The Oddity of Australian Signs

I  was chatting with HW from A Holistic Journey awhile back and we somehow got onto the topic of some of the odd signs that are needed in Australia.  Some are just a little different from what you would find normally but there are also those designed for tourists.  The reason for this is going back to the 80’s when tourism really picked up here, especially in Queensland and The Northern Territory, we developed a SLIGHT problem with losing tourists to crocodiles, sharks, snakes and the variety of fun packed ways to get killed or at least maimed here in Australia.  So I though in the spirit of the Weekend Funny I would share some with you and if you have any that strike you as a little funny from your country I would love to see them too.

danger crocadile


To begin it was thought that this would be enough to discourage anyone from taking a dip.




danger crocadiles 3


Following on from there it seemed a little more information might be required.




danger crocadile 2


Despite that we were still losing tourists so it was decided fewer words more pictures were in order.






odd sighn


Following on from there we had to deal with road signs and learning from past efforts went straight to the pictorial view of things.





tourist sign


After that believe it or not we had to start with signs for the tourist attraction wildlife parks as oddly enough people were being maimed or dying even there.






There are also numerous signs for Koala, Emu, Kangaroo and Wombat crossings along just about any road where you can find a stretch of trees.

snake warning


Of course we then come to the snake.  You will find as you move further into the outback ‘Beware of Snakes’ in just about every shaded picnic area you can find.  On top of that there is the sign (the one next to this paragraph) that is at each International airport in Australia and would you believe we STILL manage to lose a tourist here and there.

Personally I would go with this sign as a general cover all bases but for some reason the Tourist board feels that it would deter travel.  I can’t for life of me imagine why?

australian danger




22 thoughts on “The Oddity of Australian Signs

    • Indeed – I’m expecting some men in dark suits from the Tourist board to knock on my door any minute and ask why I’m trying to scare people from coming to Australia. I’m not really but I think Australia can be appropriately appreciated when not in the ER.


  1. Those big hairy spiders scare me the most! Although, I wouldn’t let this put me off. I would love to visit Austrailla, it’s up there on my list of places to go! (Despite the scary signs!) X


  2. As an animal lover, I want to come to Australia precisely for the animals (first stop the Galápagos Islands – sorry you aren’t top of the list) but I’m well aware of just how many of them could kill me. And easily as well-there would be no ambulance, no struggle for my life in hospital, they would have killed me too quickly for that. Of course when I get there I’m going to be going looking for animals, which might increase my chances of death, but I’ll stick to looking for the non-lethal ones and hope that I don’t find a lethal one on my way. So if I know how dangerous it is and still want to come.. I’m not convinced tourists would be put off by that last picture.


    • I love Australia, I’ve travelled all over the world and seen some amazing things but I have to say there are places here so breathtaking in their simplicity.

      Australia is one of the few places in the world where life evolved without human intervention for so long. Even our indigenous population arrived over the land bridge from Indonesia when it was still there.

      The animals are unique and despite my anti-camping policy due to not wanting to get eaten I have to admit to have a sneaking pride in the number of really cool dangerous animals.

      Of course there are the unbearably cute ones as well so I guess it’s all a balance. Hope you get here some day.


  3. Ha ha! This gave me a giggle.
    Now how on earth is it that Australia managed to wind up with so many deadly things?? Have you ever encountered a poisonous experience? I’m afraid when I visit my dad in Palm Springs California because there’s black widows in the garden (There’s only one poisonous spider where I live, and it’s called the Brown Recluse, so it’s pretty hard to find). I would just live in a bubble! lol 🙂


    • Australia is like a 2nd Mesopotamia in so far as the cradle of life is concerned. Human life didn’t evolve here at all, in fact our indigenous population came over the land bridge from Indonesia when it existed. OK that was millions of years ago but Australia is the oldest continent on the planet.

      As for poisonous experience – not precisely, I’ve faced off huge copperhead snakes, red belly blacks, had a rather too close encounter with a python, been barked at by a HUGE bird spider and trapped in a corner by a Funnel Web. As well a number of minor things.

      Gotta say of all of them the Funnel Web creeps me out the most. Imagine a lime but black and fury with eight chunky black fury legs – it doesn’t even have the decency to scuttle like spiders they bounce like freakin ping pong balls *shudder*.

      The rest don’t bother me too much since they follow the idea of don’t bother us we won’t bother you. The only one you have to worry about pissing off is the Taipan. If you come too close to where they have their eggs they won’t attack you there in case the eggs are damaged. They bleedin well track you back and wait until they can strike. They do it with all animals to protect their young.

      It’s weird but until I was writing about it I didn’t think much of it – everyone I know has had some sort of face down with Aussie wildlife. I’ve had just as much interaction with the cuties as well (koala’s etc).

      It isn’t until someone outside of Australia asks that you realise just what is about around here. Still I love it, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world even with the bias I have. 🙂


      • Wow! That Taipan sounds terrifying! There’s a spider around here, and I can’t remember if it’s the wolf spider or a different one – and it will attack you as well, but it just chases you for a little bit. I haven’t come across it though, I think it’s a little bit further in the mountains than where I am.
        I have to say though, that just makes Australians pretty bad ass for living somewhat in harmony with all these crazy creatures!
        One day I will suck it up, and I will come down there and check it out – and you’d be damn sure that I will take heed of those signs! ha ha! It’s not on my agenda to dance with crocodiles or spiders. I don’t mind snakes as much, since i used to have one. But I might very well be bringing my bubble suit 🙂


  4. They say ignorance is bliss. Thankfully it worked for us on our first visit, but we did pay extra close attention to those croc signs. Yup, one needs to do their homework and have some respect for nature when traveling….thanks for the reminder-and the laughs. I especially like the = sign.


    • That’s us, entertain and educate you on your visit’s down under. Don’t want you to get bored or anything.

      Oh on another note haven’t had a chance to read your book yet as I’ve been more than a little run off my feet but will get to it soon.


  5. It’s hilarious how the signs got increasingly simple and hazardous, the one with the skills being my personal favourite. “Beware, hazardous!”

    It’s a wonder how Australia ended up wit so many deadly creatures.


    • You would think but people still dive off boats and go for a swim in the NT and are surprised when the get attacked but as a rule we don’t lose quite as many each year as we have in the past.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s