Safety Tips in Australia

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    Bluebottle stinger
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    Pelican on his Lampshade
    by balhannah
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    Beautiful Gold Coast
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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Australia

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    The citycentre is often also a alcohol free zone !

    by globetrott Updated Dec 23, 2014

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    alcohol free zone & no scateboarding !

    This is something that tourists are mostly not aware of : Something else that applies to many towns and villages in Australia is the fact that it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public streets, mainly in the centre of a town, even in places like Tamworth with a famous country music festival going on each year. You will mostly find signposts about this law directely in the streets, BUT not always !
    No Scateboarding ? . yes, I saw that signpost in the centre of Tamworth !

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    A "BLACK SPOT"

    by balhannah Updated Dec 23, 2014

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    When driving on Australian roads, there is a good chance you will come across one of the notices like seen in my photo.
    The notice states that it is part of the "Black Spot Program."
    This is part of the Government commitment to reduce car crashes, some often resulting in death on Australian roads. They are the areas where a lot of crashes occur, so the Federal Government gives money to the local councils to improve these areas, hopefully preventing future accidents.
    Sometimes traffic signals and roundabouts at dangerous locations are needed, perhaps the road widened, made straighter etc, all of this helps.
    Take extra care in these places if they haven't already been fixed, as you now know this is a 'high risk" spot.

    The Australian Government will be providing $59.5 million per annum in 2013-14 for road safety projects under the Black Spot Program.

    In the 2012-13 Budget, the Government announced that it will provide $300 million ($60 million per annum) to extend the Black Spot Program for a further five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

    Black spot corner
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  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Take a room with Air Condition !

    by globetrott Written Dec 18, 2014

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    Air Condition is something that really makes perfect sense, when booking a hotel in Sydney and the rest of Australiamost of the year. I was there in November, that is the beginning of summertime and my room in Callis Lodge was really much too hot untill late at night and next time I will definetely book a hotel with Air Condition.
    All I had was an electric fan and that was not really a great help !!!

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  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Did I see any Kangoroos? - yes, BUT...

    by globetrott Written Dec 17, 2014

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    Yes, I have seen a total of 6 Kangoroos,while driving around in New South Wales for more than 2 weeks, BUT all of them were dead and lying along the road, so they had been obviously killed by cars or trucks passing by.
    You will also recognize that lots of motorhomes and trucks in Australia have a construction in front of the car in order to protect the car, while killing an animal.

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    there is not always a real bridge

    by globetrott Written Dec 16, 2014

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    This is something very Special that I did not see anywhere else on earth before: Small cars are able to use a wooden bridge, BUT for heavy vehicles over 10 tons you will find a so-called FORD as well, that is a solid concrete "Bridge" on a very low level, that might be flooded after a heavy rainfall and cars can still drive over that flooded bridge, even when it is a bit covered by water already.
    I drove over such a ford once in another part of NSW and it was the only way to go for small vehicles as well as for heavy trucks and it was covered by water about 30cm high. It makes sense to drive through very slow and also watch out for the signs, where you can see how high the waterlevel is !
    It might damage your engine, when the engine is very hot and gets all of a sudden into cold water when driving over such a Ford. For big trucks that might be no Problem at all, but for cars with low engines it might !

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  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Be carefull where you step & walk !!!

    by globetrott Written Dec 12, 2014

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    Australia will have lots of surprises for tourists - some are great and some are not so good : You will find thousands of poisonous insects, Spiders, snakes all over the Country, so it is certainly the best to have sold shoes everywhere !
    On the cemetery of Nelligen / NSW I did take some photos and obviously I then steped into a nest of some insects. I had a severe problem with some inscects that were all of sudden attacking my left foot: 10 or more of them were biting my foot through the socks. I lifted the end of my trousers and saw lots of black insects with some kind of a woolen body, almost no feet, no wings and so I started to rub my trousers against my socks and obviously killed all of them that way or maybe they found a way to escape.
    These stiches were hurting for 3-4 days and I was really glad they were obviously not poisened.
    They must have jumped on my socks, while I was taking some pics on the cemetery, local people told me they might have been "earth-wasps" or something similar.
    When you considder that some of the most poisonous spiders on earth are living in that area it could have taken a worse end as well...

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    ROAD WORKS ON PACIFIC HIGHWAY

    by balhannah Updated Nov 2, 2014

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    The Pacific Highway is the major route travelling along the coast from Brisbane to Sydney.
    It is very busy route and the one most travelers take to travel between the two major cities.
    At one stage, it was only a 2 lane road, now some is four lanes in quite a few places making it a lot better.
    It is bypassing towns making it faster travelling, and meant to be 4 lanes by 2016, who knows if this will happen!

