When it comes to travel in Australia, tourists generally have a higher degree of personal safety than most other places on earth. Crime is relatively low, petty theft is restricted to major cities (and even then muggings and pickpockets are rare) and Australian hospitals and infrastructure are strong, capable and accessible. Queensland, the most northeasterly state in the country, is no different. It is a place with a high standard of living and safety risks are low, whether you’re staying in a Brisbane serviced apartment or camping in the outback of central Queensland. There is, however, a different set of risks when travelling in a new place, and in order to make sure you trip is as enjoyable as possible, here are a few safety tips to adhere to:
In Australia, travellers have much less to fear from its people than they do from its wildlife. Home to several of the most highly poisonous creatures in the world, the main risk with travelling in Queensland is that you’ll encounter one such animal. Snakes and spiders are the most common poisonous animals, and because much of Queensland’s appeal is in its landscapes and the great outdoors, you have more chance of running into something dangerous than you do in Melbourne.
Common sense must prevail, however, and there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you’re safe. Check shoes and boots before putting them on in the morning as little spiders (some of which pack a mean punch) enjoy crawling in overnight and don’t appreciate being woken up by a giant toe coming towards them! If you’re walking in long grass, be on the lookout for snakes, and the same goes for walking in rainforests or on rocky trails. Generally they will get out of your way unless disturbed, so try and make a bit of noise as you’re walking to warn them humans are on the way.
The other major wildlife threat in Queensland is in the ocean, where sharks, some crocs, and box jellyfish can be an issue. In tropical waters, the box jellyfish is seasonal, but seeing as it is the most deadly creature in the entire world you really want to make sure the water is safe to swim in before taking a dive. There will be well-signposted swimming areas that give you the information you need, and if in doubt ask a local or rent a stinger-suit, which will protect you from the long tentacles of the box jellyfish should one decide to take an interest in you!
Sharks populate the waters all around Australia, but shark attacks are relatively rare. Surfers are usually the victims of these attacks when they happen as the sharks mistake their boards for seals and take more of an exploratory bite than anything else. Still, even an exploratory bite can be deadly, so try to stay inside shark nets when available and avoid the ocean when it is murky or late at night.
Apart from having a good travel insurance policy, staying safe in Queensland is mostly about understanding and respecting the environment. Make sure you always have enough water when you are travelling on Queensland’s often-deserted roads, and always let someone know where you expect to be. Queensland is a magical place and a crowd favourite for tourism, and if you follow these simple safety tips you’re sure to have a great time while you’re there.