The Huntsman Spider
Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) are a family of spiders known as Huntsman spiders because of their speed and mode of hunting. They also are called giant crab spiders, because of their size and appearance. Larger species sometimes are referred to as wood spiders, because of their preference for woody places (forest, mine shafts, woodpiles, wooden shacks), or clock spiders. In southern Africa they are known as rain spiders and lizard-eating spiders. Commonly they also are confused with baboon spiders, which are practically unrelated, being in a differentinfraorder, the Mygalomorphae. [Wikipedia]
These large spiders move very quickly, they are hairy with long legs. They often shock people who are not from Australia, as Australia has a reputation for dangerous creatures. Due to their size and speed, they do manage to intimidate a lot of people. I once heard an Australian comedian mention his fear of spiders, he mentioned that he knows the Huntsman spiders are not dangerous, but how could we not be scared of them when they have been given the name Hunts… Man….!. However, these spiders are harmless. The spiders can measure up to 15 cms wide from leg to leg. They have a flat body, which is useful for them to crawl underneath bark and other such hiding places.
They can bite you, and if they do, it will be painful and swelling may occur. A cold pack may relieve the symptoms, but if pain persists please see a doctor.
They feed on insects and other such invertebrates.