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Home > Tips and Hints > Trip planning and safety > Personal safety > Personal safety continued
Weather safety

Although most tourists will not be travelling in cyclone and flood prone areas during cyclone season, travellers may occasionally be at risk. 

 

Cyclones:  Some caravan parks in cyclone affected areas have tie down points, however if you are travelling around, the safest option is to leave the area well ahead of the cyclone reaching that area.  Bureau of Meteorology Cyclone Tracking is fairly accurate bearing in mind that cyclones are unpredictable and can change course at any time.   Read about securing a caravan for cyclonic weather at Protecting Caravans 

 

Floods:  Major transport route highways are rarely cut by floodwater for long, however other roads can be cut for many weeks.  Following water receding, roads need to be checked and repaired before becoming passable for traffic.  Bridges may need to be replaced which can take some time. Rivers may flood from rain at their source and take weeks for the water to travel downstream.   Localised flash flooding can occur from sudden thunder storms or isolated areas of heavy rain. 

 

For these reason it is recommended never camp in creek beds or floodplains.

 

Check weather forecast, alerts an warnings from these weather sites   

 

 

 

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Sunburn safety

Unless you are use to working out of doors or take adequate measures to protect your skin from the sun, being outside in Australia whilst sightseeing or even spending a couple of hours driving with the sun coming through the windscreen can result in sunburn. Because of the Australian climate and the high incidence of skin cancers, the weather forecasts include a UV Index as a warning. For what they mean see UV Index  

 

The burning and harmful effect of the sunís rays has increased particularly through summer and all the more so in the southern part of Australia.  The risks of damage from sun exposure are now greater because of this change in the protective ozone stratosphere.    Ozone  

 

Avoid exposure to sun in the middle of the day.  If you are going to be exposed to the sun for more than a few minutes, use a suitable sun protection factor sunscreen, and reapply after swimming or the prescribed time.  Minimise use when swimming in rivers or the ocean and be aware that the washed of sunscreen is harmful to the aquatic environment.  Alternatively or in addition suitable clothing and hats should be worn; a good shady had not just a cap.  If wearing short when driving, keep a towel across your legs.  Arms on the window side also need extra protection. 

 

If sunburnt, treat as any other burn.  See your First Aid book if unsure. 

Campsite safety

Flood danger: Be aware of weather conditions, particularly when camping near water courses, in seasonal flood plains, or on ground which could become boggy if wet.  Flood waters can occur from rains upstream hundreds of kilometres away and may occur without warning.  As a general rule, do not camp in dry water courses. 

 

For advice on flood safety in areas where flood may cause damage or evacuation see brochure.

 

Animals:  In the north where Saltwater Crocodiles may be found, do not camp on the ground (eg tent camping) near water courses, and do not venture out in darkness or when you cannot see clearly around you. 

 

In many inland areas, dingoes will come around campsites looking for food.  Do not leave any food scraps outside, and bring all shoes inside overnight and keep a close watch on your pets.   

 

Never feed wild animals as this makes them unafraid, expecting to be fed, and they may become aggressive. 

 

Feral animals such as pigs or bulls can be dangerous.  When camped near the Western Australia/Northern Territory border, the Overseer from an adjacent station came around warning campers of a rogue wild pig which had killed a dog and attacked a person in an Aboriginal community nearby. 

 

Avoid mosquito bites as mosquito borne diseases can be contracted in any part of Australia. 

 

For more on other stings and bites see First Aid  

 

Bushfires: Never camp in bush when a wildfire is burning in the vicinity, or at times of high fire danger. When in an authorised campground you may be asked to move at short notice if a fire threatens.  Practice Campfire Safety, and do not light campfires where it is not safe, in areas where campfires are not permitted, or during times of the year when campfires are banned.