4 Most Snake Infested Lakes in New South Wales

Written by Sarah Barkley
Updated: November 6, 2023
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Australia is known for its warm weather, beautiful oceans, and much more, but did you know they have some of the most snake-infested lakes in New South Wales? The most venomous snake on earth lives in Australia, making it a concern whether you live in New South Wales or want to visit the area.   

Discover the top 4 snake-infested lakes in New South Wales.

Snakes in Australia are typically only active during the hottest months. They are mostly inactive when the weather is colder. Some snakes prefer coming out at night, while others are active only during the day.  

In Australia, there are nearly 140 land snake species and 32 sea snake species. While 100 of them are venomous, only 12 are deadly, with the most dangerous species being the:  

Some of their rivers are also infested with snakes. Identifying these areas can help avoid encountering any snake species you don’t want to see.  

1. Lake Macquarie is One of the Most Snake-Infested Lakes in New South Wales

Aerial view of Lake Macquarie and Warners Bay - Newcastle Australia. The largest coastal lake in Australia is a popular area 25 minutes south of Newcastle CBD.

One of Australia’s most-infested lakes in Australia, Lake Macquarie is home to venomous and aggressive snakes.

©Ben Jeayes/Shutterstock.com

Lake Macquarie is one of the most snake-infested lakes in all of Australia, so it makes the list for New South Wales without question. Some of the snake species found in the lake include: 

Despite the snake-infested waters, people still love to boat, fish, and enjoy other activities at Lake Macquarie. If you go, you’ll want to be vigilant of your surroundings to avoid an encounter with a snake.   

2. Smiths Lake 

Trees growing on the shore of Smiths Lake in the Myall Lakes National Park New South Wales Australia

Smiths Lake offers a beautiful sight but snakes linger beneath the surface and in the surrounding land.

©Destinations Journey/Shutterstock.com

Macquarie University sends second-year ecology students on a yearly annual field trip to Smiths Lake, and many of the results highlight the snake species found there. Some of the snakes found in and around the lake include the following:  

  • Blackish blind snake, non-venomous  
  • Small-eyed snake, venomous  
  • Black-bellied swamp snake, venomous  
  • Golden-crowned snake, venomous 
  • Bandy-bandy or Hoop snake, venomous 
  • Rough-scaled snake, venomous  
  • Stephens’s banded snake, venomous 
  • Death adder, venomous 

3. Lake Mulwala 

Soft afternoon light on reed beds at the edge of Lake Mulwala in New South Wales, Australia, with gentle ripples across the surface of the water beneath a cloudy blue sky.

You can enjoy the scenery at Lake Mulwala, but stay attentive to your surroundings to avoid snakes.

©Norman Allchin/Shutterstock.com

This lake borders New South Wales and Victoria and offers a tranquil setting that attracts visitors. If you choose to visit the area, you’ll want to be careful to promote personal safety and be mindful to preserve their habitat.  

Some of the snakes found in and around the water at Lake Mulwala include: 

  • Eastern brown snake (venomous)  
  • Tiger snake (venomous) 

4. Lake Conjola 

Nature lovers enjoy Lake Conjola for its undeveloped sub-tropical environment, but they must watch out for snakes. Some of the snakes found here include: 

  • Diamond python (nonvenomous) 
  • Red-bellied black snake (venomous) 
Small fishing boats docking at wooden pier in rural area of Lake Conjola, Australia.

Lake Conjola offers a good fishing spot if you’re comfortable navigating snake-infested waters.


Safety Precautions When Visiting One of the Most Snake Infested Lakes in New South Wales 

Most snakes won’t bite you if you keep your distance and leave them alone. Some are aggressive, but most are afraid of humans and want to be unbothered.   

However, tiger snakes and eastern brown snakes are aggressive, so if you encounter one, back away slowly until they can’t see you. Then, when you’re out of their sight, run until you’re in a safe place.   

To stay safe, consider doing the following: 

  • Make noise and walk loudly to scare snakes away. 
  • Wear boots and long pants when exploring areas near the water.  
  • Don’t put your hands or feet where snakes might hide.  
  • Walk the other way or give a wide berth if you see a snake in the open.  

What to Do if You or Someone Else Gets Bit by a Snake 

  • Take note of its body color, length, eye color or placement, head shape, pupil shape, and anything else that can help a medical professional identify the species. Distinctive patterns are also helpful, and being descriptive can help determine which anti-venom to use.  
  • Have the person lie down and avoid moving them while you call for help. You’ll want to keep them as still as possible until help arrives. 
  • Call emergency services by dialing 000 in Australia. 
  • Wrap a bandage around the snake bite and apply pressure along the limb.  
  • Avoid panicking, running, or attempting to catch the snake. You’ll want to get out of the way and allow the snake to leave the area.  
  • Don’t wash the bite, suck it, or cut the area.  

Anti-venom is available for all snake species in Australia, and there’s a universal anti-venom in case of a bite by an unknown snake type. You can also find emergency health care easier in Australia than in other places, so you have a better chance of getting quick treatment.   

Summary of Most Snake-Infested Lakes in New South Wales 

Lake Snakes Found There 
1Lake Macquarie -Eastern brown snake (highly venomous and aggressive)  
-Red-bellied black snake (venomous)  
-Rough-scaled snake (venomous) 
2Smiths Lake -Blackish blind snake (non-venomous)  
-Small-eyed snake (venomous) 
-Black-bellied swamp snake (venomous) 
-Golden-crowned snake (venomous) 
-Bandy-bandy or Hoop snake (venomous) 
-Rough-scaled snake (venomous) 
-Stephens’s banded snake (venomous)  
-Death adder (venomous) 
3Lake Mulwala -Eastern brown snake (venomous)   
-Tiger snake (venomous) 
4Lake Conjola -Diamond python (nonvenomous)  
-Red-bellied black snake (venomous) 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Wozzie/Shutterstock.com

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