Don’t let the thought of snakes prevent you from doing the Great Ocean walk, as they really aren’t that interested in you! All you have to do is try and avoid them. They don’t like people, so given the opportunity will happily choose to escape rather than attack. Just be aware of where you rest your hands and feet and don’t walk barefoot in long grass. Stop if you see a snake in your path; don’t touch it, don’t threatened it and try not to frighten it. The best thing to do is to stay still or back away slowly to give it a chance to retreat.
If you do get bitten the most important thing to remember is to restrict the venom so that you can delay the onset of symptoms. Apply a pressure bandage immediately (the same pressure you would apply to a sprained ankle) but make sure that you do not wrap it too tight. The idea is not to cut off the blood flow to the limb, so you definitely would NOT apply a tourniquet or a constrictive bandage.
Place the bandage over the bite and bandage as much of the limb as possible. Use a splint to keep the limb immobilised. Remember, do not wash the bite as once in hospital the venom on the skin will be identified so that medical staff can administer the correct antivenom.
In the unlikely event of being bitten by a snake, call emergency services immediately. (Call 000).
In over 10 years of organising walks on the Great Ocean walk track we have not experienced any walkers bitten by a snake. The track is well cleared therefore you are not walking through long grass. However, occasionally the warm cleared earth of the trail offers the perfect spot for a snake to bask in the sun. So, stay aware, but relax and enjoy. If you do spot snake, just stop and watch calmly and respectfully from a distance.