Australia

Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, and its combination of natural wonder and developed cities has attracted tourists for a long time: in 2015, over 7.5 million people visited the country. From snorkeling trips on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, whale watching at Hervey Bay, visiting the Sydney Opera or skiing on Mount Hotham, there are as many places to explores and activities to do as one can imagine. Australia is a very safe country, with crime levels as low as those of Northern European countries. The major threats in Australia come from the inhospitable nature: dangerous flora and fauna, riptides and natural disasters kill people every year and are to be taken very seriously. Australia is ranked 10th out of 162 on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.

SAFETY INDEX

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Is Australia a Safe or Dangerous Country?

Australia is a very safe country. Crimes rates are very low, and although very few travellers will be victims of crime there might be some risk petty theft (mostly pickpocketing) and areas to avoid in Sydney and Melbourne. In big cities, take the usual precautions (eg: not walking in parks alone at night, not leaving your bike or phone and camera unattended  and not keeping your wallet in your backpocket) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all. The most commons dangers in Australia are natural hazards and dangerous animals. Firstly, there is a very high UV-exposure index throughout Australia, which has been linked to a hole in the ozone layer above Australia. Travelers cover themselves with sunscreen (SPF+30 at least) at all times : it can take about 15minutes to get a sunburn with no protection. Natural hazards Beaches and Swimming Beaches in Australia are both beautiful and dangerous : every year, over 55 tourists and locals drown on one of Australia’s beaches (source), because of huge waves or strong riptides carrying people away from the beach. Always look at the flag before going for a swim, and take a look at the official website BeachSafe for more info about Australia’s beaches safety. There can be some rare shark and crocodile attacks when swimming near estuaries, tidal rivers, mangroves or deep pools; and the extremely dangerous Box Jellyfish and Irukanji are present in tropical waters from November to April. Fires The Summer period is unfortunately famous for being the bushfires season. Inform yourself before going out for a hike or a camping trip. Dangerous Animals Other than the dangerous sea animals, they are many amphibians, reptiles and insects that are among the most dangerous in the world : six of the world’s most deadliest snakes in the world can be found in Australia; and many spiders such as the Sydney Funnel Spider or the Red Black Spider are extremely dangerous. Even fauna can be dangerous in Australia: the Gympie bush is a stinging tree mostly found in Queensland which causes severe pain up to several week when touched. The Bush travelling through Australia’s remote country can be dangerous for inexperienced travellers. Some parts of the country also called “the Outback” have very limited water supply, no cellular network or gas stations. It is vital to keep plan your journey carefully.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Australia is a very safe country. It is ranked 10th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

There is nearly no pickpocket risk in Australia, except for rare cases in Sydney and Melbourne. A few simple precautions will minimize your chances of being pickpocketed.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Australia is a safe country regarding mugging and kidnapping risks, although some urban areas are best be avoided at night.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : LOW

There are virtually no scammers in Australia. But beware of “gold ring” tricks, fake petitions, groups of teenagers acting strangely or trying to distract you while withdrawing money, and people offering help with your luggage.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transports and taxis are generally very safe in  Australia, but driving can be dangerous because of wild road animals and drunk drivers.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

There are many natural hazards in Australia, from dangerous animals/insects to bush fires, UV exposures and riptides. Don’t go swimming alone, and follow the advice in the “is Australia Safe?” section.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Australia has not recently been targeted by terrorist attacks.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Australia is generally very safe for women travelers, and open towards LGBT travelers.

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Useful Information

All visitors to Australia need a visa (only New Zealand nationals are exempt from it). Check the official website to see which kind of visa you need (electronic or not) and if it is free. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD). As of June 2016, 1 Us Dollar= 1.39 AUD. Australia is an expensive country to visit, but they are many cheap accommodations for backpackers and those travelling on a shoestring. Expect to pay from 100 AUD to 300 AUD per day.
The weather in Australia changes from Tropical to the North, desertic in the backcountry and Oceanic in the South. Summer spans from December to February and is usually associated with high prices and fully booked accommodation. The best time to visit would be during the shoulder seasons, between March – May or September – November.
The main international airports are in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth; although they are many smaller airports connecting secluded areas to the cities. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.