Australia is a famed tourist destination. You know it, the Aussies know it and so do the ill-meaning individuals. It is not comforting to know that a tourist is easy to spot for those crooks, but that is a fact in any country. There are also certain situations you can avoid in order to make your stay a better one. As a visitor to this great land of the south, it is imperative that you practise caution to avoid falling into the 0.01% of tourists who suffer great harm while on their vacations.
1. Avoid the hitch hikers
The number one thing is never to give a ride to someone you do not know no matter how kind they seem. You can tell hitch hikers from a person in great need, so apply wisdom. Even when an individual seems to be truly stranded at the road side, do not be too quick to help. Give them your assistance wisely and leave the car when you really have to.
To avoid scenarios of being robbed by the road, always ensure your car tank never goes below half and you have a spare tire in the back. This way you never spend more than ten minutes by the road even in an emergency.
2. Keep to the left when driving
A great number of tourists come from different countries where the road regulations are different. In Australia, keep to the left at all times as a motorist. If you fear you will forget this simple rule and fall back to the comfort of what you know, get a car hire service or travel as a group and hire a bus. This way you get to enjoy the scenery and not worry about the road.
3. Keep an eye out for the crossing animals
Australia is home to many animals and they do not all fit in our zoos and parks. When driving keep an eye out for animal-prone regions and drive carefully to avoid hitting an animal. The danger is more to yourself than the animal as some of the big kangaroos can cause damage to your car or cause an accident in your attempts to swerve. Drive with caution.
4. Ask before swimming
The white sand beaches and numerous coral reefs are the pride of Australia. However, there are numerous species in the waters so ask for advice before you go swimming or diving. Enquire about the safer regions to avoid getting bitten by the fish and the jellyfish present in the waters. Even when your residence is close to a river or a lake, exercise caution before enjoying the cool waters to avoid an encounter with the crocodiles.
5. Keep to the colours
When diving or swimming in the ocean, look for the red and yellow flags to guide you when swimming. Due to the reefs, some of the areas are not balanced and others are deeper than they seem. The areas marked by the flags are patrolled by the life guards and are safe areas to swim.
6. Pressing the shutter is fine but do not touch
The sea life presents you with picturesque moments and it is very much okay to take photos but not to touch the sea life. Some of the fish are poisonous and cause you injury. Keep your hand away from them and do not get too close, just enough to get a good shot.
7. Drink plenty of water and carry sunscreen
The Australian sun is awesome for swimming and sunbathing but only in controlled measures. Do not move around without sunscreen to avoid getting sunburns. Always carry a hat and wear long-sleeved clothing if you can. Many places in Australia give you an opportunity to buy light full-body clothing, so invest in them.
Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and if you have a car carry several bottles in the car. Keep hydrated to avoid harming your body and your skin.
8. Avoid travelling in alleys alone
This is a travelling rule in most countries and applies to Australia as well. Despite the great beauty of the cities at night, do not travel alone or in dark corners to avoid being robbed or assaulted. The cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and other great Australian cities are safe but they never lack the occasional ‘robber targeting unsuspecting tourists’.
Brian Taylor is a travel blogger and his company is the leading provider of well-researched tourism reports for Australia travel industry.