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Gap Year Australia :: staying safe

Staying Safe!

:: Healthcare

Australia has an agreement with the UK and Ireland (also Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta and Italy) which entitles you to treatment for any ill health or injury requiring immediate treatment. Free treatment is covered as an in-patient or out-patient in a public hospital.

:: Medicare

You need to sign up to get a card for free healthcare service for your stay in the country. You’ll need to take in your passport, along with a visa into a Medicare centre. Visit this link for all the information you’ll need:

:: Road Safety

Most of the accidental deaths in Australia happen on the roads, so you need to pay attention to warning signs at the side of the road. Do watch out for animals - they’ll do more damage than you think! Be careful when driving in the evenings in rural areas as this when all the animals come out and kangaroos seem to have a strange fascination with headlights! Dropping your speed at such times is a very wise idea. Remember not to drive long distances, share the driving and take regular breaks. Don’t drink and drive! Not only is it illegal, but stupid too.

:: Swimming

The Oceans surrounding Australia are one of its greatest assets, providing warm water all year round, stunning scenery and a huge array of water activities to indulge in. However, Australians also know that the ocean can be a dangerous place, with huge waves, very strong currents and rips. Make sure you swim on patrolled beaches when possible and always swim between the flags. Never head into the surf alone or intoxicated and always check for warning signs! Treat the water with respect – it is much more powerful than you! For more information visit:

:: In the Sun

The Australian sun is a major attraction to backpackers. However, the sun in Australia is VERY strong. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, so if that’s not a reason to put on some sunscreen then what is!? Make sure you wear a high protection sunscreen and cover up in when the sun’s at its hottest in the early afternoon!

:: All the time!

Australia is a relatively safe place; however, there are criminals as there are everywhere, so keep your thinking head on. Most crime is opportunist, so make sure you keep your valuables out of sight and only carry small amounts of cash. When in hostels, keep valuables in lockers or even ask reception to put them in the safe. Don’t take anything with you that you’re not prepared to lose! When out and about use your common sense. You will be meeting lots of new people, but if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Trust your intuition! Your Australian adventure will call for you to be responsible for your own actions, so rise to that responsibility. Remember not to leave your drink unattended when out on the town and always be careful with your passport too.



    © Gap Year Travel Guide 2011