If you’re planning that trip of a lifetime down under, congratulations—you’re about to embark on a holiday you’ll never forget. In the planning process, however, as busy as you’ll be booking Brisbane apartments and Melbourne motels, it’s important to take into consideration a few basic common-sense safety tips to make sure you remember your trip for all the right reasons! Here are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind:
Much is made of the dangerous Australian wildlife overseas, but the fact is that if you treat Australian animals with respect, they’ll generally leave you alone. Having said this, there are a few situations in which you need to be extra careful.
- Swimming in the Northern Territory, or North Western Australia can only be done where it is clearly stated that it is safe. Saltwater crocodiles populate the North of Australia and are prehistoric killing machines. They can travel over land at speed as well, so be aware of this threat and don’t go off exploring bush land near rivers or waterholes without a guide.
- Australia has some of the world’s deadliest snakes and spiders, and they can be found all over the country. Snakes are a threat in long grass or bush land, so watch where you are walking and try to make plenty of noise as you do—it will scare them away. The Sydney Funnel Web, in spite of its name, is actually found all the way up the east coast of Australia, and makes its web in trees, under rocks and in dead logs. Never pick up a rock with your hands, and if you need to move a log or stick, kick it over first.
- Shark attacks, while uncommon, do happen a few times a year in Australia, and in order to avoid the risk, don’t surf or swim after dark and stay in patrolled beaches.
- Also in the North of the country are the Box Jellyfish and Irukanji, both incredibly venomous creatures. These populate the waters seasonally, so make sure you check whether or not it is a safe time to swim. Stinger suits, which protect from the deadly sting, are available for diving and snorkeling.
While these warnings may scare you, it’s really not as common as it may sound to be affected by Australia’s dangerous wildlife. As long as you use common sense you probably wont encounter any threats, and if you do, hospitals are well-equipped to deal with venomous bites and stings. A good travel insurance policy and a bit of research will steer you in the right direction.