Don’t Panic: How to Survive Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation, in north Queensland Australia, is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient rain forest and mangrove forests. However, within this stunning backdrop lie deadly forces just waiting to attack you. Our tour guide described the life threatening encounters that visitors can have in the area; the plants, the wildlife and even the people, can kill you. Between the invisible attacks in the ocean, 7 foot crocs chasing after you, bushes that won’t let you go and wild pigs chasing you up at tree- It’s a wonder how we even got out alive!
Here are the Top 5 things that will kill you in Paradise.
- From October to early June, warm water brings thousands of crystal clear Box Jellyfish around Cape Tribulation. These particular jellyfish are so potent because their venom attacks the cardiovascular system and can cause swimmers to drown before reaching land for help. Our tour guide told us that if you were touched by one, it would only take minutes to kill you. MINUTES!
How to Survive: Since Stingers are translucent, it’s best to stay out of the water during those months. If you really want to swim, some beach areas have nets up to protect you from the vicious jellyfish. (There are also fresh water swimming holes.) Should you happen to get stung, immediately apply vinegar to the stingers (for at least 30 seconds) before removing them. If you don’t treat the infected area before pulling out the stinger, the jellyfish can do more harm by releasing extra toxins into your body. Seek medical attention ASAP.
- Salt Water Crocodiles are very smart animals, who hunt and spy on their pry. They can hide out in shallow or deep waters, near the ocean or in fresh water creeks- so you really have to be on the look out at all times, even though, I’m pretty sure they’ll see you before you’ll see them! They are super fast, very aggressive and have been known to pull down a cow before. It is reported that these crocodiles kill 1-2 people per year.
How to Survive: While walking and hiking around, make sure to keep a good eye on your surroundings. Watch for crocodile signs and when in doubt- ask a local. It’s also best not to swim or play near an estuary.
- The Stinging Tree looks completely harmless with it’s big leaves and beautiful red berries. DO NOT TOUCH IT! One touch and you’ll get thousands of little prickling glass-like shards embedded into your skin. They itch and sting and the feeling can last for months. Every time the wind blows or you take a shower or someone just accidentally bushes your arm, you’ll feel the prickles- and it hurts! Also, if you breath the shards in, you could DIE!
How to Survive: This one is pretty easy- Don’t touch it! (Our tour guide told us that the berries on the plant are actually quite delicious- but he’s never tried them because he doesn’t want to risk it. Yes- don’t try them. Why would you want to try to pick them and then accidentally rub against the bush?! Stay away!) (photo via.)
Update: The people at Cape Trib Connections told us a helpful hint if you ever do come in contact with a Stinging Tree. “If you ever get stung by a stinging tree all you need to do is wax the area of your body where you have been stung and it removes majority of the glass-like cyclinders in your skin”.
- Running around mainly at night, Wild Boars will kill you. There are an estimated 21 million wild boars roaming around Australia, harming smaller wildlife and the environment. They mainly attack lambs and smaller animals, but if cornered or scared, the boars have been known to charge right at humans.
How to Survive: Watch where you’re walking and be alert. It’s best not to surprise or scare them, as that is when they feel most threatened. Also, our tour guide Peter told us, if a wild boar is charging at you- run around in circles because they can’t cut corners very well, however, I’m not sure how well that would work out. (He also said you could climb a tree and wait it out! Good luck with that one.) photo via.
- This long vine has spikes on its side that, when you rub against them, stick to you- and don’t let go! They’ve been known to pull a girl off a horse as she rode by. She was stuck in a tree for hours until someone could help her out. (That may be an old wives tale…) Either way, you don’t want to be pricked by the Wait-a-While bush.
How to Survive: Keep alert while hiking and walking through the rain forest. Stay away from long vines and do not touch anything!
And if that wasn’t enough- here’s an extra one!
Even the people will kill you! There really isn’t much to do in Cape Tribulation after sunset. There are a few bars located at each of the hotels and hostels in the area. Even though the hostels are fairly close to each other, there are no street lights (or any other light) once the sun goes down. Again, our tour guide told us to be careful because people might think they only have a short drive back to their hotel, and so they drive drunk. He wasn’t worried about them- He was worried about the walkers.
How to Survive: Bring a flashlight or two if you’re going to be walking around the area after dark. We took a Night Tour through the rain forest and our guide drove like a maniac- I can’t imagine if someone had been walking by.
Thanks to these survival techniques, we lived through Cape Tribulation. We brought flashlights, didn’t swim in the water, and were constantly on the look out for crocodiles, wild boar and killer plants. Have you been to Cape Tribulation? Did you come in contact with any of these killers? Did you Die?!?