SUMMER IN AUSTRALIA
Summer [December-January-February] is HOT in Australia.
Temperatures, depending on where you are visiting, can reach up to 50°c.
Inland and in the centre is very hot weather.
To the north in places like Cairns and Darwin, you can expect hot and humid weather in Summer. The humidity makes it feel hotter than it is. It is in these parts of the country and along the top half of the Western Australian Coast where you can expect Cyclones to form off the coast and to cross inland. Cyclones bring very high winds and torrential rain [when I say this, I mean like pouring water out of a bucket.] Rivers and creeks rise quickly, roads flood and houses and towns are flooded. You may be stranded on a road or in a town or city for a while until water subsides.
A lot of damage is done when they hit the coast, and it is not unusual for 300mill of rain to fall overnight or in 24hours. If driving, do not attempt to drive through the water on the roadway as you don't know how deep it is, or if it has been washed away. Also, Crocodiles are washed down-stream with the floodwaters.
As you head further south towards Sydney, the weather still is humid, but there is the chance of bushfires. In Victoria and South Australia, the hot weather is a dry heat and not humid, temperatures can reach into the 40's, often dropping considerably a day or two after. Bushfires in Summer are high on the agenda here. Lightning strikes begin some, others are deliberately lit by "people without a brain!" These are very dangerous, and once again, you could be caught in a dangerous situation.
So, if you like the heat, and know about the dangers you may face on your holiday in certain parts, do come and enjoy my home Country.
Mind the Level Crossings.
In certain parts of Australia the only way you know there could be a train passing across the road in front of you is there a road sign to warn you and/or you see the tracks. You might hear a train whistle or you might miss the sound altogether. And diesel trains are so much quieter than the' old puffin billy'. Trains come both ways so LOOK.
Sometimes there are boom gates and a flashing red light. Do not try to beat the boom gates.
The best defence of course is to be aware. If there is a vehicle behind you be careful to give as much warning as possible before you stop.
And if you are at a railway station never take a short cut across the tracks.
If you find this tip helpful you will find more on Driving in Australia hereRelated to:
- Road Trip
JELLYFISH - danger! danger!
THE DEADLY JELLYFISH
Do you know that the BOX JELLYFISH (also known as the sea wasp) has been responsible for more deaths in Australia than snakes, sharks and saltwater crocodiles?
Do you know that the IRUKANDJI JELLYFISH has venom 100 times more potent than a cobra snake and that its venom is more deadly than the Box Jellyfish? Has caused two confirmed deaths in recent years.
Summer time between October and April is the worst time for both these potentially deadly jellyfish.
The BOX JELLYFISH is found in northern Australia (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia)
The IRUKANDJI is found in Queensland mainly in the north but in recent years as far south as Hervey Bay (Western beaches and inlets on Fraser Island especially).
To prevent being stung:-
best way stay out of the water
Use the hotel or local council swimming pool
Wear a "stinger suit" which covers most of you body. They are not a 100 percent guarantee of no stings 'cause usually there is no face cover. There have been reported cases of people diving into the water and suffering stings to the face.
Treatment: flush area with vinegar - take victim to hospital as soon as possible!
read more on Qld government web page and on my Cairns intro pageRelated to:
- Water Sports
BUSH WALKING & TICKS
I do not wish to alarm you, but just want to warn you about Ticks that live in Australian bushland. They can attach to your skin when you’re out in the Australian bush and then feed on your blood for several days.
In saying this, I do a lot of Bush walking, and have only ever had a Tick attach onto me twice. The first time, I pulled it out myself as I am quite used to doing this to my animals. The second time, I found it before it attached itself properly, so I was able to brush it off my skin and squash it.
A Bush tick is a red/brown colour.
It is during Summer and Spring that the Ticks are active, especillay in humid, moist bushy areas.
Insect Repellant with DEET is quite good for detering ticks, also long trousers tucked into socks and shoes. After a walk, just examine each other for ticks, especially behind the ears, the back of the head, neck, groin, armpits and back of the knees.
