Lonely Planet Writer

Queensland police save backpackers from “spiders the size of dinner plates”

A group of unfortunate French backpackers in Mareeba, North Queensland found themselves in a creepy situation recently when they had an unexpected run in with some alarming arachnids.

A pair of Mareeba officers were flagged down to help the backpackers deal with the eminent threat.
A pair of officers from Mareeba were flagged down to help the backpackers deal with the eminent threat. Image by Highway Patrol Images / CC BY 2.0

According to their reports, the backpackers’ campervan had been invaded by hairy spiders the size of dinner plates, leading them to flag down passing police officers to help them deal with the disturbance.

The spider turned out to be smaller than the excited backpackers first described.
The spider turned out to be smaller than first described by the excited backpackers. Image by Queensland Police

A pair of female police officers arrived on the scene to assist the terrified backpackers, joking that their “aim (was) good, but not that good!” Upon investigation, they found only one spider and it was not quite the size that had been described. The officers added that it wasn’t the spider that the travellers needed to worry about, but the two metre long scrub python lurking nearby. Police in the area have since suggested that travellers invest in a can of insect spray.