Respecting the Australian Land – tips for travellers
Australian’s are known for their laid back and easy going attitude, but we are a fiercely protective bunch as well when it comes to respecting the things we recognise as deserving it. For travellers to Australia, some things in this list may seem odd, but we reckon they are important enough to detail so you know a few things you may want to do / or not do when roaming the country.
Consider the community when making purchases.
It may seem an odd thing to say, but when making purchases – especially of art – make sure you do some research. Aboriginal art is recognised throughout the world and it is probably the most visible representation of Australian Aboriginal culture. What many people do not realise though is that it is actually an economic staple for many Aboriginal communities.
If you are looking to buy Aboriginal art whilst in the Northern territory for example, check the Desart website as Desart are the industry body for over forty Central Australian Aboriginal-owned art centres and they help supports community life, especially in remote Central Australia.
You often need a permit
Whether you are looking to camp in a National Park in NSW, or want to spend a night in central Australia with an Aboriginal Community, you may need to buy a permit. Permits range from free to $70 depending on where you are and what you intend to do and for how long.
Do not Climb Uluru
Sure you may have seen photos of people climbing Ayer’s Rock (Uluru as it was once called), but today, that is a definite no no. People still try to do it illegally, but for the safety and respect of all, please do not.
Do not litter
It should be a given anywhere in the world, but when you are camping it is worth making extra effort to make sure you limit your impact on the environment. Make sure you recycle what you can, place rubbish in the bins provided, or if you are in a remote area, take your rubbish to the next town to ensure it does not end up in waterways.
Pay attention to warning signs
We all like to live on the edge occasionally, but the signs ARE there for a reason. Around the Northern Territory, Far North Queensland and the top of Western Australia, crocodiles are responsible for the deaths of many tourists.
Croc’s are resourceful hunters and will strike when people think it is safe. If a sign says they are in the area, do not go down to the water’s edge even if it looks safe. People are snatched off the shores more often than they are taken when in the water, so just be careful.
If you go on a hike or a long trip – tell someone
Australian conditions can change really quickly. What is a hot sunny day can turn into a wet and cold night very quickly. If you go hiking, always take a map and something you can communicate with, but as importantly tell someone where you are off to and when you will return. That way if you do not return someone can raise the alarm for you.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, the key ingredient to success is common sense. Go have fun, but always think ahead and think of others – when you do, everyone wins.