Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 8-11 hours
Daylight savings time: during southern hemisphere summer (but not observed in Queensland, Northern Territory or Western Australia)
Current time: 16:21 (Perth) 17:51 (Adelaide) 18:21 (Sydney)
Currency: Australian dollar
Dialling code: +61
Internet suffix: .au
Australia is a large, well-developed country known for its biodiversity, established civic institutions, strong economy, high standards of living and general attractiveness as a travel destination.
It has both huge swathes of undeveloped natural environments, particularly in its interior, as well as a highly urbanised society, based mostly around the eastern coastline.
It is regarded as a very safe travel destination. There may be some concerns about potentially hostile flora and fauna, as well as occasionally inclement weather and wildfires, but the statistical likelihood of being caught up in any related incidents is extremely low.
For further analysis and information on Australian overseas territories please select from the following menu:
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Overall security situation: stable
Crime rate: extremely low
Murder rate: very low
Gun ownership levels: very high
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no
Latest security reports
Australia is one of the most secure countries in the world. While gun ownership levels are very high in comparison to the rest of the world, this is mostly due to ownership in rural areas and not because of any urban gun culture. Otherwise, the crime and murder rates are both very low. Police coverage is good and the country benefits from a very well-resourced and efficient judicial system.
The population is amongst the most content in the world, with high standards of living and good socio-economic development levels. Demonstrations often occur, but they are part of the country’s healthy democratic culture and are normally professionally-managed, peaceful and orderly.
Institutions in general are amongst the most resilient in the world, with extensive resources, capabilities and an established track record for management and crisis responses.
There is a moderately high risk of terrorism, with clear threats made by hostile groups (such as radical Islamists). Incidents have also taken place on a sporadic basis, comparable to other countries such as the US, Europe and Canada. Nonetheless, the statistical likelihood of being caught up in such an incident is low.
Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: left
Infrastructure quality: excellent
Urban ATM availability: very good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: consistent
Plug types: I
Plug type I (2 or 3 flat pins, those with 3 pins are grounded/earthed, those with 2 are not)
Is tap water drinkable: yes
Healthcare quality: among the best healthcare provision in the world
Infectious disease prevalence: extremely low
Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):
- Japanese encephalitis (Queensland only)
- Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus).
Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: sporadic cases
Rabies prevalence: rare/non-existent (thought to be present in bats only)
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: low
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present
Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: yes (Queensland only)
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none
Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no
Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Natural disaster risk: small level of risk
Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest and bush fires; flooding; temperature extremes; dangerous fauna
Tropical storms: common
Volcanic activity: none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no
Government type: federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Socio-economic development score: 10/10 (among the highest levels of socio-economic development in the world)
Adult literacy rate: 96%
Unemployment rate: low
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: investment grade
Corruption levels: low
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: English 76.8%, Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Greek 1.2%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.1%, other 10.4%, unspecified 5%
Ethnic groups: English 25.9%, Australian 25.4%, Irish 7.5%, Scottish 6.4%, Italian 3.3%, German 3.2%, Chinese 3.1%, Indian 1.4%, Greek 1.4%, Dutch 1.2%, other 15.8% (includes Australian aboriginal .5%), unspecified 5.4% (note that many identify as having more than one of the above identities)
Beliefs: Protestant 30.1% (Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%, Baptist, 1.6%, Lutheran 1.2%, Pentecostal 1.1%, other Protestant 1.3%), Catholic 25.3% (Roman Catholic 25.1%, other Catholic .2%), other Christian 2.9%, Orthodox 2.8%, Buddhist 2.5%, Muslim 2.2%, Hindu 1.3%, other 1.3%, none 22.3%, unspecified 9.3%
- The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
- However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
- Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
- Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
- Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
Safe country guidelines
- Even in relatively safe parts of the world, accidents, illnesses and other incidents can still affect traveller safety.
- Make sure you know how to find help if you need it (such as the local emergency service numbers).
- There may still be a risk of opportunistic crime so be mindful of your belongings and take responsibility for your own actions.
- If travelling to areas with more challenging terrain types, bear in mind that you might need to take specific and specialised equipment and clothing.
- Some terrain types might be more hazardous at different times of year so research any seasonal variations and work out the best time for you to visit.
- You may have to alter your behaviour and consider certain types of medication
- Areas with challenging terrain are often sparsely populated and/or with underdeveloped infrastructure.
- Not only can this make it difficult for you to travel there, it may also make it difficult to get out if you need to, or for any assistance to arrive in the event that you encounter difficulties and need help or evacuation.
- As such, have backup plans in place, methods of calling for help even if local communication networks are poor and aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible.
- If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
- Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
- Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
- Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
- Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
- Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
- Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
- As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.
- Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
- Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
- Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
- Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
- Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
- In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
- Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
- In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
- Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.
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