Snakes are an important part of our environment and are often misunderstood. The Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) protects snakes. Harming a snake is an offence under this legislation.

If you see a snake, it's always best to assume it is harmful and leave it alone. 

Remember that:

  • not all snakes are venomous
  • not every animal that looks like a snake is a snake - people often mistake burrowing skinks and legless lizards for snakes
  • when left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people
  • most people who receive a snake bite are trying to capture or kill a snake
  • most snakes, even the dangerous ones, will retreat when given the chance.

Find out more about snakes in our region.

What should I do if see see a snake?

Stay calm, and if possible, walk away. If you or someone you know has been bitten follow the steps to manage snake bite

Where and when are snakes most active?

You can find snakes in a variety of bushland habitats, but they are also common in backyards. You might see snakes sheltering beneath rocks and log piles, underneath old sheets of tin and rubbish or amongst leaf litter.

Snakes warm their body using external heat from the sun or warmed rocks. They need this heat to perform everyday activities, like finding food. This means during cooler months snakes are less active. As our weather gets warmer there is an increase in snake activity and more sightings.

A snake is inside my house, what should I do?

If you have a snake inside your house:

  1. Leave it alone.
  2. Close internal doors and open external doors.
  3. Keep everyone including pets away from snake. This gives the snake a chance to leave on its own.
  4. If this doesn’t work, contact a local commercial snake catcher who can move the snake to a safe place.

Remember: snakes are an essential part of our environment. A nearby snake may replace one that has been relocated.

How can I keep safe?

To stay snake-safe:

  • At home - screen off doors and windows around your home and block potential entry points.
  • When gardening - wear gloves, long pants and covered shoes.
  • When bushwalking - stay on formed paths or tracks so you can see and avoid snakes. Always wear protective clothing like covered shoes and trousers.

To keep your backyard safe:

  • maintain your lawn
  • move gardens and sheds away from the house
  • neatly stack timber, building and rubbish piles
  • place food scraps in closed compost bins to avoid attracting rodents
  • make your bird aviaries and chook sheds rodent and snake-proof
  • store bird seed in rodent-proof containers.

How to manage snake bites 

  1. Follow a DRSABCD action plan
    • Danger
    • Response
    • Send for help
    • Airway
    • Breathing
    • CPR
    • Defibrillation
  2. Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.
  3. Lie the patient down and ask them to keep still. Reassure the patient.
  4. If on a limb, apply an elasticised roller bandage (10 to 15 centimetres wide) over the bite site as soon as possible.
  5. Apply a further elasticised roller bandage (10 to 15 centimetres wide), starting just above the fingers or toes and moving upwards on the bitten limb as far as can be reached.
  6. Apply the bandage as firmly as possible to the limb. You should be unable to easily slide a finger between the bandage and the skin.
  7. Immobilise the bandaged limb using splints.
  8. Write down the time of the bite and when the bandage was applied. If possible, mark the location of the bite site (if known) on the skin with a pen, or photograph the site. Do not wash venom off the skin or clothes because it can assist identification.
  9. Stay with the patient until medical aid arrives.

St John Ambulance Australia, 2022 

More information on snake bites is available at Health Direct.

Common snakes of South East Queensland

Carpet python snake with thick head and upper body with brown and grey diamond-patterned skin, hanging over a tree branch.

Carpet Python

Not venemous. Often lives in trees, and sometimes another animals’ burrow. You will often see these pythons on the road on warm spring and summer nights. Mainly active at night.

A thin yellow, brown and green coloured snake curled around an upright tree branch with its head touching it's upper body.

Common tree snake

Not venomous. Common tree snakes live in a variety of habitats, but are usually seen in Eucalypt woodland or rainforest areas. Active during the day in trees and on the ground.

A thin and very dark skinned snake with a lighter yellow face moving around on dry brown grass.

Yellow-faced whip snake

Venomous, large snakes that are potentially dangerous. They are active during the day, very agile and escape quickly when disturbed. Found throughout South East Queensland.

A dark snake with a cream band around the back of its head and the front of its face. The top of its head is a dark colour.

White-crowned snake

Venomous, but not dangerous to humans. One of the most common snakes in Brisbane, even occurring in the inner city. It inhabits compost heaps and damp areas of gardens.

A dark-skinned black and brown snake with a speckled pattern, curled up on the dirt next to some leaves.

Keelback snake

Not venomous. Lives in and around creeks, rivers and marshlands. Active day or night.

A thin dark snake with lighter underbelly and a small head with small eyes.

Eastern small-eyed snake

This snake favours dark areas under sheets of tin, rocks and bark on fallen logs.

A light brown speckled snake with a light face and chest curled up on the dirt next to some leave.

Eastern brown snake

Highly venomous. Lives in habitats ranging from grassland to Eucalypt forests. Found in all but the western parts of Queensland. Active during the day. Will strike if provoked.

A black snake with a reddish belly laying on a rock with some grass.

Red-bellied black snake

Venomous. Lives in a variety of habitats near water and often found in wetter vegetation communities. Active during the day.