Beach Travel Tips
Australian beach guide to staying alive
Our country is famous for its beaches, some of the most beautiful in the world, remote, pristine and bathed in sunshine!
But there are pros and cons to a lazy day on the coast of Australia and there are many things you'll need to be aware of as a first timer or visitor. Below we've put together a list of the biggest and most important rules to follow, ensuring your Australian beach outing is one to remember, for good reasons, and not bad ones.
- You WILL need sunscreen. As great as it looks to have a dark tan these days, 1400 people die each year from sun cancers in Australia and 8,800 are diagnosed with melanomas. A layer of 30+ sunscreen is both smart and necessary, not to mention an easy way to stay sun cancer free. Take a look around, all of the locals are slathering some on, you should too.
- Don't forget a hat and a shirt to put on, for when the sun is out in force and your shoulders need a break. The hottest time in the day during an Australian summer in between 10am and 3pm, keep this in mind during outdoor activities.
- Keep up your water intake. In summer it is easier to become dehydrated, especially on the beach, so keep a bottle of water handy.
- Swim between the flags. Australian beaches have sections of beach that are patrolled by highly trained lifeguards, these sections are easily marked by bright yellow and red flags. In this area, the lifeguards are able to quickly spot you if you are in danger, and come to your rescue. Outside of these flagged areas you run the risk of not being seen by someone and being carried further out into the ocean by rips.
- Decide how long you'll stay in the surf and how high the waves should get before going in shore. It sounds small, but it's easy to get into big trouble if the waves are too high or rough for you. The surf is no place to be a cowboy! If you start to feel uneasy where you are, that's a major sign that you're already in too deep.
- Be aware of scary things at the beach. This can mean lots of things, rocks under the water, jelly fish, sharks, rips in the tide or even people on the shore who might like the look of your belongings and want to steal something of value while you swim 20 metres away. You have to take care of yourself and be aware of what's going on around you!
If you find yourself in trouble, there are a few easy things to remember that might save your life.
- If you get caught in a rip; wave your arms to attract attention from others around you (and the lifeguards). If you are too far out and are struggling, it's best to swim parallel to the shore along with the rip. This way, you won't exhaust yourself and eventually the rip will break and you can swim to the shore. The important thing is not to swim against the current.
- Listen to lifeguards. If they say a particular area is dangerous, it is. You might think otherwise, but they have your safety in mind. Also, if a lifeguard comes to help you, follow their directions.
- Seek attention immediately if you are stung by something. If you are stung by the dreaded blue bottle and there are no lifeguards to help you, a good remedy for pain is to bathe the sting in hot water.