Tourism safety in Australia
Safety in Australia for tourists and the general population indigenous or otherwise is by many margins almost a non issue. As a tourist destination it is a safe country to visit and enjoy if certain standard precautions are observed.
The hazards from the wildlife in Australia or the severe summer heat are more apt to be the cause of problems versus human crime.
A study from 1994 to 2003 showed there were 0.9 tourist murders per million, indicating this is an exceedingly rare event indeed. Far more deaths – 73%- occur to visitors to Australia from natural causes, heart disease being the main culprit.
Due to the ozone layer depletion over regions Down-Under it is strongly advised one wear broad brimmed hats and use plenty of sunscreen during the hot months, November through February.
Forest fires and floods have increased of late impacting Australian tourism to the degree that itineraries are necessarily impacted in affected and also neighboring areas. Prudent assessment according to a reasonable balance of all factors bearing on ones visit to Australia should lead in your decision-making process. Australia is a huge country and has numerous options as one would expect in a 21st century vibrant, leading country. Assess all options.
Also use caution as to which beaches have shark alerts as they can vary.
Similarly use caution in any wild areas and bush as Australia has an unusually high number of venomous snakes.
Finally if you have youngsters whom may innocently want to explore under rocks while at the beach and seashore, be advised that they should not pick up any little octopus. No matter how pretty they may seem to your kids, the Blue Ringed octopus ( brownish until they are angry) is venomous, though incidents are extremely rare, deaths have resulted.
The preceding cautions are truly a minimal concession considering the substantial payback to be had from a wealth of exciting and safe travel experiences in that amazing continent.
Safety in Australia
Australia and New Zealand are both classed as developed nations, and have very little street crime, so they tend to be quite safe once you arrive here. But, getting here can be a different story if you are a little naive. Australia and New Zealand is at the other end of the world and most flights to Australia and New Zealand will take at least 20 hours before you have safely arrived here.
So, here is a rundown on what not to do:
Do not accept to carry the bags and/or items of other travellers that you meet along the way. This is a popular trick of drug syndicates who bring drugs and other contraband into Australia and New Zealand. The penalties for bringing drugs into Australia and New Zealand are very severe, let alone the penalties that Thailand and some other South East Asian countries hand out (including the death penalty).
If anyone does ask you to bring something in, take a good look at it before you make decision. But, if you want to remain on the safe side decline them and contact the authorities in that country if they are trying to compel you to take whatever it is into Australia and/or New Zealand.
Make sure you regularly inspect everything that has gone into your luggage on a regular basis, because ignorance of the law is not an excuse in Australia and New Zealand. If contraband like cocaine or heroin is found in your luggage you will have a difficult time proving your innocence in an Australian or New Zealand court of law.
Safety in Australia
Australia is, overall, a safe country to visit. The government is stable, the crime rate is comparatively low and the nation’s strict gun control laws means that gun related crimes are virtually non-existent. Of course, there are always dangers, especially to tourists. As with any country, you should always be aware that tourists are an easy mark for thieves. Keep money belts concealed under your clothing and try to avoid carrying important documents, such as your passport, with you. Most hotels and backpackers hostels provide lockable storage for these items.
In recent years, Australia has been experiencing problems with ATM scams. When using an ATM, you should always cover your hand when you enter your PIN number. Report any unusual incidents, such as the ATM machine not releasing your card or money, to the bank immediately. If the bank is closed, call the police.
The emergency phone number in Australia is 000. This will put you through to the police, ambulance or fire services. Triple 0 is a free call from any phone in Australia and can still be used from mobile phones that don’t have a SIM card. For non-urgent police matters, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The Australian environment can turn from peaceful to deadly in an instant. Tourists should always take warning signs seriously, as many deaths are easily preventable.
The Australian ocean can be a treacherous place. Giant swells and hidden rips can be fatal for even the most experienced swimmers. Only swim on patrolled beaches and always swim in between the red and yellow flags. Plain red flags mean the beach is closed and not safe for swimming, or even wading. Never swim while you are drunk or under the influence of drugs.
If you do find yourself in trouble at the beach, wave your arms and wait for a lifeguard to rescue you. Try to remain afloat, but do not swim against a current or rip.
Bushfires are a highly dangerous and sadly very common part of an Australian summer. The dry weather combined with the flammable nature of Australian native plants means that bushfires can spring up quickly. There is a general fire ban during the dry summer months – this includes bonfires and controlled burning. You should also be careful with cigarette butts. In the instance of a bushfire, stay tuned to the television or radio and always follow the advice of the authorities. Do not return to the area for any reason until you are cleared to do so.
Australia is also subject to severe weather storms, especially between January and March. This includes strong winds, hail, flash flooding, cyclones and, in rare cases, tornadoes. The Bureau of Meteorology and Emergency Management Australia will release bulletins on the television and radio in the case of a storm. You can also call the Bureau of Meteorology hotline on 1900 926 133. If you are staying in a house, secure all loose items outdoors and then remain inside, staying away from glass windows. For a severe storm, you may need to seek shelter in the strongest part of the house, usually the bathroom. If you are driving, find a safe place to pull over and wait for the storm to pass.
If you are caught outdoors during a thunderstorm, try to find a hard topped vehicle or solid building to shelter in. If you can’t find shelter, crouch down with your feet together, preferably in a gully or dip, and remove all metal objects, such as jewellery, from your body. If you are with someone who has been struck by lightning, applying CPR until help arrives will significantly improve their chance of survival. You cannot receive a shock by touching someone who has been struck by lightning.
Once the storm has passed, wait for further instructions from emergency services. Leave the clean up to the professionals, as active fallen powerlines could be buried in the rubble.
Extreme conditions in Australia can be deadly, but by applying common sense and always following the advice of experts, you can enjoy a safe and fun filled holiday in this sunshine paradise.