Ticks inject a toxin that may cause local irritation or a mild allergic reaction, however most tick bites cause little or no symptoms. Tick-borne diseases occurring in Australia are Australian Tick Typhus or 'Spotted Fever' (along the coastal strip of eastern Australia from North Queensland to Victoria)
" Early symptoms of tick paralysis can include rashes, headache, fever, flu like symptoms, tenderness of lymph nodes, unsteady gait, intolerance to bright light, increased weakness of the limbs and partial facial paralysis."
If bitten, you may see an itchy crater-like swelling on the skin around the tick. To remove the Tick, use tweezers by grasping the head and rotating, this will remove the Tick..... then apply antiseptic cream. Seek medical advice if you experience muscle weakness, paralysis or feel generally unwell after a tick bite. If by any chance the head of the tick stays in the skin, scratch it out with your fingernail. The head will not inject any more poison once the body has been removed.
Do not pull the tick by the body as this may make it release more toxin.
To see what a Bush Tick and other Ticks look like, please click onto the listed website below.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Misleading immigration advice
1 I intended to immigrate to Australia and considered the services of an immigration agency. In
2009, I approached ASA Consultants and an agent (Lizelle Enslin) did an initial assessment. She wrote to me on 30 Jan 2009: "We are happy to advise that you appear to be in a position to make a successful application for an Australian visa !". She recommended a 176-STNI Skilled visa. Because of the cost of appointing an agent and applying for a visa, I wrote to her that I needed to be sure about the prognosis of my application. She replied on 06 Mar 2009:
"For the assessment I only looked at your Master's degree and I am 100% sure that we will make a positive skills assessment application considering the requirements of the assessing authority - no worries here." I was thus let to believe that it was was safe to continue and paid the agency on 10 Apr 2009 to represent me (6,365.00AUD ). On 20 Apr 2009 the agent gave me instructions on how to get my dissertation assessed by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). The latter found my master's degree not suitable for immigration as I did a dissertation which is part time study and APS recognises only full time studies. The first agent I spoke to was in South Africa but other agents in Perth looked at my file as well for a “detailed assessment” and yet they sent my documents for a skills assessment. This counts as "full service" which makes ASA's fees non refundable.
None of the pople I cimmunicated with are Mara registered agents but according to ASA's website, agents work under supervision of MARA registered agents.
An ASA consultant wrote to me on 04 Jun 2010 regarding the outcome of my skills assessment: "There was no way of seeing this coming from APS". I must disagree as this was exactly what ASA should have been doing and not have recommended the visa they did in the first place. This makes this case a consumer matter as well.
I wrote to the agency and told them to cancel the mandate and asked for a refund. According to ASA's terms (http://www.australia-migration.com/page/Terms_and_Conditions/108), I was entitled to the money that remained in my account with them (ASA's fees were subtracted as well as that of APS from what I paid).
Irene of the agency's accounts department wrote the following on 13 March 2012: "Your main visa not lodged so therefore the government fee balance left in the fund account of $2105 minus the reassessment fees of $330.00 not paid". I asked for a detailed breakdown as I knew that APS does not charge for reassessments. Irene wrote on 15 March 2012: "You did not pay for the re-assessment of your skills ASA paid on your behalf - subtracting this amount from government fees held in trust." The is problematic as there WAS NO re-assessment fee – APS confirmed this to me: " In response to your email, the APS does not charge applicants an assessment fee for reassessments conducted within ten (10) years of the initial assessment. I have checked our database and you were only charged one assessment fee in 2010."
I made a complaint to the The Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). The MARA approached the registered agent and within a few days ASA sent me the full amount that was left in my account without deducting the reassessment fee they invented. According to the MARA, the registered agent “has not been willing to take responsibility” for this. I do not blame him for that but I expected an explanation from ASA as they must have known that no reassessment fee existed because:
· as they never paid such a fee, it could not be on their records,
· they didn't have an invoice from APS,
· Irene gave me an amount but she had nothing to base this amount on,
· The money was still in my account with them when she claimed it was paid.
