Health & safety
Australia is one of the safest destinations in the world, but you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home. Talk to other travellers about their experiences for advice, and invest in comprehensive travel insurance before departing.
If you're in the sun for extended periods, take proper precautions against sunburn by wearing a shirt, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
At the beach
Beaches can be dangerous, with rips and undercurrents, so make sure you swim on patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags, and be sun smart.
Victoria has few dangerous animals. Venomous snakes, including the tiger snake, copperhead snake and red-bellied black snake are mostly found in bushland but they can also live in built-up areas. Poisonous spiders, such as the redback spider and the white-tailed spider, are commonly found in houses, sheds and garages. The danger posed by snakes or spiders is, however, extremely low.
Watch out for natural hazards such as changeable weather conditions in Victoria’s alpine regions or remote national parks. Plan your activities and let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return.
Medicare, Australia’s public health care system, allows travellers from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Malta and the Netherlands to receive free or discounted medical treatment, limited to public hospitals and visits to the doctor. Residents of these countries can apply for a Medicare card, which covers consultation fees for doctors, and provides benefits to help pay for tests and examinations. Medicare cards are available from any Medicare centre or office. If you’re staying in Victoria on an extended working holiday visa, it’s advised you get one.
For emergencies, ring 000 for fire, police or ambulance.