Everyone loves our Australian Beaches! In this post, I have listed 10 tips on How to stay safe when visiting Australian beaches no matter where you are in Australia!
Tip One: Cover up and protect your skin!
Slip, slop, slap! This was an Aussie TV campaign for many many years and most Aussies will know what it means. When going to the beach make sure that you slip on or bring a long sleeve shirt/pants, slop on some good sunscreen (waterproof and good UV protection) and slap on a hat (one that covers your face and neck well!).
Do not be fooled and think that because it is an overcast day you will not get burned. You may see many Aussies even wearing a t-shirt in the water or a rash vest for sun protection Skin Cancer awareness is taught to us at a very young age and we all know how harsh our sun is down here! Please do not be one of these silly people who lay in the sun hours upon hours – even if you do not feel like you are getting burnt at the time you will more than likely be in a lot of pain later on. Looking like a lobster is not only painful but so not pretty and can really be a drag on the next several days of enjoying your holiday.
In fact, most schools have a rule for young kids “No hat no play.”
Remember to keep adding more sunscreen during your time at the beach!
Tip Two: Consider the time of day you visit the Australian beach!
When our Australia Travel Specialists design an itinerary and there is a day tour involving some time in the sun. i.e a surfing lesson, or the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb we take into consideration the time of day and the weather. If it is mid-summer we are usually not going to book your tour time during the heat of the day. Most Aussies try and avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day. On some days when it can get as high as 45c, we avoid outside altogether! It is lovely to go down the beach close to sunset and have dinner and a swim!
Tip Three: Watch for the Tide times
We have tides in Australia. If you are going for a wander on a beach then make sure you know when the tide may be coming in! Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas is a classic to get trapped by tides on. In the northern regions of Australia, they will often have tide and weather info at the hotel reception. Anywhere else you can look online or just ask.
Tip Four: Swim between the red and yellow flags at the beaches!
Please be smart and visit a beach patrolled by lifeguards and swim between the flags! At major beaches in Australia i.e Bondi Beach which is a national icon, we have surf lifeguards. You will often see on the beach flags which they have put up for locals and tourists to swim between for beach safety. Swim between them! Year after year these poor surf lifeguards have to put their own lives at risk and rescue people who have not swum in these safe areas. The flags are up for a reason to keep you safe! The lifeguards have been checking if there are any rips in the water which may drag you out to sea etc. If you are silly enough to swim outside of the flags and do need to be rescued- expect a nice lecture on Water Safety from those who rescue you. Remember the unpatrolled beaches are just that you are totally on your own if something happens!
Tip Five: Learn about and watch out for Rips!
Learn what rips are. It is really important to stay calm and not fight them if you do get caught in a rip. It helps if you swim at a patrolled beach area where there are surf lifeguards and between the flags!
Tip Six: Watch out for Jellyfish!
Watch out for jellyfish. If you are swimming in the areas that I mentioned above then surf lifeguards also have vinegar and other first-aid gear to help you. Many Aussies also take their own vinegar and sting spray with them to the beach. Of course, we all know that you can urinate on someone as well for a jellyfish sting- but vinegar sounds way more pleasant! If you are in the north and it is anywhere between the end of Sept to approx. May then ask the locals if the Box Jellyfish are out. You can usually tell if there are stinger nets on the beaches. You can swim in the nets but I personally prefer sticking to the hotel swimming pools. Do not be silly and not swim in the nets, or you could be in the cargo area of the aircraft for your trip home.
Tip Seven: Be aware of Sharks!
Yes, Australia has Sharks. Many of the beaches in Sydney have shark nets around them. If you are swimming (once again where there are surf lifeguards) if there are any sightings you will hear the siren go off and you must promptly follow instructions. Most cities have helicopters flying over watching as well and these days drones. Do not go swimming on your own out in deep water or at night time. Sharks have been known to come closer to shore as well. The bottom line is we do have minimal Shark attacks all over our beautiful beaches in Australia but if you are wise and remember the ocean is their home and swim in authorized areas with lifeguards then you would have to be extremely unlucky.
Tip Eight: Protect your valuables!
Beaches are a great place for valuables to go missing. Not just from someone stealing them but on a crowded beach it is easy to drift away from the shoreline when in the water and lose sight of where you left your things! Only bring what you are willing to lose and lock the rest away. If you are self-driving then lock your valuables away in the boot (trunk) of the car. Out of sight out of mind! Or have someone stay on the beach and take turns going into the ocean for a swim. If you are on your own then do not assume that the people sitting near you will watch your gear.
Tip Nine: Watch where you are walking on Australian beaches!
Watch where you walk! While walking with sand between your toes is considered enjoyable to some people. It is very important to watch where you are walking on the beaches in Australia. Some beaches are swept in the morning but many are not. This means who knows who has been down there at night and what they have left in the sand. Remember the tide can cover things up. I prefer to wear flip-flops or thongs as we call them in Australia. The sand can get hot but I have no desire to step on a piece of glass. Also as many of our beaches have sand dunes or shrubbery/parks nearby we can also have snakes so please look down when walking on paths. Just watch where you are walking.
Tip Ten: Stay safe on Australian beaches by drinking fluids!
Drink lots of fluids! By that I mean water! It is so easy to get dehydrated during our Summer. Sunstroke is not fun. I have had it numerous times and it can catch you by surprise. Always bring water with you and if it is getting too hot then seek shade promptly! If you do get a dose of sunstroke then please seek medical attention promptly.
Bottom line no matter what beach you visit in Australia always look out for the safety signs as you enter the beach and follow instructions. We do have many folks trained in surf lifesaving but they are not located at every beach!
How do I book a trip to visit an Aussie Beach or ten?
Make contact with us today! One of our Australia Travel Advisors will be happy to assist you with designing your bespoke trip to Australia!
Our Australia Travel Experts are here to assist our clients with staying safe the best way we can on their vacation. Our staff is all local Aussies who have had a dose of sunburn, a jellyfish sting, and sunstroke one too many times in their lives but thankfully no shark attacks or snake bites!
Check out this blog post on planning your trip around the best time to visit Australia!