Outdoor activities and safety
Australia is well suited to outdoor activities, like swimming, bushwalking, camping and sport. There are safety rules to remember.
Swimming and outdoor safety
Attend swimming and water safety classes if you or your children cannot swim.
Swimming in the ocean can be extremely dangerous. To enjoy the beach safely:
o Always swim between the red and yellow flags which mark the area supervised by lifeguards.
o Check for safety signs.
o If you get into trouble, stay calm, raise your arm and call for help.
o Do not swim at the beach if you cannot find the red and yellow flags or if there are signs indicating that swimming is not advised or the beach is closed.
The ocean can be unpredictable. Observe warning signs to avoid accidents such as slipping on ocean rocks, or being swept into the sea by large waves or high tides. Be extremely careful fishing from rocks as many people have drowned after being swept into the water by large waves.
Be careful when swimming in rivers, lakes and dams:
Always supervise children who are swimming or who are near water, including backyard pools. Pools must be fenced.
Avoid swimming, fishing or bushwalking alone. Tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back. Take plenty of food and water.
Some snakes and spiders in Australia are poisonous. If bitten, immobilise the bitten limb and get medical help by calling triple zero 000.
In spring, song birds called magpies defend their territories by swooping on pedestrians and cyclists. Signs may warn of swooping birds. These birds are protected, so try to avoid their attacks by avoiding their nesting areas, wearing hats and sunglasses, or carrying a stick or umbrella above your head.
The sun in Australia is very strong. Wear a hat, protective clothing and sunscreen on sunny days to avoid sunburn. This is especially important for young children.
Take notice of weather forecasts. Open fires and barbeques are not permitted on total fire ban days. The Bureau of Meteorology provides weather warnings at www.bom.gov.au/index.php
In Australian cities, like most world cities, assaults do occur, particularly at night. Be aware of your personal safety. Avoid parks, dark places and known trouble spots.