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Top 3 Things To Do In Australia - Going Bush Part 2

Updated on March 25, 2010

The only large, aggressive land animal is the saltwater crocodile, which inhabits the rivers and swamps of the far north. Fatalities occur regularly, so keep away from the water's edge in croc country.

Offshore, steer clear of stonefish, pufferfish, porcupine fish, and stingrays. Despite their reputation, sharks seldom attack humans, but make sure you heed shark alerts. Of more concern is the box jellyfish, which is common in tropical waters between October and May. Its long tentacles can inflict agonizing stings that cause occasionally fatal burns and respiratory problems.

In the outback, a four-wheel-drive vehicle will be preferable, if not essential. It will be more expensive to rent and guzzle more of Australia's costly gas, but it offers a higher level of security as well as greater scope for adventure.

If you're heading down a particularly remote track, report your departure to the police and then confirm your arrival at the other end. It's a good idea to carry some spares, say, two additional tires, a replacement fan belt, and extra fuses, and it's essential to equip yourself with a plentiful supply of fresh water (nine pints per person per day) and emergency foodstuffs in case you should break down. If that occurs on an outback road, whatever you do, stay with your vehicle. In recent years, several people have perished from heat exhaustion because they attempted to walk to find help.

As you cruise the red roads of the outback, you may wonder why so many vehicles have oversized bumpers. Come dusk, cattle and kangaroos and other nocturnal mammals are prone to wander, often into the path of oncoming traffic. Having a kangaroo come through your windshield is not the best way to get your first close-up view of Australia's national icon, so avoid road travel in outback areas between dusk and dawn. Despite these hazards, driving the wide open roads of Australia can be a great way to appreciate the vastness and wildness of the continent. experience.

To fully explore the wildest parts of the country, your best option, possibly the only one in some areas, is to camp. Before you shudder and shake your head, remember that camping doesn't have to be an uncomfortable experience. Many specialist outfitters run catered camping tours that provide a level of luxury to match top resorts. In addition, Australia's generally predictable, warm, dry weather creates ideal conditions for sleeping outdoors, and, with one or two notable exceptions, the continent's plants and animals are unlikely to spoil your fun.

I did camp extensively in my travels through Australia, but I have to be completely honest and it was in a motor caravan. I'm not exactly the kind to pitch a tent and sleep on hard ground. However, I can certainly assure any tourist to the magnificent land down under that if you want to venture anywhere on the continent there is so much wide open land that it boggles the mind. You can drive for hundreds of miles and not see a single building. If you want a somewhat more organized and convenient place to sleep, I heartily recommend the campgrounds as the ones I stayed in are second to none in the world.

Continued In: Top 3 Things To Do In Australia - Meet The Indigenous Culture

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      7 years ago

      I camped with a tent all over New Zealand for 3 months, but I didn't dare to do the same in Australia, thinking of all the scary snakes and spiders!


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