The summer of 2019/20 will be one that Australia – and indeed the world – will remember for many, many years. And sadly, not for the right reasons. This Summer, Australia’s East Coast (and parts of many other states too sadly) has been ablaze for months. And as these Australian bushfires burn, and people are galvanized to increase our approach to climate change, the news around the world has shown homes burning, towering infernos leaping high into the air and sadly, dead and burned animals. It has been terrible.
But as you will have also seen, Australian’s have “dug in” for one and other. Millions of dollars have been raised by the public to be donated to the Rural Fire Services (RFS), millions more poured in by celebrities ranging from P!nk, to Chris Hemsworth, James Packer, to Delta Goodrem and countless others. And there have been public drives to collect water, food, toys, pet food, and other meaningful supplies for the communities ravaged by the fires. And, that is not to take anything away from the countless foreign fire services who have flown in to help relieve Australian fire-fighters.
Yes, a massive amount of Australia is ablaze, the scale of which has not been seen before (as per this shot shared on America’s ABC News).
Please note though, this map is eyecatching but, it does not show the scope of the fires. Some of the red dots represent small brush fires (such as in Far North Queensland) where the true massive blazes are in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.
And we hope that soon, so very soon, fire fighting efforts get on top of the Australian Bushfires and communities can get on with rebuilding. And in that vein, we wanted to give campervanning holidaymakers, a guide to ensuring that not only do you have the best holiday you can (yes there is still so very much you can do and see) but a list of things you can do to help those currently in need.
Helping communities ravaged by the Australian Bushfires
First and foremost we want to turn your attention to the things you can do to help those communities suffering. We know that campervanners are to their core community-minded and ready to help out those in need. Whether it is sharing a beer as the sunsets, or helping change a tyre, the stories we’ve seen and heard tell us that if you are reading this, you are likely to be ready to help those suffering from the Australian bushfires. So here are a few ideas you can consider for helping those in need:
- DO NOT light fires in zones marked as High fire danger, or under Fire Bans
- Research the area you are travelling to before you consider buying supplies such as towels, clothes, tinned food or other supplies. Whilst this is a well-meaning approach, many communities are currently struggling to distribute, house or use items. If they need something specific, buy that for them.
- Help wildlife who have been burned, or who have lost their homes. Be patient on roads, offer water to those who need it and do not litter.
- Consider making a cash donation to a sactioned and approved charity such as the Red Cross.
- Instead of looking for work picking fruit or on a rural property, consider giving some time to help communities with the rebuilding process. Skilled trades will be in high demand and they would love help
Finding the beauty amongst the ashes
Yes, swathes of Australia have been burnt to a crisp and animal life decimated, but there is still plenty to do and see around the country, and even in fire-ravaged areas. In fact, many areas burned by fires are starting to regenerate – such is the way of life in Australian bush. Here are a few things you may want to consider for your campervan holiday this Summer and Autumn.
- Take that nature hike you were planning (check that the area you plan to walk is approved by authorities) and observe how the Australian Bush regenerates. The Blue Mountains in New South Wales is already showing signs in some areas of green shoots and new life.
- Venture inland away from the fires and see the other hardship Australia is facing – drought. These communities are not gaining the media attention they deserve, but they are also doing it tough. If you can get out to these Beautiful areas any money you spend in the community will be very well received. And any donations of goods you can make may also be well received.
- Venture out of the two most populous states of Australia and head North or West. Queensland, The Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia all have plenty to offer. From amazing coastal roads, to golf, to surfing, to shark dives, to wine tours, to hikes, there is a lot to do in the other states of Australia.
Ultimately, what Australia is going through is a wake up call to the world. We do not want to wax lyrical about the politics of climate change or push an agenda here, but what we do want to do is encourage you to see beyond the fires and smoke and to see that the Australia Bushfires are not a reason to stay away, but in fact, could be a reason to get on the road sooner to help spread cheer and see what Australia is really like.