stuff, and had to say that I was bitten in Victoria, by what the doctors think was a white tail. The bite is awful and so far i've seen 3 doctors and had 2 swabs taken and been on 4 lots of antibiotics. I am absolutely terrified of spiders, so much so that before I flew to Oz, I had hypnotherapy. Luckily I didn't see what bit me....
Apart from this unfortunate event, I didn't see any other spiders - apart from the Golden Orbs, which are enormous, but stay in their webs...thank god.
Good luck and check your shoes....

24. Posted by TGnsw (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

For all of you who are now totally freaked out - don't be. Yes, there are lots of spiders in Oz but there a lots of spiders anywhere where the climate is warm to hot.

You will probably travel without encountering much in the way of spiders unless you are camping, trekking or working on the land. Millions of people live here and most have little trouble with spiders so its fear, not the spiders will cause the biggest drama.

Redbacks - love sheds,woodpiles, rocks - well ... anywhere dry. RULE: Never stick your fingers into any place unless you know whats in that space where your fingers are about to go. Redbacks are blind but touch there web and they will come running because they think something yummy is in their web.

Funnelwebs - like slight slopes and spend a lot of their time in their holes. RULE: Always bang your shoes or boots to dislodge anything that may be lurking inside them. If really paranoid squashed the toe of your shoe/boot with your heel before putting them on. Don't leave your tent unzipped. Shake your sleeping bag/blanket etc if they're in the open.

White tip - these are smart and KNOW that you might kill them. Once spotted don't take your eyes off them for a second. Spray, squash or use any method to kill them asap. May cause nasty, nasty necrosis causing bites.

Orb spiders - harmless unless you run into their web and freak them out. They are peaceful spiders but have bit fangs. RULE: use a strong torch when walking around in the dark outside. They hide during the day so they don't get eaten. Excellent bug controllers.

Huntsman - scaredy cat spiders that seem to find their way into cars. If you see a car behaving erratically chances are one just ran across the dash board, windshield etc. I had one run up my arm when I changed gears one night. Yes, it freaked me out but no it didn't bite and it had sticky feet which feel awful. RULE: keep car windows shut at night. When on a wall indoors spray or squash. We mostly just get a broom and try and get them onto it, take it outside and bang broom to dislodge spider - after all we can't have too many bug eaters helping us out. If they run too fast and won't co-operate they cop the bug spray and die.

Wolf spiders - we have them everywhere in our garden and back yard. Harmless, great bug controllers. They have NEVER caused us any trouble. The only time I have ever been bitten was a kid when I was flicking one with my finger. Third flick and the spider decided to teach me a lesson and he bit me. Just got a sore finger for a few hours. RULE: when gardening use thick gloves and don't put fingers where you can't see.

Snakes - when bushwalking it is a good idea to carry a long stick and hit the ground in front of you there is no track. Otherwise watch the track for them. I have almost trodden on a tiger snake, death adder and quite a few red belly blacks. Don't know who was the most scared me or them. Try and avoid careless stomping next to big tufty mounds of native grasses as snakes may be curled up under them. The brown snakes tend to be aggressive.

Just remember... healthy populations of spiders and reptiles are a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Travelling is all about not living inside a goldfish bowl. Australia is a beaut place. What freaks me out is the thought of being in places where there are bears, lions, tigers and giant bot flies that lay eggs in your skin. Thankfully none of those are in OZ!

25. Posted by Intrepid A (Budding Member 70 posts) 10y

Been living in Oz for 7 years & did the whole travelling round in a campervan thing. Been camping lots & have yet to see a red back / funnel web, white tip or huntsman. The orbs are quite beautiful.

I wouldn't worry about it, if you get bitten it's unlikely you'll die. If you are really that worried about it just take sensible precautions as serveral people have outlined.

Other dangerous critters:
Snakes - I have only come across a couple including a king brown [very poisionous but not interested in being any where near me], a very curious sea snake & a few close encounters in river with swimming snakes [frightened the pants off me but apart from the near coronary I suffered no danger at all]. Snakes will tend to avoid contact with humans.

Crocs - well your screwed if you get into a tangle with one of those - listen to locals & take account of signs do not swim or go too close to banks of river / beaches where there are warning signs.

Sharks - any I have come across while diving have gone in opposite direction but people do get attacked especially people on surfboards...something to do with looking like the equivalent of a floating MacDonalds to a shark!

Roo's - not as cute as they seem...stay away from very large males.

Drop bears - well you need to be REALLY careful of these furry things they seem to fool tourists all the time

26. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Quoting Intrepid A

Been living in Oz for 7 years & did the whole travelling round in a campervan thing. Been camping lots & have yet to see a red back / funnel web, white tip or huntsman. The orbs are quite beautiful.

7 years and you haven't seen a huntsman??

27. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 10y

He's a fake; he's getting it from an encyclopedia; you can't live for 7 years in Oz and not see a Huntsman.

28. Posted by T.J. (Full Member 85 posts) 10y

ok now im scaired of my learning to surf course in sydney / byron now!!!!

29. Posted by salsachick (Inactive 77 posts) 10y

I was there for a year and a half and only saw one spider...and it wasn't one of the poisonous variety luckily!!!!

I remember living for a while in a place in Sydney and there were these huge fat witchety grub things with lots of legs that would crawl in the house. I didn't like them very much

Never actually found out what they were!! If any of you aussie guys know what I'm talking about, let me know as, I am interested to know what they were!!!

30. Posted by numero1 (Respected Member 295 posts) 10y

The huntsman loves to hide in car engines where it is warm and creep on ytou by surprise when your on the freeway and have nowhere to pull over. The number of times I've had a huntsman crawl all over my car I can't even count them now. Harmless, but scary buggers they are. A lot of insect spray is needed for the car engine. They also like to build webs over your rear view mirror and hide behind them as well. I usually get a stick and get them to crawl onto the stick after parking the car, then quickly chuck the stick away.

I reemeber once there was this girl here from overseas who had rented a car, and was driving in the peak hour traffic when she found one of those huntsmen inside her car. She stopped the car in the middle of the road, caused a MASSIVE traffic jam just asking for the passing drivers help to get rid of the bugger.