Dangerous wildlife


Despite the name, sharks are no more of a threat in Shark Bay than any other area in Australia. There have been 28 species recorded in Shark Bay but only one or two could be considered dangerous and even this is debatable. As with most places in Australia the chances of being attacked by a shark in the bay are very low.

Lemon shark
Lemon shark

Snakes and spiders

Snakes and spiders are not of particular concern in Shark Bay. Although snakes have a bad reputation they are actually quite timid and prefer to flee from humans if given a chance. To avoid provoking them, look where you are walking and don't poke around logs or burrows. It's also a good idea to wear sturdy boots and thick socks when you're out walking. If bitten, immediately apply a tight, broad pressure bandage. Apply a splint to keep the limb immobile and seek medical help. Similarly with spiders you should avoid them where possible and do not attempt to handle them, even if they’re small.

Rays, stingers and other dangerous marine creatures

Shark Bay’s shallow marine waters harbour a few dangers that you should be aware of.

Stone fish are potentially lethal creatures that live in murky waters and inflict a painful sting if stepped on. Treatment is by submerging the limb in hot water to a level that can be tolerated by the patient so as to break down the toxin. Be careful where you walk and wear reef shoes when walking in the shallows.
Blue-ringed octopuses live on reef flats and in tidal pools and can be recognised by their brilliant blue rings when disturbed. Avoid these animals at all costs as there bite is particularly harmful.
Stingrays are very common in the shallow inshore waters around Shark Bay’s coastline and there is a good chance you will see them during your visit. Typically they will try to avoid you when you are in the water but if you step on one, they can inflict a painful sting from the barb at the base of their tail. Take care when walking in the shallows and avoid rays wherever possible.

Cow-tailed ray
Cow-tailed ray
Sea snakes are also quite common in the bay but are generally placid and even quite curious creatures. Treat them like land snakes; don’t approach them or touch them


Insects are more of an annoyance in Shark Bay than a danger to your health. At certain times flies can be in abundance and after rain you may encounter mosquitoes and sandflies. When travelling to Shark Bay ensure you pack insect repellent just in case.