Home Tips & Trends Is Australia Safe to Visit? Here’s What You Need to Know and...
Home Tips & Trends Is Australia Safe to Visit? Here’s What You Need to Know and...

Is Australia Safe to Visit? Here’s What You Need to Know and How You Can Help

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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would have seen the pictures and videos detailing the raging blaze that has consumed a majority of southeast Australia. The Land Down Under is currently seeing one of its most devastating bushfires in recent memory.

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Inside a🔥🔥firestorm. A heart racing🚒run through the recent NSW Australian wildfires. ….Jasper, Jasper put the🔥blanket up…ahhh…Christ….keep going mate..keep going….An insider view of hell. The🧯fireys are absolute heroes, each and everyone. The🌏World salutes you guys and stands in awe. Seven years of drought have made Australia an incendiary. Australia is ground zero🌑🕳for Climate Crisis. @nswrfs @cfavic @sa_countryfireservice Video📹source unknown. @catsofxr #xrcats #catsofxr #rebelcats #activistcats #timeisnow #climatejustice #ecocidelaw @ecocidelaw #stopadani #bushfirerebellion #australianbushfires #bushfiresaustralia #bigcatsofinstagram #bigcats #catsofinstagram

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Since the middle of last year, there have been reports of large bushfires sweeping parts of the nation, especially in the New South Wales region. The dire situation exacerbated by the dry environment the area has been experiencing due to a lack of rain. This unfortunate circumstance has resulted in the bushfires quickly spreading and growing to an unimaginable scale, spreading fear and desolation in its wake.

And months later, Australia is still burning.

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You probably know already that there is a huge fire in Australia now. Well, so far 17 million acres of land have been destroyed , claiming the lives of at least 26 people, and destroying about 2,000 homes. Did you know that the fires started in September?! Spread this post to spread awareness ‼️ . 📷: @anja_rubik @karmagawa . #savethekoalas #australiawildfires #prayforaustralia #prayforaustralia🇦🇺 #helpaustralia #wildfires #globalwarming #australiafires #queensland #naturephotography #climateaction #bushfiresaustralia #australianfires #australianbushfires #karmagawa #firefighters #australiabushfires #follow #bluemountains #canberra #climatecrisis #koala #vicfires #vicses #benallaevents #sunsetphotography #nswfireandrescue

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Damaging winds produced by thunderstorms across central New South Wales have whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night in some towns, with this particular front hitting the town of Parkes, NSW. The wild weather continued across the east with hailstones battering Melbourne following flash flooding in Queensland over the weekend. 👉 @guardianaustralia #duststorm #prayforaustralia #actforaustralia #australia #australiafires #nswfires #kangarooislandbushfires #kangarooisland #savethekoalas #australianbushfires #bushfiresaustralia #climatechange #climatestrike #climatecrisis #actonclimate #schoolstrike4climate #climatechangeisreal  #climateemergency #climateaction #globalwarming #globalclimatestrike  #saveourplanet #endangeredspecies #endangered #extinctionrebellion  #gretathunberg #humanity #nature  #earth #savetheplanet

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As of today, the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season has burnt more than 18 million hectares of land in and around New South Wales and Victoria. Despite the heavy rainfall in some areas in recent days, the fire season is far from over as hot and windy conditions are expected to return this week. Along with that, the bushfires have also destroyed over 6,000 buildings including homes and businesses. Worst still, the flames have claimed at least 30 lives, and an estimated one billion animals were also killed. Whereas, some endangered species may have also been driven to extinction.

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I keep getting asked about the 2nd half of the story… But it has been hard to find the words. My natural reaction when I think about it all is to just blank it out and shake my head… Standing at Surfside that morning looking across the River towards Batemans Bay I honestly thought the whole town was going to burn. I wondered how anyone would survive… We knew a lot of people still over there, it was gut wrenching. As mentioned previously we were offered shelter in a near by home, thankfully, just before lunch. I was standing outside on Surfside beach however when the Southerly literally hit head on. The smoke and ash hit my eyeballs, the air got thick as mud, and everything turned black, then red. It felt as though these were possibly our last moments and I tried to mentally prepare for what could come. There was extreme heat. There was wind. There was smoke. There was darkness. We didn’t even know where the fire was at this point. We knew of a fire to the East and to the North, just by the smoke we had seen earlier, but, we had no idea how close it was, if it was coming towards us, or if we were in any danger – it felt just moments away. We were on our own. In the dark – literally and figuratively. Just waiting for it to hit, or pass… Thankfully, the later happened. The smoke blew over and we regained visuals on potential danger and eventually we returned home to Catalina where the fire had come stupidly close. If it hadn’t of been for the bombers and that Southerly wind change I shudder to think of the scenario. Many houses were unfortunately lost, but it honestly could easily have taken all. The following days were tough. No power, no roads in or out, no phone reception, no internet, no TV or radio for news. No power meant no shops open, no fuel, no food, or massive lines and cash only at those places running by generator. Then, those things of course ran out, and with roads closed couldn’t be restocked. People were running out cash, if they were lucky enough to have had any to begin with. It taught me we haven’t learnt much. It was nearly 2020 and there was complete isolation. Real threat to life, and no means to communicate. Really – really – sad.

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The extent of the fires is so large that the smoke produced has even circumnavigated the globe. Along with the immediate threat from the bushfires, the plumes of smoke is causing a drop in air quality in both Australia and its neighbouring countries. And don’t get us started on the life-long health aftereffects of this tragedy.

