Is Australia secure? Everything you have to learn about Australia’s most infamous hazards

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Well-known icons like Steve Irwin and Crocodile Dundee are more likely to blame for Australia’s ‘dangerous’ fame, however worry not – Australia is secure (and tremendous stoked to have you ever)

Australia ranks within the high 25 most peaceable international locations on the 2023 Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index. It has low violent crime charges and only a few terrorism – associated incidents, is a typically secure vacation spot for LGBTQIA+ travellers and really not often has earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions.

And whereas our wildlife has made a reputation for itself on speak exhibits, nature documentaries and varied city legends, we will guarantee you that more often than not, it does really keep within the wild. We people are likely to scare off animals, so even throughout out of doors actions, they’re not more likely to come too shut.

But should you want just a little reassurance, take my phrase for it as an Aussie author, we’re setting the file straight – you’ve doubtless been misled in regards to the nice Down Under.

But first, let’s deal with the elephant – or higher but, the koala – within the room: our animal amigos.

Animals on land and sea: what you have to know

Two snorkelers in the water looking at a nearby whale shark, Western Australia

Spiders, snakes, and sharks, oh my!

The large three critters folks ask about are snakes, spiders and sharks. And hey, we get it. They’re not precisely the cutest animals on the market. So, it’d come as a shock to listen to that they’re really not as large a menace to your Australia vacation as you could assume.

Spiders

Spiders are literally doing you a favour by preserving the flying insect inhabitants down (such a win). They’re typically innocent, nocturnal, largely stick exterior and are labelled as non-aggressive. You’re unlikely to return into contact with the few dangerous species now we have in Australia as they like to cover away.

Hot tip to keep away from an eight-legged interplay: should you’ve left sneakers or a backpack exterior, shake them out earlier than placing them on.

Snakes

Sure, snakes dwell in Australia, however so do kangaroos. And similar to kangaroos, snakes aren’t normally present in cities and main vacationer areas; they like to be in their very own habitat, usually within the desert or dense bushland. They’re additionally not very fond of individuals and are even recognized to be shy. Our recommendation? If you see a snake, depart it alone and it’ll do the identical.

Take further precautions when mountaineering. It’s beneficial that you just put on closed-toe sneakers and lengthy pants. Also attempt to make loud stomping noises when shifting to scare them off. It’s a good suggestion to have information by your facet, particularly if bushwalking in an unfamiliar space.

Bushwalks are a uniquely Australian expertise, made much more memorable with a First Nations information who can’t solely speak in regards to the landscapes but in addition share the tales of the individuals who have lived there for 1000’s of years.

Check out our vary of Australia journeys that includes guided bushwalks

Sharks

Once, on a ship journey off the coast of Australia, a passenger requested the captain if there have been sharks within the water. Used to this query, he advised us to dip our fingers into the ocean and style the water: “if it’s salty, that means there are sharks.” His message was easy: sharks dwell within the ocean.

However, we do take motion to discourage them or warn folks about sure areas. Some widespread seashores use shark nets and even fence-off areas of water to permit swimmers a stress-free dip. Others can have lifeguards who look ahead to potential motion and ring an alarm to get folks out of the water if a shark is sighted. If you’re involved about swimming at a seashore, go for a lifeguard-patrolled.

What about crocodiles, jellyfish and stingrays?

So we’ve cleared the air in regards to the large three, however what in regards to the different toothy, stingy and barbey wildlife that decision Australia house?

Close up of a crocodile on the bank of a river in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

Crocodiles

In Australia, crocodiles are solely discovered within the far tropical northern areas (so that you gained’t discover one in Sydney Harbour). They like to hang around by any kind of salt water, largely the ocean, rivers, swamps, billabongs (Australian time period for pure swimming pools of water) and floodplains. Authorities will monitor widespread areas and work to maintain them croc-free.

Always examine the indicators earlier than swimming wherever, particularly within the northern areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia.

Jellyfish and stingrays

The most harmful jellyfish, the field jellyfish, is present in Australia’s northern waters. Other jellyfish species that may trigger painful stinging embody bluebottles within the east coast areas of Australia. If you assume you’ve been stung, get assist from a lifeguard or first-aid skilled.

Stingrays sadly have a foul fame, however they actually shouldn’t. These marine animals are usually not normally aggressive and solely use their barbed tail if threatened. Keep a watch out for them earlier than wading into the ocean and keep away from contact with the underside of a reef when diving.

