Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What every treveler to Australia should know

A few points of advice to every tourist travelling Down Under:

Our wilderness is vast and pristine but it can be harsh and you can get lost easily
- tell others (eg. friends, hotel receptionist) where you are going and when you will be back (and don't change plans in the last moment!);
- always have a mobile with you but coverage can be limited so better, buy emergency beacon;
- never leave your car when you break down in the middle of nowhere;
- always carry plenty of water;
- learn basic road rules before venturing into the wilderness, driving conditions are very different in the outback.

Our beaches are the most beautiful in the world but can also be deadly
- avoid swimming on unpatrolled beaches, there are dangerous currents (rips) and if you are not aware of their existence, they can turn your happy day at the beach into a very sad experience.
- if you ever get caught in a rip don't try to swim towards the shore, even if you seem to be only "5 meters away” from it! Your physical strength is no match for the current. Swim along the beach and you will quickly escape the force of the rip as they are only narrow corridors of strong currents.
- raise a hand if you need to alert others you are in trouble.

Our fauna is unique and rich – enjoy the experience but be aware of dangers
- avoid swimming at dawn and dusk not to tempt sharks to attack;
- don’t go into water if you spot any jellyfish and stingers, check with locals whether it is safe;
- while in northern part of Australia, avoid proximity to lakes and rivers, especially after dark, not to tempt crocks to attack;
- wear long boots to the bush and never handle snakes, some are very deadly;
- avoid walking bare foot on the grass (Sydney and NSW only), Funnel Web spider bite can be deadly if not treated immediately;
- when handling metal objects that are left outside (chairs, ladders, metal scrap) watch out for Red Back spiders, their bite can make you very sick;
- always respect the wilderness and you will have wonderful holidays in Australia!

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