Samia Lila was serving drinks at Mimosa Winery Sunday when a customer pointed out the goanna, which is a sort of giant Australian monitor lizard, that was scurrying across the floor. Lila, a 25-year-old waitress visiting from France, told Bega District News that she "looked at it and thought it was a dog at first."
As she moved the animal across the veranda, patrons jumped out of the way, and one woman leaped onto her chair.
Lila finally cornered the creature and managed to grab it by the tail, then pull it out of the restaurant.
"I wasn't scared. I like reptiles, so I was a bit excited," she said.
Somebody captured a video of the brief encounter, and the restaurant posted it to its Facebook page, where it has been viewed over 500,000 times. The video has earned her the nickname, "Goanna Girl."
Unwelcome visitor in the restaurant today was no match for French waitress Samia ( Goanna Girl ) !!
"At first I was shocked, but then I just smiled. Afterwards I was a bit shaky," Lila told ABC News Online.
It was the second time she has seen a goanna at the winery. She scared the first one off a week earlier.
Reptile handler John Hassell said Lila used good technique by lifting the animal's rear legs off the ground, but that one would ideally lift the animal further up along its tail to prevent it from turning around and biting someone.
Lila has been Australia since November. She said she will probably continue to work in the restaurant until her visa expires, then will continue her travels.