Australia is a truly amazing travel destination. And it’s one of the safest too. However, it’s important to watch out for a few hazards and dangers on your trip to Australia. Here are our seven tips for staying safe:
1. Wear Sunscreen
The sun in Australia can be incredibly strong. Visitors and residents are advised to wear an SPF 30+ sunscreen lotion to protect their skin from harmful rays. It’s worth staying out of the sun during the middle of the day and always carrying a bottle of water to stay hydrated. A good sunhat, sunglasses and light, breathable clothing to cover up on hotter days will also come in handy.
2. Take Care of Your Belongings
Australia is a safe country with a low crime rate. However, particularly if you’re in a big city, use the same level of caution you would anywhere else in the world. Keep your personal belongings close. If you’re sat at a street side table, don’t leave your phone or wallet in view. And be wary of poorly lit neighbourhoods and streets after dark.
3. Prepare for the Outback
For many visitors, understanding quite the scale of Australia’s outback can be tricky. This epic landscape covers many thousands of miles with very few towns or villages in between. So, if you’re planning an outback road trip you need to take precautions. Take provisions (including plenty of water) to last a few days, pack equipment to change a tyre and notify someone of your travel plans. That way, if you do break down, you’ll be able to wait more comfortably for some help to drive by.
4. Use a VPN
When you’re travelling, you want to get online to keep in touch with friends and family and plan the next part of your trip. If you think you’ll be using public Wi-Fi networks on a regular basis, set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) before you travel. This encrypted connection will keep your device and your data safe from any would-be hackers.
5. Swim Between the Red and Yellow Flags
The red and yellow flags on Australian beaches show you where it is safe to swim and where a lifeguard is on duty. Also take notice of any signs or warnings you see at the beach and be sure to ask a lifeguard if you’re unsure the water is safe. A singular yellow flag warns that conditions are potentially dangerous whilst a red flag shows that the beach is closed due to excessively dangerous swimming conditions.
6. Steer Clear of Sharks and Crocs
Shark attacks in Australia are extremely rare, in part because of the shark netting used to protect the most popular swimming beaches. However, you can reduce the risk even further by swimming between the yellow and red flags. You should also avoid swimming at evening or dusk and in very deep water. Crocodiles are also a consideration. Warning signs are usually plentiful around croc habitats but ask for expert advice before camping or fishing near a river, deep pool or mangrove.
7. Take Precautions When Hiking
If you’re planning to go on a hike or bushwalk in Australia, a little careful planning can keep you safe. Make sure you’re clear on your route or for longer and more complicated walks consider hiring a guide. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back and avoid hiking on very hot days. Always take sun protection, plenty of water, insect repellent, a good map and sturdy shoes. And if you’re unlucky enough to get bitten by a spider or a snake, seek immediate medical care – some varieties can be poisonous.
Travelling Australia is sure to be an exciting and memorable experience. A little common sense and an understanding of local dangers will help you to stay safe throughout your Australian adventure.
Author: Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.