What Could Happen To You When Traveling To Far North Queensland

This is just a little story. A story we made up yesterday, while in the car on our way back home. So no worries, no animal and also no person got harmed in the process…

Imagine you travel to Australia. This crazy country all the way around the world, far away from everything else. You have some ideas about what to expect in Down Under. Spiders, snakes, crocodiles, sharks and maybe heat. One of the places you are planing to visit is all the way up in the north: Far North Queensland. You will head up there to see the tropical side of Australia and of course to head out to the Great Barrier Reef.

So after visiting the stunning city of Sydney and enjoying sights like the Opera House and doing a Harbour Bridge climb, you head to the Red Centre and actually survive the heat in Australia’s desert, while hiking around Uluru. You had a great time listening to the stories your guide told you about the Aboriginal culture and actually also ate some bush tucker. And now you arrived in Cairns, ready to head out to the Reef and have a look at one of the world’s seven natural wonders. While driving to the marina out of which your tour will take you out snorkeling you spot some pristine beaches with crystal clear water and a couple of reefs very close to shore. You are in a little hurry, so you don’t stop your rental car now, but you will for sure on your way back.

The day goes well, the tour is great, although they try to sell you all kind of stuff once you reach the platform out on the reef. But the colors and the fish and everything you experience out there make up for it. The stinger suit they made you wear does not make any sense to you right now, as nobody spotted a jelly the entire day. They probably exaggerate, as they have probably been sued by someone because of a little burn by a jelly… Who cares…

Then you head back to shore. After you arrived you have a beer or maybe a glass of wine at one of the places in the marina before you start your drive back to Cairns. While you enjoy your beverage you overhear a bunch of locals talking about all of the crazy dangerous animals around here. They call them Ocean’s Deadliest! But hey, we all know how it is, right?! They always exaggerate! And of course you can see them coming, if you are careful. And you are a careful person. So nothing to worry about…

And you still have your plan. When you reach the beach you’ve seen prior on your way up, you pull up immediately. There is no reason to wait until the parking. There is plenty of room next to the road and you can access the beach from here as well. You are actually way closer to the little reef from where you are now.

You quickly check the water for jellies and of course, there is nothing but little fish and crystal clear water. So you get your goggles and the snorkel out and put on your fins and out you go. You have another good look around. Of course these waters are way to clear for a crocodile. So nothing to fear. And the sharks… Well they only come in when the water is murky… Easy!

How beautiful and all of it just for you. No soul around although plenty of traffic up there on the road. It’s just you and some seagulls. Idiots to not stop and have a swim. It is so hot and what a great beach! They probably got scare off by all those stories about all those creepy crawlies. But not you!

You swim out there and enjoy the colors and the fish and the beauty of this place when you suddenly see it! There is a shark. Not really huge but big enough to scare you. So you decide to swim back, not in a rush as it has taken off. While swimming back around the reef you spot a couple of turtles. How beautiful. Of course you dive down and chase them to touch them quickly. Who cares, right?! After all it is just you out here. So they will be able to deal with this.

How beautiful and all just for you!

Suddenly you see that massive jelly in front of you! You think: Shit, Boxjelly! And a huge one! Given the size of its head it is probably at least your size! Now you feel bad as you are aware of the fact that the tentacles are very long and might be around you. And then you feel them! Actually you are not feeling them touching your right leg but you feel the pain and it is immediate and excruciating!

You know, you don’t have much time now. You need to get out and you need help. You need to get to a hospital right away! The closest place is the reef as it is shallow and in some places the water only gets up to your ankle. So you get out and step on the reef, in serious pain already. You have a quick look at your leg and you can see where the tentacles touched you. It is burned into your skin, like a map.

You take a few steps and then you feel it again, a crazy pain, but this time coming from your other foot and you realize that you just stepped on a Reef Stonefish! Now you realize that you are in serious trouble as you remember them telling you that the Reef Stonefish is the most venomous fish in the world. You need to get out. But walking is not really easy anymore. So you put down your hands, careful to not touch another Stonefish and you now move on all four. You realize that you are feeling really bad now and that you are not really under control anymore. But you still try to get back to the beach…

You lift your right hand and grab on a bit of the reef and while you do that you think “what a nice shell”. You touch the shell while trying to pull yourself forward and the bloody thing stings you! Not a Coneshell! And while you still think about how venomous the Coneshell is in Australia you move your left hand forward and unfortunately grab a Blueringed Ocotpus, which in defence, actually stings you too.

This day can never get any worse as your faith is actually more than sealed now. Right now you have no clue if you can feel any worse. Somehow you still manage to see the beach and it seems close. You keep trying and pulling yourself over to the sand. And then it grabs you… By now the bite of the Saltwater Crocodile feels almost like a relive to your legs… And in a way you are glad that all those toxins have numbed you to a point where you no longer care. What a stupid idea to go swimming on an empty beach so close to a busy road in Far North Queensland.

And while the crocodile is pulling you under a last thought crosses your mind: Maybe you should have listened to the locals…

Deserted beach

10 thoughts on “What Could Happen To You When Traveling To Far North Queensland

  1. My last thought would be: ugh! I should’ve just taken a picture and enjoyed a cold beer! 😀 Great story, albeit painful to contemplate 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Share Your World – May 1st, 2017 | A Momma's View

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