Australia

Australia

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Commonwealth of Australia is a continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. It is the sixth largest country in the world with a population of about 23 million. Australia’s government is a parliamentary democracy with the Queen of England as the chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Australia’s aboriginal people probably arrived about 40,000 years ago. In 1788, the first groups of settlers to arrive in Australia were British, many of whom were convicts. British Captain James Cook annexed land in the east to Britain. Penal colonies were established, but gradually more free men arrived. After the discovery of gold in the mid-1800s, waves of immigrants arrived and led to a population boom. Citizens began to demand self-government, and by the 1890s, all the colonies were self governing. Britain maintained control of foreign affairs and defence. By 1901, the new nation of the Commonwealth of Australia was created.

Australia has one of the highest standards of living. The country is known for the Great Barrier Reef, the outback, Aboriginal cultures, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed and friendly people.

Currency AUD: Australian dollar
Language English
Capital Canberra
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert April 03, 2017 - Ross River Virus in Casey, Australia

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Australia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in the tropical areas of Australia, particularly in northern Queensland in the region extending from the Torres Strait south to Cairns, Townsville, and Charters Towers, as well as on the islands of the Torres Strait.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya has occurred in the tropical zones in northern Australia.

Japanese encephalitis

In Australia, there is a risk for Japanese encephalitis year-round on the islands of the Torres Strait and far northern Australia. The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but visiting the listed areas and extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Ross River Fever

Major outbreaks of Ross River Virus Fever have occurred in the Australian states of Victoria, South Australia, coastal New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland. The outbreaks occur chiefly during the months of January to May.

Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus

Outbreaks of Murray Valley encephalitis occur in some parts of Australia, usually during the warm, rainy summer months when the mosquito population is increased.

Hepatitis B

The risk of acquiring hepatitis B is low.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia.

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Ciguatera poisoning occurs sporadically in the Great Barrier Reef area of Australia.

Scrub Typhus

Scrub typhus, also known as Tsutsugamushi fever, generally occurs year-round in northern Australia.

Hepatitis A

There is a low risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. However, Australia requires all persons over 1 year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country or region where yellow fever is present, including transit of 12 hours or more in an airport of a country where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Zika Fever

Zika transmission has occurred in north Queensland, Australia.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in bats in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Australia.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Vaccination is recommended for short-term travellers (less than one month) who plan extensive outdoor activities in tropical areas, particularly northern Queensland in the region extending from the Torres Strait south to Cairns, Townsville, and Charters Towers, as well as on the islands of the Torres Strait. It is also recommended for long-term travellers (trips lasting a month or more) in the endemic areas.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. However, Australia requires all persons over 1 year of age to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country or region where yellow fever is present, including transit of 12 hours or more in an airport of a country where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Although the risk of acquiring hepatitis B is low, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a low risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, however, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Rabies vaccination is recommended for travellers who may come in contact with bats (i. e. cavers, adventure travellers, researchers, and anyone working with bats).

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Australia.

None required.

Safety and Security in Australia

Emergency Numbers

000 for all emergencies

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country, and most travellers have no trouble. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing or other theft, can occur in any crowded area or tourist destination. Always be alert in your surroundings. Keep valuables secured and out of sight to avoid becoming a target for theft. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight. Be particularly alert at night in the busy tourist areas of Sydney, such as Kings Cross, downtown George Street, Hyde Park and Centennial Park. Be cautious in Alice Springs at night. Foreign tourists have reported robberies, attacks and harassment.

Prepare thoroughly for any bushwalking, visits to national parks, or driving in outback areas. It can take hours to get emergency help. There are many dangerous specifies of animals in Australia, such as crocodiles and deadly jellyfish, spiders and snakes.

Rip currents can be a hazard at all beaches.

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