    2014 - The problem at the moment, is the huge amount of roadworks we encountered along the way. Stop & go signs, traffic lights, speed limits of 40mph made the going very slow. Talking to locals at Nambucca Heads, I heard it took them an extra 2 hours to reach Brisbane!

    So if you have estimated a travel time, you will need to allow extra because of this. No use speeding either, as there are speed cameras every where!

    Pacific Highway roadworks Pacific Highway roadworks
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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    DRIVING LONG DISTANCES

    by balhannah Updated Nov 2, 2014

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    Australia is large, with big distances between towns and cities.
    When coming from overseas, a lot of people do no realize just how far it is from one town to another.

    On our roads, you may come across a sign that says it is a "Driver Fatigue Area"
    This means that there have been an awful lots of accidents, including deaths on this stretch of road.
    It is often the halfway point between major towns.

    Ways to hopefully prevent you from becoming the next victim of that stretch of road are.............

    * have enough sleep and rest before setting off..........
    * avoid long drives at night.............
    * take frequent breaks during the journey to refresh yourself.......
    * frequently change focus to prevent your eyes from becoming tired or hypnotised...........
    *keep physically active during rest breaks go for a walk, stretch, etc.........
    * apply your full attention to the driving task, let somebody else bother with the screaming kids, etc.
    * STOP at one of the many rest stops on the side of the road. Some of these have Toilets and drinking water.

    Roadside sign
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    USING AN OVERSEAS DRIVING LICENCE IN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Written Oct 24, 2014

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    This is something you want to make sure about if you intend driving a hire car in Australia.

    All the states of Australia have different rules, some it is ok to use yours, others you need a licence in English or a International Drivers licence. If you haven't the correct licence and happen to be stopped by the Police, then you can expect a hefty fine.

    PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT LICENCE

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    ROAD KILL

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2014

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    Road kill is what you see a lot of when travelling on country roads in Australia. If it has been rather dry and only a little rain has fallen, this brings the Kangaroos to the green grass on the roadside verges to feed. They then get dazzled by headlights and are hit and left to die.

    It is best to pull up off the road and to go and check the Kangaroo, as if it was a female, there is a chance it may have a Joey in its pouch, and he/she can be saved.
    Wildcare Australia looks after these and other animals that have been rescued.
    With a Kangaroo, the Joey can survive for several days. When found, try to bring the dead mother with the Joey in its pouch to a Vet if you can find one, or ring the Hotline.

    Wildcare Australia Inc Hotline – 07 5527 2444

    Kangaroo road kill
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  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    CATTLE & SHEEP DROVING

    by balhannah Updated Oct 6, 2014

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    Once you get away from Coastal areas of Australia, and into the west and the outback more, you may run into Drovers with their Cattle or Sheep.

    A drovers' road, is a route for driving livestock on foot from one place to another, such as to market or between summer and winter pasture. You may come across quite a few in times of drought, when the farmer has no food left for his stock, so he takes to the road with his animals.

    Drovers' roads are often wider than other roads, so that they can accommodate large herds or flocks. Sometimes though, you will have to drive through the flock of sheep or cattle.

    By law, the travelling stock must travel 10 kms per day. This is to avoid all the roadside grass from being cleared in a particular area by an individual herd. Bores, equipped with windmills and troughs, may also be located at regular intervals to provide water in regions where there are no other reliable water sources.
    A Travelling Stock Reserve is a fenced paddock set aside at strategic distances to allow overnight watering and camping of stock.

    The travelling stock are driven by a drover and stockmen using Australian Stock Horses or vehicles. Other working animals include working dogs such as Kelpies, or their crosses which have been bred for working sheep and cattle.
    The stockman may also be accompanied by a packhorse, carrying supplies and equipment, or a wagon with supplies might follow the stock. More recently travelling stock has been accompanied by four-wheel drive vehicles and mobile homes.

    If you have to drive through a flock or herd, drive slowly, at an even speed, and they should move aside for you. Be ready with the foot for the brake, because Animals do the unexpected.

    THE DROVERS EXPECT YOU TO DRIVE THROUGH, AND NOT FOR YOU TO WAIT FOR THEM TO CLEAR THE ROADWAY!

    Warning sign for Cattle & Sheep on road
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    SALTWATER CROCODILE'S

    by balhannah Written Aug 26, 2013

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    Most people have heard there are Crocodile's in Australia and that they are very dangerous, yet still people go swimming in water-holes even when signs tell them not too! It is very sad reading the paper about a tourist losing their life through silliness!

    The saltwater, or estuarine crocodile is found in estuaries, rivers, lagoons and in the Oceans and on the Beaches of the Australian tropics.
    In Queensland, they are found from Maryborough up the coast to Cape York, then all the way across the top of northern Australia.

