If you are planning on moving to or even within Australia, it is important to remember some safety tips and guidelines that will keep you safe. Moving to a new town, city, state, or country constitutes a big change in your life. In addition to all of the preparations for moving your family and your belongings, there are considerations about the area you are moving to and safety guidelines to adhere to during your move. When moving, it is easy to get caught up in the details of packing and the move itself and forget about some basic needs. Here are some tips to help make your move safe and smooth. Remember to pack plenty of water and snacks for your move. When travelling, there may not be many places to stop to drink and eat, so bring your own with you.
Are You New to Australia?
If you are new to Australia, here are some guidelines and tips that will come in handy. New surroundings is one thing but a new country comes with a different and larger amount of changes to get acclimated to.
- In case of emergency: If you ever have an emergency and need police, an ambulance or the fire brigade, dial 000.
- Personal security: Australia has a very low crime rate, so in general, you won’t need to worry about crime, but you should still always be aware of your surroundings.
- Sun protection: The Australian sun is very strong. SPF 30 or higher is recommended at all times and should be reapplied often throughout the day. Sun protection and sun block are a necessity, even if you aren’t on the beach or specifically partaking in the sun or outdoor activities. If you are outside, your exposed skin should have sunscreen at all times.
- Currency: Australia uses the Australian Dollar (AUD) for currency. Exchange is available at banks, hotels, and international airports. Many different credit cards are widely accepted include American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates.
- Electrical Outlets: Australia’s electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. You may need an adaptor for your electronics if you don’t have the Australian three-pin power outlet plug.
- Phone Service: Australia’s country code is 61. Friends and relatives calling from other countries will need to dial that country code first. Pay phones are available in certain areas. Mobile phone coverage is available throughout the country but might be limited in some of the more remote areas.
Tips for Moving to Certain Regions of Australia
Australia has different regions and terrains that are very different and vary. Depending on where you are moving, there are certain considerations that you should make yourself aware of. They may not be necessary during your move, but the sooner you familiarise yourself with safety guidelines and your surroundings, the better.
- Ocean Safety: If you are moving near the coast, take note of the safest beaches in your area. Most of the popular beaches are patrolled by Australia’s volunteer lifesavers from October to April in the spring and summer seasons. Swimmers are instructed and advised to swim within the areas designated by red and yellow flags. Before going near or in the ocean and other bodies of water, seek out information and heed warnings about marine stingers and crocodile safety. Signs are regularly posted warning of crocodiles in the area near lakes, rivers and estuaries. Remember that crocodiles can swim in both fresh and salt water. The Queensland Government website has up-to-date information about any threats to swimmers’ safety. In Western Australia, they have a new warning system through Twitter that alerts swimmers to sharks in the area that have been tagged and are emitting a signal close to shore.
- Fire Safety: Unfortunately bush fires are common during the dry season in certain parts of Australia. Late spring and summer are the highest risk for fires to start. Look for signs and restrictions before lighting camp fires while traveling. Learn about any current fire hazards before setting out on your travels. Tune into TV, radio, or other media reports for details.
- Animal Safety: Many people associate dangerous animals and wildlife with Australia. There are poisonous snakes and spiders, but chances of you encountering them are rare. Death from a bite is even more rare, especially since anti-venom is available. If you are moving to an area where you plan on doing bush walking, that is when you should be on the lookout for snakes and spiders. Wearing protective footwear while hiking and bush walking will greatly reduce, if not prevent your chances of getting bit in the remote chance you encounter a spider or snake.
- Remote Australia: If you are moving to a more remote area of Australia, or traveling through remote country in order to get to your destination, there are certain preparations you should take to ensure your safety during the move. Make sure that you have the correct type of 4WD truck or vehicle that is right for the terrain where you are going. GPS maps, extra food, fuel, and spare tyres will ensure that you have a back-up plan in the event anything goes wrong. Tell someone, even if it is only the moving truck rental agent your itinerary and when you are returning the truck and where. Have an emergency plan ready just in case. Check your mobile phone provider’s coverage area; coverage may be sparse or intermittent in some remote areas.
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