Travelling downunder isn’t all surf and sunshine; kangaroos and koalas; or moonbeams and magic. A fabulous holiday can also be an opportunity to share the sights with some of Australia’s lesser known – and MUCH less popular – creatures!
Like I did when I met my TOP 10 Aussie pests some FAAAAABULOUS places! Where I’ll go again – despite the presence of vermin.
Because meeting the ‘locals’ isn’t anywhere near so scary when you’re armed with a range of pest control products and preventative measures to keep them at bay. They’ll leave you free to enjoy the attractions without too much vermin distraction AND have a horror story or two to dine out on!
Actually, that’s win-Win-WIN! Check out the great giveaway at the bottom of the post!!
1 For MOSQUITOES, try Victoria Park!
I’ve visited this tiny fragment of remnant rainforest full of sub-tropical flora and fauna in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales many times. Its Scenic Public Toilet even made it into MY BOOK!
But although the photographic and birding attractions along the 400m boardwalk circuit mean it usually takes over an hour to walk, on our last visit we set a new lap record!
Why? Because when millions of mosquitoes (give or take a few hundred thousand) descend and threaten to carry you away, there’s only one thing to do.
RUN like hell! AND … next time bring some protection!!
2 For SANDFLIES, try Kununurra!
With killer sunsets like these direct from any lake-front campsite at the Kununurra Lakeside Tourist Park, I’m prepared to overlook a few minor inconveniences.
Even the sandflies that love me like a sister.
They ‘ringbarked’ me around the waistband of my shorts the first time I shot the sunset. Of course I was asking for it by a) wearing a loose T-shirt and b) NOT wearing any insect repellent. I didn’t make THAT mistake again – and didn’t score any more bites!
But I DID score some FAAAAABULOUS sunset photos!
3 For FLIES, try Parachilna!
On a fine day, the awesome view from the ever-so-scenic Parachilna Public Toilet (YES! It’s in MY BOOK!) shows the magnificent Heysen Ranges in South Australia’s northern Flinders Ranges at their best (see 2nd pic).
The view DOESN’T show the gazillion flies.
But why let a few million mates of Aussie Icon Louie the fly bother you when you’ve got all the attractions of one of Australia’s most magnificent National Parks to explore on the one hand, and a can of fly spray in the other??!!
4 For Deadly JELLYFISH, try Cairns!
First time visitors to Far North Queensland are often surprised to see emergency rations of vinegar at strategic intervals along the beach. AND grateful – especially if they’ve picked up an order of fish and chips to go, but forgot the condiments.
But if you’re ever stung by the deadly Irukandji (aka box jellyfish) just hope the tourists didn’t get to the vinegar first because a liberal application may help stop the intense pain – and the array of nasty symptoms collectively known as Irukandji Syndrome.
Avoid this pest like the plague! How? During October to May, wear a stinger suit, swim in the stinger net exclusion zones or just use the pool!
And leave the vinegar for the fish & chips!
5 For MOTHS, try Canberra, OR the Victorian High Country!
Actually, almost anywhere in Australia with an outside light at night is a good – or bad – place for moths, depending on your point of view.
But there’s a couple of places for a REAL moth experience – and the mystery of the moth mass migration! And that’s at either the High Country around Mount Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain in summer – or when they move down the slopes in winter. They’ve been known to invade Canberra – you’ve GOT to love a moth that has no fear of politicians!
And if killer tomatoes are worthy horror movie subjects, why not Giant Moths? Or – even better – Giant MUTANT Mass Migrating Moths? Call me, Hollywood!!
6 For TICKS, try Toonumbar National Park!
An hour into our rainforest walk, and what happens?
Not just a light shower either, but a heavy, drenching rain rattling atop the canopy high above, then ever so slowly dripping through onto the mid-storey leaves above us. Pilchard was on full leech alert as the track slowly turned muddy and the leaves of our shelter started dripping down the back of my neck.
Well, what did we expect? Toonumbar National Park, in Northern New South Wales, is in a high rainfall area, and we WERE walking through pristine rainforest.
