New South Wales Travel Tips
New South Wales is home to many natural attractions making it one of Australia's hot spots and most visited states. Be aware of these travel tips when exploring the area so that you don't get caught out.
New South Wales has a variety of incredible national parks; however, check the local park office or website before departing and always notify someone when you're expecting to return. Bring a map and compass as well as snacks and water, as conditions can change very quickly. Many parks will lend you a personal locator beacon, which is useful for areas with little reception. Dress appropriately in walking shoes, long sleeve tops and trousers to protect your skin from bites and stings. The Australian sun is harsh therefore always pack a sunhat and sunglasses as well as reapply sunscreen every four hours. Insect repellent is a must, with mosquitos and insects prevalent. If you've packed your drone, be sure to check the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for information on drone usage, as fines will apply to those who breach the rules.
On the road, foreign drivers licences are allowed however keep in mind that speed limits are heavily enforced with speed cameras used throughout the streets. Australia's drink driving laws are reinforced, and blood alcohol levels must be no higher than 0.05 per cent. Seatbelts are also mandatory in Australia, and if you're on a bicycle, motorcycle, moped or scooter, you must wear a helmet. If you're driving through remote areas, stay alert for native wildlife crossing the road, usually around sunrise and sunset, as kangaroos, wombats and possums can often be seen, and an introduction to a kangaroo on the road will do a lot of damage. Due to the extreme heat and conditions, always bring extra water and additional fuel if possible due to the distance of the landscape in remote areas. Hitchhiking is discouraged in Australia and not very common.
Heavy rainfall and flooding occur frequently, and it has been known to cause problems for drivers. If there are substantial amounts of water on the road, do not attempt to cross them as in some circumstances, they can have strong currents and sweep the vehicle away. The local emergency services can be contacted for assistance, and usually, flood warnings are released through the local State Emergency Service (SES).
Australia is loved by many for its vast wildlife and incredible native inhabitants, but also is home to many venomous snakes and spiders. In the case of you or those who you are travelling being bitten by a snake or spider, dial 000 immediately and apply pressure to immobilise the area with a bandage. Do not cut the bite, wash or suck it and refrain from applying a tight tourniquet. Try to immobilise the wound with a splint and bandage and aim to get to the nearest hospital immediately.
The Australian sun can do some severe damage and is often something a lot of travellers don't realise. Even on cloudy days, the UV rays are usually high so between 11am and 3pm wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing. Stay hydrated to reduce heat exhaustion, and if you begin to feel dizzy or nausea, return to the shade and rehydrate. Heat stroke can quickly occur for travellers who are not prepared for the intense sun and hot climate in Australia. The Australian ocean is a wild ocean; therefore, when swimming at the beach pay attention to rips and currents, look for the red and yellow flags and always swim at patrolled beaches. If you get caught in a current and cannot go back to shore the best way to deal is to either float with it and relax, or swim parallel to the beach across it, don't try to fight it and swim against it. When discovering the many incredible remote watering holes, check for signs at lakes, rivers, and waterfalls to ensure swimming is allowed.
Finally, smoking is banned in public and outdoor dining areas with fines applied for those smoking in non-allocated areas. Littering cigarette butts will also incur a fine as will smoking indoor, smoking in cars with children and in public spaces like public transport stops, swimming pools and building entrances. There is usually a designated 'smokers area' when going to bars.
Should you find yourself in trouble, the national emergency services can be accessed by dialling 000, which includes fire, police and ambulance services.