For a country that’s home to sharks, snakes, jellyfish, crocodiles and more spiders than an arachnophobe’s nightmare, Australia is actually a very safe place to visit. Well, it is when you follow these six common-sense tips about how to stay safe and sound while travelling around Australia.
Slip, slop, slap
Sid the Seagull introduced Australians to this three-step sun safety campaign in 1981, and it’s a message that visitors Down Under need to hear as well: slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. All this sunshine is one of Australia’s biggest drawcards but it also has the potential to burn you to a crisp, so protect yourself by wearing adequate clothing (including sunglasses and a hat), seeking shade in the middle of the day when the sun’s at its harshest, slathering on SPF 30+ sunscreen every couple of hours and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Swim between the flags
The sun isn’t the only danger at the beach — strong currents called rips also pose a risk even to experienced swimmers. Keep an eye out for red and yellow flags, which mark out the safest area of the beach to swim, and are patrolled on summer’s days by lifesavers who also wear red and yellow. You won’t need their assistance, though, if you stick to swimming between the flags, resist the urge to swim at night and don’t paddle out beyond your depth.
Mind the animals
Drop bears might not exist but there are plenty of other native Aussie animals that you need to be careful of. Shark attacks are uncommon — many at-risk beaches are protected by netting — but heed any warning signs before you dive in. Stingers (tiny jellyfish) occupy the northern Australian tropics during summer so stick to stinger-resistant enclosures found at some beaches and wear protective clothing in open waters. Take careful notice of signage around crocodile habitats like rivers and swimming holes in tropical national parks to avoid an unwanted run-in with a croc. Those national parks are also home to spiders and snakes, so stick to worn paths and wear proper footwear to protect yourself, and call emergency services on 000 if you suffer a bite.
Planning a road trip through the otherworldly landscapes of the Australian outback? Vast distances, searing temperatures and unforgiving terrain means that preparation is paramount. That means a sturdy four-wheel drive fitted with a GPS and spare tyres, an emergency plan and a well-stocked first-aid kit, at least five litres of water per person per day as well as ample non-perishable food. And don’t forget to have a break every couple of hours to ‘stop, revive, survive’ — keep an eye out for the Driver Reviver road stops dotted around major routes.
Respect the bush
World-class walking tracks criss-cross Australia’s abundant national parks — such as the Great Ocean Track in Victoria, the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney and the Heysen Trail in South Australia — but don’t try to pull a Bear Grylls and go wandering off the beaten track. Remember to ’slip, slop, slap’ to protect yourself from the sun, carry plenty of water, keep your distance from animals, respect safety barriers, read maps carefully and consider the difficulty of the bush walk before you embark on it. Oh, and bushfires are a constant risk in the warmer, dryer months so obey any fire bans and stick to designated camp fireplaces if you do light up.
Take care of yourself
If you can guard yourself from the sun, sea and native animals, then Australia is generally a very safe place to visit — but still keep your wits about you. You’re unlikely to get pick-pocketed but always keep an eye on your personal possessions. Be wary of any ATMs or credit card machines that smell a little fishy. Make digital copies of your important documents in case you misplace them. Be sensible when you go out at night, especially in the busy nightlife precincts in big cities. And in an emergency, remember to call 000.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.