Read our advice on how to stay safe, secure and healthy while travelling in Australia's South West.
COVID-19 UPDATE April 1, 2020
The Australian government has now restricted all non-essential intrastate travel from midnight, Tuesday 31 March 2020. Western Australians are not be permitted to leave their regional boundary (though there are a number of exemptions as listed below). Click here for a map of the regional boundaries and click here for the media release from the West Australian Premier.
Here are the reasons that are permitted for travel across regional boundaries:
- Travelling to work
- Attending medical appointments
- Transporting freight
- Those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
- Returning to a place of residence
- Attending school or an educational institution
- Where necessary, catering for family members
- Compassionate grounds
Australians have now been given the following COVID-19 advice by the federal government:
- All non-essential travel should be stopped.
- Indoor and outdoor gatherings are now restricted to two people (not including members of the family who share a household).
- Any non-essential visitors travelling to Australia's South West may face fines of up to $50,000 from Tuesday 31 March.
- Adhere to social distancing rules by keeping 1.5 metres apart from other people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your inner elbow.
- All arrivals from other States and Territories must self isolate for 14 days after arriving in WA.
- If you have arrived from overseas, you must self isolate for 14 days.
The Australian Government have created a Coronavirus App along with a WhatsApp messaging service. The app is now available on Apple and Android devices. The WhatsApp channel can be accessed by entering aus.gov.au/whatsapp into your internet browser. Follow the link for more information and to download to your device. https://www.australia.gov.au/
Click the below links for the latest advice in Australia in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Health Organisation - click here.
Australian Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Updates - click here.
Government of Western Australia Department of Health - click here.
If residing in Australia's South West, we encourage everyone to practice good hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading.
BUSHFIRE UPDATE March 17, 2020
Like all Australians, our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and communities who were impacted by the bushfires earlier this year. Australia’s South West would like to extend immense gratitude to the frontline services for their incredible efforts facing the fires head on.
Much of Australia’s South West’s tourist destinations were unaffected, with tourism businesses including accommodation, tours and attractions around the region operating as normal.
However, some remote areas were impacted and travellers are encouraged to seek the most up to date information prior to departure and remain informed about changing conditions on arrival.
At this time, parts of the Stirling Range National Park remain closed and our thoughts go out to the communities affected in this part of our region.
The following recreation sites, walk trails and roads within the Stirling Range National Park are closed until further notice.
• Mt Trio Road
• Mt Toolbrunup Road
Recreational sites and walk trails closed:
• Bluff Knoll walk trail
• Stirling Range Ridge Walk including Ellen Peak
• Mt Trio walk trail
• Mt Toolbrunup walk trail
• Toll Peak picnic area
• Moingup Springs campground and picnic area
The following areas are open:
• Bluff Knoll Road
• Bluff Knoll picnic area and car park
• Stirling Range Drive
• Mt Hassell walk trail
• Mt Talyuberlup walk Trail
• Mt Magog walk trail
• White Gum Flat picnic area
• Central Lookout
• Western Lookout
• Red Gum Pass Rd
• Red Gum Spring picnic area
Click here to view the full alert and stay up to date.
Travellers coming to Australia should seek the most up to date information prior to departure and remain informed about changing conditions whilst on the ground.
Click here to read about bushfire safety information from Tourism Australia, and view the interactive, live update map of impacted areas.
Please see below websites to assist travellers with up to date information:
Australia’s South West local Visitor Information Centres can provide advice about local conditions and how travellers can best enjoy their time: https://www.australiassouthwest.com/where-to-go/visitor-centres
The Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology provides overall weather updates for all parts of Australia, including the latest fire warnings: www.bom.gov.au.
Department of Fire & Emergency services is the government department responsible for fire and emergency services in Western Australia: www.dfes.wa.gov.au
If you are travelling by road, please visit: www.mainroads.wa.gov.au and click though to road closure information.
Roadside assistance (RAC): 13 11 11
Road conditions (Main Roads): 13 81 38
To get the most out of your Australia's South West holiday, speak to the experts at one of the many visitor centres in the region. Visitor centre staff can offer advice on accommodation, tours, services and the best things to see and do in the region.
Look for the blue and yellow italic, or white and blue 'i' signs to find a visitor centre on your holiday route.
SOUTH WEST CLIMATE
Summer | December-February | Day 20-35°C
Autumn | March-May | Day 15-25°C
Winter | June-August | Day 10-22°C
Spring | September-November | Day 18-28°C
Temperatures can drop overnight, even in summer, so be sure to visit bom.gov.au for more detailed information about the South West's weather and climate.
The danger period for bushfires in Australia's South West is from late spring to summer. Before setting out on your trip, check the Fire Danger Ratings (FDR) of your destination often included in TV, local radio and newspaper reports. When camping, use designated fireplaces, adhere to total fire bans and always extinguish campfires completely with water.
BEACH & SWIMMING SAFETY
Australian beaches are some of the best in the world. We hope you enjoy them, but please take a moment to learn about rip currents and coastal dangers at mybeach.com.au
When swimming at lifeguard patrolled beaches, stay safe by swimming between the flags. If you are exploring coastal areas and rock pools, be sure to take extra care and check tide times at willyweather.com.au before you travel to coastal areas.
Water at recreation areas including Black Diamond Lake, Minninup Pool and Stockton Lake is tested regularly for the presence of harmful organisms. Stay up-to-date with the latest safety information and check recent water tests of natural water bodies on the Shire of Collie website.
- In Australia, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road. You must wear a seat belt if you are travelling in a moving vehicle.
- You must carry an international driving permit if your driver's licence is not in English.
- Be sure to appoint a designated driver when visiting cellar doors or if you plan to drink alcohol, as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an offence.
- It is illegal to use your mobile phones while driving. Our tip - enjoy the view instead.
- When two lanes merge into one, the vehicle in front has the right of way.
- When entering a roundabout, always give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout, and to your right.
- You may cross a broken line if it is safe to do so, but continuous unbroken lines should not be crossed unless you need to avoid an obstruction.
- Give way to cyclists and when overtaking, allow a distance of 1.5m between your vehicle and the cyclist.
- When making a U-Turn give way to all other road users and use the indicator to signal your manoeuvre.
- Tips for driving on gravel roads:
- Slow down on bends.
- Don't break suddenly.
- Be prepared for dust and stones from passing vehicles.
- Avoid driving in hazardous weather. Turning your headlights on is a great way to be seen at day or night.
- There can be limited phone reception in some areas of the South West. Always plan your route beforehand and pack a hard copy of a map, just in case.
- Wildlife is most active at dawn and dusk, so try to avoid driving at these times.
- Stick to designated trails and heed warning signs alerting you to cliff risk areas, king waves and strong ocean currents.
- Plan ahead, check weather conditions and always let somebody know your itinerary.
Visit one of the region's many visitor centres for more travel advice.