We didn’t see any leeches.
BUT, back at the camper trailer Pilchard’s tick-removal skills – yes, THAT’S what those flat-nose tweezers in the first aid box are for – got a full workout!
7 For SNAKES, try Tasmania!
In answer to often asked, but tedious question of whether I’m a cat or a dog person, I say neither. For a ophidiophobe, a mongoose is the only sane choice of pet. And Rikki Tikki Tavi (the famous snake-fighting mongoose from the Jungle Book) the only hero worth a damn in childhood literature.
So it was a good thing that my 10 days in Tassie were snake-free, although everyone else who’s been there tells me I just got lucky.
Even the cold doesn’t slow them down, I’m told.
And even for a snake-fearer like me, seeing a snake sunning itself on the snow would almost be worth the scare factor.
It’s possible the snakes were there all along – but with scenery like Tasmania’s got, I’m WAY too busy taking photos to care!
8 For MICE, try the Yorke Peninsula!
South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula isn’t the only place in Australia subject to mice plagues from time to time.
BUT … it’s (arguably) one of the most scenic! And with public loos SO scenic, they’ve scored their own section in MY BOOK!
Yes, I’m digressing. But that’s what the scenery will make YOU do if you’re unfortunate enough to encounter a mouse while you’re down there 😀
9 For ANTS, try Endeavour Falls!
Our stay at this little campground gem just north of Cooktown wasn’t marred at all by the rubber-chomping ants that built their nests each night over the power cord stretching across the ground from the camper trailer to the power box.
That’s because we didn’t actually KNOW they’d chomped through the outer layer of rubber that held the electrical wiring together until we packed up to leave!
All the same, it was probably lucky we only stayed in this Far North Queensland hot spot for 4 nights. Any longer, and the ants would have exposed the wires. It won’t stop us staying there again – but next time we’ll suspend the cord above the ground.
10 For CROCODILES, try Cahill’s Crossing!
OK, Ok, ok. Crocodiles aren’t really vermin, are they?
They’re more along the lines of a dangerous, man-eating predator. But who among us hasn’t thought of a verminous human (or two) for which a crocodile (or two) would provide the perfect final solution? And Cahill’s Crossing, from Kakadu to the eastern boundary of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, is one of Australia’s best final solution HOT spots.
Tragically, there’s no effective (or ineffective) crocodile repellent on the market. Even more tragically, and unlike most other Aussie vermin, there’s no known antidote for crocodile attack.
For a verminous croc, prevention really is the best defence!
You’re on your own with the Crocodile Repellent. And you’ll have to find your own mongoose. But for the smaller Aussie pests, there’s often nothing that a good dose of mosquito repellent won’t fix!
But meeting the vermin is all part of the fun of an Aussie travel adventure, right?
For a chance to test that out for yourself, Mortein is offering one lucky reader a pack of these four TOP products worth $AUD75*:
- Mortein NaturGard Auto Protect Indoor Odourless
- Mortein NaturGard Auto Protect Outdoor Citronella
- Mortein NaturGard Odourless Flying Insect Spray
- Mortein Kill & Protect Surface Spray
SO … if you have an Australian or New Zealand postal address, enter the Mortein Prize Pack Giveaway by making a comment below containing the word ‘VERMIN’ by midnight, 8th April 2015 (see terms & conditions below)!
Giveaway Terms & Conditions: All comments containing the word ‘Vermin’ made before midnight 08 April 2015 (AEST) will be entered into a draw and a winner randomly selected via random.org. The winner will be contacted by email and must provide an Australian or New Zealand postal address to RedzAustralia (which will be passed to Mortein for mailing the giveaway prize) within 3 days of the date of the email to claim the giveaway. The giveaway will be forfeited if the winner fails to provide an Australian or New Zealand postal address within that time and will be offered to the next person on the random.org list and so on until the giveaway is claimed.
Disclosure: Mortein provided RedzAustralia with 4 products to test and is providing 4 products to give away in return for this post.
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