Australia is generally a very safe country. However, like any other country, there are some things to keep in mind.

We have compiled some of the key things to be aware of during your visit. However, you can find more extensive information at the following government websites:

Swimming

At the beach, always swim between the red and yellow flags during patrolled times, not outside them. The flags mark the safest place to swim and the area where lifesavers and lifeguards patrol.

Many surf beaches in Australia have strong currents, called rips. These are powerful currents of water that can drag you out to sea. If you find yourself being caught in a rip, do not panic. Stay calm, float with the current and raise your hand, swim parallel to the shore. Do not try to swim against the rip, as you will simply get tired and lose strength.

  • If you are unsure of the beach surf conditions check with a lifesaver.
  • Read and obey warning signs on beaches, beach access points and at waterways.
  • Always swim with others.
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or in darkness.
  • Never jump or dive into shallow water, a rockpool, creek, lake or river due to immersed rocks and logs. 
  • Know your health limitations when considering diving, snorkelling, swimming (or other active pursuits).
REMEMBER: Queensland, like any coastal destination, has marine life that can pose threats to humans when proper precautions are not observed. Please swim between the flags at patrolled beaches to help reduce the risk of dangerous incidents and unwanted encounters with marine life such as jellyfish, sharks and crocodiles.

Wildlife safety

Australia is home to a diverse range of plants and animals, some of which can be dangerous. If you are bitten or stung by a spider, snake or wasp, please call our emergency services on 000 and ask for an ambulance. Please note you will need to specify your location.

National Poisons Information Line

13 11 26
Hours: 24 hours a day

Sun safety

  • Seek shade and stay out of the sun as much as possible
  • Apply (and reapply every three hours) a broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF30 or higher sunscreen throughout the day
  • Cover-up – wear hats, protective cotton clothing, sunglasses and use umbrellas
  • Keep hydrated and try to drink at least 2 litres of water each day

Road safety

  • Before crossing a road, please look both left and right to ensure it is safe to cross. It is safest to cross at designated pedestrian crossings or traffic lights
  • Cyclists and drivers must know the QLD road rules
  • If you plan to drive during your visit, you must carry an international license and be familiar with the Queensland road rules
  • Brisbane is a great city to cycle around. However, if cycling, please remember you must wear a helmet as it’s the law. Same road rules apply to cars and bicycles.

Campus safety

Feel confident on campus with our 24-hour security patrols and UniSafe program. UQ’s St Lucia campus is well lit and has security call points in strategic locations. You can call an emergency phone number any hour of the day or night, and UQ Security will respond immediately. For routine security enquiries, please call +61 7 3365 1234. In an emergency, please call +61 7 3365 3333 (if dialling from a landline phone on campus, please dial 53333 only).