Australia is a very safe country to visit. The country has a stable political system and a low crime rate, and Australians generally experience a safe lifestyle. However, you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would when travelling anywhere, whether at home or overseas.
Castle Hill, Townsville, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Health and safety FAQs
Australia is a safe and welcoming country. Your top health and safety questions have been answered to help you prepare for your trip.
Australia is a safe country to travel to alone. In fact, the welcoming locals and relaxed lifestyle make Australia a popular destination for solo travellers. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet new people once you arrive. Remember, it’s still important to use good judgement for your own health and safety, like you would at home.
When travelling to Australia with a disability, pre-planning can ensure you have an enjoyable holiday. If you have a medical condition or require assistance, you will find plenty of services available. Speak to your travel agent about your specific requirements or visit the People With Disability Australia website.
Emergencies and natural disasters
In the event of an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000) to speak with emergency services. Once connected, you can request ambulance, fire or police assistance. From a mobile phone you can also dial 112, the international standard emergency number, to speak to a Triple Zero operator.
If you don’t speak English, you can call Triple Zero (000) and ask for ‘police’, ‘fire’ or ‘ambulance’. Once you are connected to an operator, stay on the line and a translator can be organised for you.
Always be prepared while travelling in a remote location. Pack adequate supplies of water and food and bring provisions for warmth and shelter. Share your schedule with someone you trust and take communication devices such as a mobile phone and a long-range radio.
In the event of an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000) to request assistance. Advanced Mobile Location (AML) is available in Australia for upgraded Android and iPhone devices. This life-saving technology automatically sends your location details to emergency services when Triple Zero is called.
Australia’s national telephone warning system is used to warn the community in the event of a likely or actual emergency. Emergency Alert sends text messages to mobile phones within a geographic area defined by emergency services. International travellers can receive these notifications if their mobile phone is roaming on an Australia network.
Bushfires can occur in Australia’s bushland, typically in the warmer months of the year. Bushfires do pose a risk to travellers and property, for this reason it is recommended to check local conditions and reschedule trips within a bushfire radius. These bushfire safety tips include useful resources to stay up to date. Fortunately, Australia is a large country, and many areas will likely be unaffected.
Familiarise yourself with these tips for COVID-19 safe travel in Australia. There are also a few important measures to protect yourself from COVID-19 while travelling
- Wear a mask: in some states and territories, masks may be mandatory on public transport and indoor spaces.
- Physical distancing: keep 1.5 metres away from others where possible
- Soap up: wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water
- Use cashless payment: use a credit or debit card to avoid handling cash
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, get tested and follow the self-isolation guidelines of the state or territory you are visiting. Testing locations can be found here. For information about COVID-19 you can call Australia’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
While not mandatory, travel insurance is highly recommended. This will provide an extra level of security to cover for any unforeseen circumstances affecting your travel plans.
Australia has reciprocal health care agreements with eleven countries. If your country of origin is not in this list, you should consider taking out health insurance for your trip. It's not a requirement for travel to Australia, but it will protect you from high upfront costs if you need to see a medical professional. Having health insurance is always a good idea while travelling, even if just for peace of mind, but particularly if you have a health condition.
Nature and wildlife
Generally, swimming at the beach in Australia is safe. In fact, it’s one of our favourite activities! To stay safe, we recommend following the Surf Lifesavers’ water safety recommendations. These include:
- Only swim at patrolled beaches.
- Swim between the red and yellow flags. These areas are patrolled by Surf Lifesavers.
- Never swim alone, at night, or under the influence of alcohol.
- Always check water depth before diving in and never run and dive into the water from the beach.
The Australian sun is very strong, even on cloudy days. Be 'sun smart' and protect yourself from the sun by wearing a rash vest, applying water-resistant, reef-friendly sunscreen (SPF30 or higher) regularly, and wearing a hat and sunglasses. Protect yourself from heat exhaustion by sitting in the shade and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
The sun is strongest during the summer (December to February). However, UV levels are high all year round in Australia, even when the weather is overcast. Regularly apply sunscreen and take extra care between 10am and 3pm when UV levels are generally at their highest.
Australia is home to a plethora of incredible animals, some of which you might prefer to avoid, while others are a treat to meet. A good rule of thumb is to always follow advisory signs and don’t approach unfamiliar animals. Find out the facts about dangerous animals in Australia, there’s no need to be afraid. Our wildlife is wonderful, and responsible encounters in the wild will make your trip extra special.
Australia boasts a myriad of breathtaking bushwalks and hikes, all of which can be enjoyed safely. To avoid any danger, ensure that you:
- Only walk along marked trails and while you’re walking, stick to the path.
- Always bring plenty of water and food. It could be some time before you can top up on supplies.
- Bring appropriate clothing. Comfortable shoes, a hat to protect yourself from the sun, and layers are recommended.
- Tell someone where you are hiking.
Australia is a vast and diverse country, packing up the car and taking a long road trip is an immersive way to explore it. Driving long distances is a safe and stress-free adventure if you plan and pack safe. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and take rest and stretching breaks every two hours. If you are driving in the outback there is often long distances between towns and facilities so it’s important to plan your trip before setting off. Be prepared by reading our guide to road safety and regulations.