    Don't be fooled into thinking the Beaches and Ocean is ok to swim in these areas, it isn't! A Croc was found in the water near Palm Beach above Cairns a few years back. Just imagine coming face to face with a male Crocodile which can grow to 7 metres in length and weigh over 1000kg's - what chance would you have? These Croc's can kill and eat prey as large as Horse's and Cattle.

    Just because they are Saltwater Croc's, doesn't mean this is where they only live, they are quite capable of surviving a large distance in inland waterways where freshwater is.
    Saltwater crocs breed during the wet season (November-March).

    So, be aware when in these regions in the tropics, read the sign and don't go in the water

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    Telephone Communications

    by grandmaR Updated Aug 10, 2013

    Coming from the US, we were told that our phones would work, and they did not. My phone was Verizon and it couldn't get any bars. The concierge at the hotel said that Verizon says that they have good connections and they don't. And he gave us directions to the main phone companies. We ended up going to Optus.

    They said my phone was locked and sent us to the phone guy in the mall. I don't remember where he was except it was a little hole-in-the wall shop in a mall near Hungry Jack, but he told me he couldn't unlock it and it was the wrong frequency. My granddaughter had AT&T but it was locked and unlocking it would erase everything.

    So I ended up buying an Australian phone with prepaid minutes. When I got home, I complained to Verizon that I had been told that my phone would work and it did not, and they reimbursed me for the amount I spent on the Australian phone

    My reflection in the store door
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    Seeking "Nemo"

    by pedroswift Updated Jul 1, 2013

    Be aware of the East Australian Current when you visit Australia.
    This is a warm off-shore current part of the anti-clockwise pattern of Southern Hemisphere Pacific currents. It pushes southwards from Tropical Australia and can be detected between northern Queensland and Sydney.
    "How does that affect me?" you may well ask. One practical phenomenon resulting from the current is that it produces eddies that flow between it and the shore line. End result is that the inshore currents affecting surfing beaches are usually northward flowing.
    Going swimming? Expect a sweeping current pushing along the beach northwards. The speed depends on prevailing winds. Stiff southeasters increase the speed of the northern current. This knowledge could help you surf safely.
    How else can this current affect your holiday safety?
    The warm water flowing southwards from tropical areas may well carry organisms that would not normally exist in cooler areas. Some of those "organisms" may include some nasty biting things like jellyfish or even worse crocodiles. (see other tips on Dangers).
    Why have a title "Seeking Nemo" ???? If you have read this far, it has worked!
    You may have seen the animated film "Finding Nemo" in which a group of North Queensland comic fishey characters (including Nemo's dad, Marlin) go looking for the fish called "Nemo". He is eventually found in Sydney Harbour 2,000 kms south of his home territory.
    The concept of the film plot is based on scientific data. The East Australian Current provides a moving pathway of warm water in which fish and other species can exist outside their normal temperature zone. In fact, each summer, thousands of fish are swept from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Harbour and further south.
    Now, when you read about someone being stung by an unexpected jellyfish species or read about croc sightings in southern regions, YOU will be able to nod your head and wisely say, "It's the Nemo Affect!!"

    Dark Red = warmest water - E.A.C.
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    Is Australia Dangerous?

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 12, 2013

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    If,as you do in any other place of the world, heed the local warnings and generally be sensible you will be fine. Danger is not lurking around every corner.

    After reading all my warnings and dangers on my Queensland Page....all 34 of them at this point in time (2013), a VT friend said she would be frightened to come here.

    "Oh my goodness" I thought, "what am I doing?"....."I have lived here all my life and seen about 3 dangerous snakes....never been taken by a crocodile, and never broken my neck diving into a shallow pool!"

    Then I read a book (2001) by a young Aussie guy (Bryce Corbett) who lived in Paris at one time...maybe still does..who on a return visit to Australia wrote in his book, A Town Like Paris: "What kind of a coddled country had Australia become when even the most obvious personal safety information had to be SPELLED OUT IN CAPITAL LETTERS?"

    On returning to Paris as his French Taxi hurtled at breakneck speed ......it struck him it was not so in Paris. Paris the mot visited city in the world was much more laissez-faire. No 'LOOK LEFT....LOOK RIGHT"...."if you happen to step out in front of an on-coming bus too bad for you"

    So read the reviews, absorb some local knowledge but please come and visit us. You are welcome

    There was a red-back on the toilet seat
    When I was there last night,
    I didn’t see him in the dark,
    But boy! I felt his bite!
    And now I’m here in hospital,
    A sad and sorry plight,
    And I curse that red-back spider
    On the toilet seat last night.

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