To make matters worse: during November 2009 it turned out that the agency gave me an “incorrect” quote for my skills assessment, however, Cornel (the CEO) told me that there was an increase in APS's reassessment fees. I pointed out to him that there was no such a fee increase after I checked with APS. He then replied that I should not check on them for the fees they quote. I ended up paying another 345.45AUD for the shortfall.
ASA failed to explain the 'reassessment fee' to both the Mara and Consumer Protection agency when confronted and replied to the latter that they feel they acted in a professional way.
You be the judge.Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Import of tobacco products
I flew out of Melbourne a few days before Sep 1st, 2012 and saw a notice posted in the airport mentioning that, starting on that date, the allowed quantity of tobacco products introduced into the country is being reduced from 250 grams to 50 grams, or 50 cigarettes. Reason for 50 is probably because local cigarette packs are 25 or 50 pieces, which doesn't anyway help with the typical foreign size packs of 20.
I perceive this new regulation as a tool for the Australian government to receive more tax money rather than being aimed at cutting on smoke. The price of tobacco products is very high in Australia, say 3-fold the price in Europe or north America.
Alcohol is expensive too. If you're not a saint, be prepared!
Camping can be the Death of You
Camping in Australia is not without its dangers.
I've just cleaned up the mess from a large branch, diameter 600mm at its base and about 8 metres long which fell from a huge gum tree at my local archery club car park. Had it hit someone or something it could have had dire consequences. It reminded me of a recent camping death of a young man near Adelaide caused by a gum tree dropping a branch and lessons learnt when Scouting for Boys during my younger years. Camping under big trees is a no no.Related to:
- Budget Travel
NO NIGHT DRIVING
While driving at night in the outback go slowly as there will be many kangaroos hopping around at night and if they jump in front of you they can cause serious damage to your car, so best to reach your destination before dark.
ALWAYS CARRY AND USE A STRONG MOSQUITO REPELLANT
Well, it seems mother nature is still in "pay back mode". after the huge floods, and cyclones that have devistated the north of Australia in Queensland and Victoria we find there is a NEW menace out there in south eastern South Australia!!!and it is once again mosquitoes that are carrying a new type of disease ...this time encephelytis..This is an extremely dangerous new disease to Australia and is a water borne mosquito transmitted disease and dangerous..In the last few years we have taken onboard the Ross River and Dengue Fever virus that is also transmitted by the mosquito but not as dangerous as the new encephylitis.
When in affected flooded areas ALWAYS wear loose fitting long sleeves shirts and long trousers and cover all exposed skin with a strong mosquito repellant...don't worry about the "aroma" as everyone will be wearing it and if the are not they are rather foolish.
There is a certain product that can be purchased from good camping stores that you can wash with your travel clothes and thus impregnating them with a strong repellant also..Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
IN THE NORTH IN SUMMER BEWARE OF "STINGERS"
The summer months in Australia is the time to enjoy the many marvellous beaches.. As there are so many wonderful beaches to choose from and in some locations really exotic..Like the Whitsundays ,and the Barrier Reef there are lovely beaches all around its ten thousand mile coastline..BUT they are not without their dangers.
The" box jelly fish" is one of the most dangerous things in the northern waters..These Jelly Fish have tentacles many meters long and to come in contact with any of the tentacles they say is the most excrutiating pain on the planet..Help must be found immediately as a "sting" can lead to rapid heart deterioration..sometimes in minutes...Most northern beaches in Queensland Northern Territory and Western Australia have bottles of vinegar located by places on the beach..This is a temporary antidote for the stings..As most beaches have life guards seek help from them as they will have most things on hand to help you...They will know exactly what to do..Most beaches are netted to stop swimmers coming in contact with these dreadful things..
Swim where the beaches are netted.and always take notice of the safety signs.
ALWAYS look for where the bottles are located..as this can be a real time saver..READ what they say to do in an emergency ...Better before than after..
Always read the safety information signs on the beach.
