Melbourne, Australia (PressExposure) April 29, 2010 -- Taking a road trip around Australia is quite a common way many Britons choose to see this amazing country, given the availability and choice of car hire in Australia. Although this is harsh and unforgiving country with many dangers, you may want to think twice before embarking on such a journey. As an Australian who travels a lot I am often asked about the many dangers of being in Australia by people who have never been. The creepy crawlies, deadly spiders, shark attacks at bondi, skin cancer, and dying of thirst whilst getting lost in the outback. These are all fears expressed to me by my fellow travellers. It is true these are serious dangers, but to the average Australian, they are a simple part of life.
Venomous Snakes Australia has some of the deadliest snakes in the world. It is said that of the 10 most deadly snakes in the world, 8 of them exist in Australia. The most dangerous of these is the Taipan, with the Tiger Snake and Brown Snake being quite deadly also. Avoid walking in long grass during summer time if you can. Wear long pants whilst hiking. And if you get bitten, take note of the appearance of the snake that bit you, tie a bandage around the area bitten to restrict the blood flow, and high tail it to the nearest hospital for a shot of antivenom. If you're lucky, then you might live.
Deadly Spiders Possibly the most dangerous spiders in Australia are considered to be the Funnel Web Spider and the Red Back Spider. There is also speculation about rare cases of gangrene caused by the bite from a White Tail Spider, however this has never been proven to be linked with the spiders venom. The Funnel Web is possibly the one to be most concerned about. This is one of the deadliest spiders in the world with the Sydney Funnel Web being the most dangerous of them all. It can be quite aggressive when disturbed and can inflict multiple bites. The Red Back is not as dangerous to the general public, it is however considered to be more dangerous to infants and elderly people. Roughly 250 people require antivenom for a Red Back bite each year.
Shark Attack Australia is the 2nd most likely place you will witness a shark attack, second only to the USA. In the last 50 years there have been 12 deaths from shark attacks. Strangely, the most recent death was recorded in 2006 just of a place called Amity beach in queensland. For those of you who know the film jaws, it was set in a fictional location called Amity Island. There are some precautions you can take to avoid being attacked by sharks, these include avoiding well know shark areas, not taking your pet swimming with you, only swimming during daylight hours and avoid swiming near fishermen
Skin Cancer Particularly for with European tourists such as the paisty white brits, the idea of returning home with a glorious sun tan is far too temping to pass up. Unfortunately the potential danger of the harsh australian sun is very real. Roughly 1000 australians die of skin cancer every year, and more than 10000 being diagnosed with some form of melonoma. Theres no other way to put it other than if you decide to tan in the sun, then you are taking a risk. Ideally, wear some clothing that covers your skin from exposure to the sun, wear a hat, and use SPF 15+ cream to block out UV rays. As the old tv jingle goes; "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat". My advice, if you are wanting to go back to the UK with a real sun tan, then stop over in Thailand for a week or two. Whilst you are still at some risk, the sun is no where near as harsh there. Or err.. get a spray tan.
Travelling in the Outback For some strange reason when tourists travel to Australia they often feel the need to experience the Outback. This enormous expanse of nothingness where you can drive for days and not see another living soul. Some of these daredevils like to do it in a clapped out old kombi van, and others might rent a 4wd or campervan from one of the many car rental australia companies. Most however depart for this kind of journey somewhat unprepared. It is not the responsibility of the car hire company to inform the driver of the risks and make sure they are prepared. It is important to do your research properly before heading off on this sort of adventure.
Plan your itinerary before you depart and stick to it as much as possible, speak to locals who know the area about your path of travel. Notify local authorities of where you are going and when you plan to return and don't rely on such services provided by local pubs or businesses. Take water with you, and lots of it.. if you get lost, you might need 3 or four weeks of worth of the stuff. Take extra fuel for your vehicle. Make sure you have some kind of GPS device and a sateliete phone. Don't rely soley on the gps unit, take detailed and up to date maps of the area you are travelling to. If you do break down in the middle of nowhere, never leave the vehicle, the odds are against you if you do.
If this hasn't changed your mind about taking a road trip around Australia, then head on over to http://www.drivedownunder.co.uk where you can search for and compare the best deal with all the major car rental companies in Australia.