Australia, despite the many ongoing crises such as fires, Coronavirus outbreak and drought that are dominating international headlines currently, is still a safe country to visit and reside in. Most of the crises such as fires and drought are taking place in more rural areas whereas the urban environment remains relatively safe and welcoming to foreigners and international students.
If you do plan to visit places away from the city centers it’s best to “stay safe, monitor TV news, radio and social media channels for updates, and follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.” – Foreign Office.
If you’re worried about adding to the nation’s burden you won’t find any issues with the airlines currently. Reports from the major airlines in Australia and the UK suggest there are no inherent issues and that normal terms and conditions currently applied (3 January 2020).
Up to date safety information is provided by the relevant State transport authority. Generally, though, travel is made safe by commuters following directions and obeying a few simple rules. For information about each state’s safety tips see the following websites:
- NSW: https://transportnsw.info/travel-info/safety-security
- QLD: https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/transport/safety-travel
- Victoria: https://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/
Broadly, the general rules are:
- Make sure you keep all luggage and personal belongings with you at all times.
- Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and know where the emergency exits are
- Report any unattended items or suspicious or dangerous activity to police or security staff – examples of dangerous activity could be someone making threats of violence or behaving violently
- Follow safety directions from signage and staff and listen carefully to safety announcements
- Stand behind the yellow lines at train stations, don’t jump aboard ferries and queue. Also beware of trams and cross tram tracks and roads carefully. At bus stops queue as directed If you’re not sure, ask.
- Be courteous and considerate of others to avoid confrontation and disruption
Exploring the city (and beyond)
Making your way around the cities in Australia is relatively straightforward.
Tourist information stations exist all over the CBD of each city, especially at major tourist destinations like Circular Quay in Sydney or the large train/tram stations in Melbourne.
Buses, trams, ferries and trains are popular public transport options. Taxis and ride sharing apps can also be used to get around but are more expensive options usually. Details can be explored in the link below:
For pedestrians, most places are easily accessible by walking and for those who like cycling, this is also becoming a popular option for getting around town.
For drivers with a valid licence, car rental is also a great option, especially if they are looking at destinations under or not serviced by public transport. See this link for details:
Flying within Australia is a good way to explore further afield. Intercity and Interstate trains are also options (the Ghan and Indian Pacific Interstate trains are classic examples). QANTAS, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA, TIGER AIR and REX airlines offer the majority of Australia’s domestic and regional flight options.
The Federal Government website below lists relevant contact information for emergencies: https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/public-safety-and-law/emergency-services
If you’re affected by a disaster, Government assistance information can be found here: https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/public-safety-and-law/emergency-services/emergency-and-disaster-assistance
Information on how and when to call for direct emergency assistance on the national 000 number: https://www.triplezero.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx
If you’re still uncertain about visiting or studying in Australia, we suggest you consult the following websites:
We also advise you to contact your local Australian embassy or consulate if you are planning to travel.
Some of the above information sourced from: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/australia-wildfires-travel-tourists-bushfires-flights-change-drive-highway-a9268006.html