Dont swim at night..
Dont swim when intoxicated.
DON'T SWIM ALONERelated to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
NEVER BE WITHOUT DRINKING WATER
One of the most important things to carry with you ,if notTHE MOST thing to have with you when travelling is sufficient fresh drinking water..Especially if you are out of the cities and in the "out back" this is imperritive as the temperatures can be extremly high upwardly of 40 degrees C and dehydration happens quickly.I ALWAYS carry with me in my car at least 20 litres of water for safety reasons..as most times water is NOT available. In drought conditions when Austarlia is really suffering from lack of any rainfall a lot of "outback" garages will not give you water for your car usually because the water is so scarce. Remember take care when driving in Australia as the conditions out of the cities are vastly different to what most visitors are used to.
I have experienced the dangers of this happening first hand ..when we were travelling in North Western Victoria.The day was extremely hot around 42 Degrees +C. when we came a cross a young woman and her baby who were dehydrating from lack of water and were both in a dangerous situation. Her car had broken down on a back road (she was taking a short cut) She hadn't told anyone which way she was travelling. (bad mistake).She was travelling alone in an extremely isolated place(bad mistake) She wasn't carrying any water (really bad mistake) and really...to do this with a three month old infant was really stupid.The car had overheated due to the extreme heat and she had no water!!!
I stopped only by chance as I saw her car parked well off the road under a large gum tree and that her hood was up on the car but we couldnt see anybody!!! and upon investigation found the two on the back seat of the car in a very dehydrated and worried state. When I approached her car to see if all was Ok I came across the very young mother breast feeding her distressed infant.I called out to my wife to assist with the mother who was crying and in a really distressed state .I had a big " cooler "in the car and we gave her cold wet towels for her and the baby., water to drink , also water to carry with her.She was noticeably really agitated and I know that she was so happy that we had come along as she admitted that she was becoming really concerned for her and especially her babys safety.
I then filled her overheated radiator with water and started the engine.so she could finish her journey..Made sure that she was OK to carry on and advised her to travel to the closest place (a Hotel that was about a mile away) ..gave her directions to where she could rest and contact her Husband..which she did..REALLY this could have had a completely different outcome for her and her infant.
You know this was a culmination of events that could have been disasterous for both .
She didn't expect the day to be so hot and have such extreme temperatures.
She didn't check her car's radiator for water!! or engine before setting out.
She didn't tell anyone whichway that she would be travelling!!
She took a short cut through an isolated route well from the major highway.
She took this isolated route while travelling with a very young infant on her own.
She wasn't carrying any spare water!!
I always carry at least 20-30 litres of water when outback..I also learned a big lesson this day as well to see how easy it is to find yourself in so much trouble.Dehydration occurs quickly when the temperatures are extreme and moreso when you are distressed..Related to:
- Road Trip
TAKE CARE AROUND WILDLIFE ..IN THE WILD!!
One of the main things on most travellers lists to do while visiting Australia is to be around , touch, handle, photograph the amazing wildlife, Kangaroos, Koala Bears, Wallabies, Wombats, Emus,Dingos, Cassowaries, Crocodiles . Being a real animal lover this is such a great thing to do. Unfortuneatly this really can only be done in wildlife Sanctuaries , Zoos , and Wildlife Parks with relative safety. The thing being they might look "cuddly" but these animals when mating or around that time become very aggressive and are dangerous. sometimes just naturally dangerous.Just recently in these last few days a family while camping , the young daughter was attacked by a "rogue" Kangaroo that was in a mob close by their camp..The father immediately attacked the Kangaroo with a stick saving his daughter from a really bad situation. I had to give a dingo a "smack" along with his mates for trying to take my shoes etc while camping at Ulru..just be careful. I made the big mistake of not sleeping with a" big stick". These animals are very inquisitive also can be very aggressive.