Is Australia Safe To Visit?

The short answer is — yes, you are still able to travel to Australia. But if you’re in a poor health condition, it is highly recommended to re-schedule your trip.

There are parts of Australia that are not immediately affected by the bushfires. After all, Australia is a massive country. On the contrary, many of the affected towns rely on tourists to bolster their local economy. And this means that travellers and tourists will be the key to rebuilding the scorched parts of the country.

Many of Australia’s most frequented cities are free of the bushfires, including Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. And all international airports like those in Sydney and Adelaide are operating normally. So why not take this chance to visit somewhere out of the norm?

Destinations like Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, as well as areas around Perth, Exmouth, and Broome in Western Australia, and the Northern Territory are all well and fun, but sometimes it’s much more satisfying to explore out of your comfort zone.

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⏳ We're counting down our favourite posts of 2019⏳ No need to be alarmed, whale sharks would much rather eat plankton than boats 😉Despite their enormous mouths, which you can clearly see in this incredible shot by @samlawrencephoto, we're pleased to say that #whalesharks pose no risk to humans and are surprisingly very docile creatures! The season for these gentle giants has officially arrived at @australiascoralcoast in @westernaustralia; #Ningaloo is the only place on the planet where large numbers of these creatures are known to visit so close to land every year from April to July. Book a swim and snorkel tour with one of the certified operators here, including @ningalooreefdive and @liveningaloo, for an unforgettable experience. #seeaustralia #thisiswa #coralcoast #adventure #wildlifephotography #underwaterphotography

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Take the time to explore the technicolour reefs of Australia, found around its shores like in Ningaloo off the coast of Western Australia. Or go wine tasting at the boutique wineries dotting Barossa Valley, McClaren Vale, or Adelaide Hills in South Australia. For something more physical, hiking up pristine stretches of coastline on an aboriginal-led walk in Tasmania may be up your alley.

In any case, Australia is still very much a sought after travel destination. Much of the flora and fauna here doesn’t exist anywhere else on Earth, and it’s indeed a delight to witness up close. But the best thing about Australia is undoubtedly the generous and exuberant nature of its people — regardless of the tremendous toll that the bushfires have inflicted on them — who are more than eager to help out when it comes down to it.

Just another reminder: You should check the most recent advice before departing and remain informed about changing conditions whilst on the ground, through government agencies, the Bureau of Meteorology and local tourism staff.

What Travellers Need To Know

As with anything related to travel, flexibility is of vital importance here. Depending on where you’re travelling to in Australia, you have to be aware of certain key points on the current situation. And if the situation doesn’t look to be improving, do not hesitate to seek advice from the local tourism operators and staff.

The most important thing to do while you’re exploring Australia is to stay informed throughout your journey. Before embarking on your trip, check with your mobile provider to add roaming to your plan so that you may have easy access to vital information from government websites. Also, having cell service makes it easier to communicate with the local authorities, if it happens to come down to it.

Alternatively, you could also pick up a SIM card at the airport or rely on a mobile WiFi router for Internet access.

Also, consider bringing filtered face masks as protective measures. The ones you’ll want to get are the N95 or P2 face masks that are relatively inexpensive. So bring a couple, if luggage space permits.

If you’re purchasing travel insurance, it might also do you good to check with your provider on whether bushfires are covered. Depending on the policy, bushfires may or may not be ruled as a natural disaster, and you should read your policy very carefully to ensure it covers them. If not, we’d suggest taking out an insurance policy that covers disasters prior to going on your Australian holiday. As they say, better be safe than to be sorry.

How You Can Help

Most charities in Australia do not accept last-minute volunteer requests. However, new volunteers are sometimes welcomed. Those interested in offering their precious time and energy to a good cause may find application forms online.

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Here’s this week’s snapshot from our emergency teams across NSW, VIC, SA and WA.
We are: ▫️At evacuation and relief centres providing psychological first aid to reduce trauma and distress. ▫️Providing food and water at relief centres in VIC. ▫️Coordinating more food hampers plus water, hygiene kits and pet supplies for people in Mallacoota. ▫️Distributing satellite phones to 18 communities isolated due to power issues in East Gippsland ▫️Supporting people at five evacuation centres and six disaster welfare points in NSW. Conducting needs assessments in the most-affected communities in NSW. ▫️Supporting people at the Lobethal Recovery Hub and the Kingscote Relief Centre on Kangaroo Island. ▫️Supporting people affected by a bushfire at Toodyay, WA. ▫️Reaching out to people in WA affected by fires in December. ▫️Providing emergency grants to people who have lost homes to bushfires. ▫️Supporting people at relief centres in Bairnsdale, Batemans Bay and other locations in preparation for worsening fire conditions this weekend.
 Find out more on our website – redcross.org.au A huge thank you to everyone for your support and generous donations – you make all of this possible. ❤️ #bushfires #australia

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That said, the best way to help is by donating to a cause of your choice. Some notable charities you could donate to include The Australian Red Cross Society, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, and Lifeline. But besides monetary donations, non-perishable food, goods, clothes, and other essential grocery items are definitely also welcomed.

With the world coming together in solidarity for our Australian brothers and sisters, here’s to hoping that each one of our contributions (no matter how small) will provide some relief to the heroes who are on the first line of defence facing against a disaster of this magnitude.

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