The climate, the solar and the ocean

Now that we’ve coated the wildlife, there are nonetheless just a few issues it’s best to learn about staying secure in Australia.

A wide shot of a beach path and wavy beach with crystal blue waters and white sand, Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Western Australia

Water security: riptides and ocean swimming

A rip present, or a ‘rip’ to Aussies is the time period used to explain the movement of water because it returns to the ocean after coming ashore. This water is usually fast-flowing and should take you out to sea should you get caught in it.

How to be secure whereas ocean swimming:

  • Read the indicators on the entrance to the seashore
  • Swim between the pink and yellow flags
    In Australia, this implies it’s the actively patrolled space of the seashore the place lifeguards are scheduled to look at over swimmers and search for risks. Lifeguards will solely put up flags if there are not any rips current so you possibly can swim safely and freely
  • Know what a rip appears to be like like
    Look for water that has a deeper blue or brown color with little to no breaking waves
  • If you get caught, don’t put on your self out by attempting to swim again
    Instead, keep calm, float in your again and sign for assist
  • If you’re a robust swimmer, swim parallel to the shore to get out of the present

Bushfires, flooding and cyclones

The danger of bushfires, often known as forest fires, is bigger through the Australian summer season months (December to February); nonetheless, governments take lively precautions to forestall bushfires in addition to implement hearth security. While it’s unlikely a bushfire will affect your journey to Australia, examine the alert stage within the area you’re visiting earlier than going out into the bush to hike or camp, particularly throughout summer season.

The Australian tropical cyclone season usually runs from round November to April and usually impacts solely the northernmost components of Australia. This time of yr is often known as the moist season when there are extra monsoonal rains, thunderstorms, excessive humidity and heat to sizzling temperatures. Many vacationer companies within the northern areas of the Northern Territory will even shut till the dry season (May to October) begins again up once more.

Flooding is one other pure course of in some areas of the Australian ecosystem and could be very helpful to the setting. Flooding largely impacts the low-lying floodplain areas of Queensland and New South Wales. It’s unlikely your plans will probably be affected by flooding.

Let the specialists prepared the ground on a small guided tour

Sun security

Did you realize that round 18% of Australia is desert and has a few of the highest ranges of UV (ultraviolet) radiation on the planet? In different phrases, the solar is de facto robust in Australia. So, you’ll doubtless have to be proactive to cut back sunburns and sunstroke when travelling to Australia.

From a younger age, Aussies are taught to be solar good by the phrase: ‘Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.’ It’s quick for: slip on protecting clothes, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, search shade and slide on sun shades.

Two women sitting in the sun smiling while wearing broad-rim hats, Red Centre, Australia

Don’t let the solar destroy the enjoyable, right here’s how you can be solar secure in Australia:

  • Use SPF30+ sunscreen (or increased)
    Apply 20 minutes earlier than going exterior. If potential, attempt to purchase reef-safe sunscreen and reapply each two hours after swimming, sweating or towel drying
  • Don’t simply depend on sunscreen
    Also make sure you’re protecting up with clothes, hats, and sun shades and staying within the shade the place potential

The myths, exaggerations and tall tales

We, as Australians, most likely get pleasure from our label as a rustic with a few of the hardest wildlife just a little an excessive amount of. And whereas there are individuals who dwell and work alongside animals within the wild (assume farmers, researchers and park rangers), most of us dwell a reasonably soft life in suburbia with solely a daddy long-leg spider to shoo away occasionally.

However, after we journey and are requested about all these lethal and harmful creatures, there’s little doubt that we get pleasure from getting reactions from folks. We even relish it sufficient to inform some tall tales about rabid koalas (a.okay.a. drop bears) threatening us from the timber.

A koala munching on gum leaves in a tree, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia

Have we satisfied you but?

Hopefully, your fears have been quashed and also you’re able to hit the waves at Bondi Beach or gaze up at mighty Uluru. And hey, whilst you’re on the town seize a killer latte within the laneways of Melbourne or say hi there to our lovable quokka buddies in Western Australia’s Rottnest Island.

If you’re nonetheless in want of just a little convincing, why not look over our unimaginable Australian itineraries, the place certainly one of our pleasant native leaders will information you thru the whole lot from walks in secluded rocky gorges to award-winning vineyards in South Australia, even snorkelling with tropical fish on the Great Barrier Reef.

What do you say? Ready for a stunner of a tour Down Under?

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