They are called wildlife because thats what they are " wild life.".so when you are in the wild or the isolated "outback" ...take extreme care when coming across or coming in contact with the local wildlife..animals.. I am always extremely careful of Kangaroos, Emus, Dingos, Cassowaries, and Crocodiles .Never trust them and give them plenty of room.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Road Trip
Actually this might only be an excuse to use one of my favourite shots again!
Snakes - yes, Australia has them. Looking for the world's most poisonous? Forget your fer de lance, chuck your cobra, run past your rattler - the top ten in the world are right here! The good news is your chances of seeing them are miniscule, let alone getting bitten by one. Just as I say that I read that nearly 3,000 people are bitten each year and over 400 are given antivenom. If you do get bitten, keep a pressure bandage on the wound and movement to a minimum till you get help. The really bad ones have two fangs. Not that you'll want to be that close to check them mind, but I thought it may be interesting. The semi-poisonous have four (such as the common red-bellied black) and the pythons? Well, you'll be more worried about their body than their teeth as they kill by squeezing you.
If you do go bush and actually fluke a sighting, then the black and the diamond python are the two you will most likely encounter. Unless you actually stand on a black he will be getting out of your way.
The ones you really should fear are the brown. They can get aggressive (I've seen one aggressive and it's not reassuring), but, in over 50 years I've still only seen about 10 in the wild, even though they're often nearby.
There's a saying that everywhere in Australia you're within 100 metres of a snake except in the big cities.
Some other nasties are the taipan, mulga and deaf adder (often mis-named death adder). The latter got its name because it was believed it caused deafness in its victims.
One key thing to remember is - stay still. They react to movement. If you're calm they'll ignore you. Except for an angry brown where you might want to offer a hat or a bag as an alternative bite but, like I say, your chances are less than one in a a hundred thousand.
I've since included a copperhead that I came across at Narawntapu in Tasmania, had a good time watching him have lunch. He is one of many that have very deadly venom, but, fortunateily, they have a poor delivery system.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
BEWARE OF ROADTRAINS WHEN DRIVING "OUTBACK"
Because of their size encountering roadtrains is usually only likely in outback highways. ALWAYS be aware of these monsters when driving..Firstly give them lots of room. They can usually throw up a lot of stones and rocks from the roadsides and can cause windscreen breakages. This is usually caused by the last trailer in the train that tends to "snake " behind the rest. Due to their size they take a longer time to pass (overtake) You must always have a long clear vision before attempting to pass one of these bohemoths..They talk of 18 wheelers the size of the normal semi trailer , These roadtrains can be pulling five or six trailers and have more that seventy wheels . I found these roadtrains on the narrow roads of Northern Queensland when encountered would take up most of the road and was wise to avoid them and get right off the road. In The Northern Territory and Western Australia I saw many on the highways with little problem.These are really long and travel fast when driving "outback"
Please be aware of them.Related to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
TRAVEL WITH ADEQUATE TRAVEL INSURANCE
When travelling in Australia the same rules apply when travelling anywhere regarding travel Insurance. Make sure that before setting out that you take out travel Insurance with a reliable travel insurance agent in you own country. So many travellers overlook taking out Travel Insurance and consequently can find themselves in financial trouble. An accident can happen anywhere and at any time
Australia has a wonderful medical system and the hospitals are modern and have dedicated medical staff. but, like ALL hospitals medical attention for accidents and hospital stays or other medical incidents is extremely expensive. Travelling in "outback" Australia can find the traveller a long way from civilisation and consequently a costly trip to reach a hospital. The only way in some instances to reach a hospital is with the "Flying Doctor." This is an amazing dedicated "Australian"organisation of medical staff and pilots (mostly voluntarily) with many air ambulance planes on stand by in many locations ready to service outlying areas of the country that are really isolated.
I never travel without adequate Travel Insurance and I always include repatriation in the contract just in case of a major emergency.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
22 Central Avenue, Manly, 2095, Australia
Good for: Couples
A luxurious setting, conveniently close to the city centre without the hubbub. You can have it both,...more
Hotel, shopping and entertainment hub in a great location on the banks of the Yarra. The after dark...more
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