Whether you’re holidaying in Australia or another country, emergencies can happen. However, Australia is also a very safe country with a wide range of services and facilities to help you in case you get into a travel emergency.
STOLEN OR LOST LUGGAGE
Losing your luggage or having your belongings stolen can be extremely distressing during your holiday.
If your luggage has been lost in transit, speak to your airline about where it might be and what they can do to retrieve your luggage. Get an estimate of how long it will take to return your belongings and if possible, ask the airline to forward your luggage to your hotel.
If you are staying in a hotel, motel or serviced apartment and experience an incident of theft, speak to the front desk and inform them of what’s happened. They may be able to assess the situation further and will usually phone the police to investigate what has happened.
In both circumstances, you should also contact your travel insurance provider to find out if your insurance can cover any costs involved from finding or replacing your possessions.
VISAS AND PASSPORTS
In the event that you run into any problems with your visas or passports, you can:
- Speak to the customs/immigration section of the airport when you depart your home country or arrive in Australia.
- Contact your local consulate after arriving in Australia and find out what the next steps are in rectifying your problem.
If you discover that your passport or visa documentation has been lost or stolen, you should notify the consulate immediately.
If you’re driving around Australia, especially in remote regions (like the bush or desert), you will need to be prepared in case your car or vehicle breaks down. Consider the following:
- Note down the number of at least three roadside assistance companies in your state and keep these handy.
- Carry the right survival supplies to ensure your life will not be put in danger if your car breaks down; for example, if you experience a breakdown in the desert during winter, how will you stay warm?
- In the event that your car does break down, make sure you stay with the vehicle at all times.
LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES WHILE TRAVELLING
Australia’s emergency phone number is triple zero: 000.
If you have a digital mobile phone, you can also dial 112. Those with a hearing or speech impediment can dial 106 from a teletypewriter or text phone (this does not include SMS’s from a mobile phone).
You can dial this from anywhere in Australia to be put through to the triple zero hotline and speak to a qualified representative who will be able to talk you through your emergency. An emergency is classified as:
- A situation where someone is in immediate danger and/or their life is at risk.
- A situation where someone needs urgent medical help.
- An incident where you have witnessed a serious crime.
You will need to inform the triple zero representative of the emergency and explain exactly where you are (i.e. your address), so that they can send the relevant service (ambulance, police or fire brigade) to help you. Triple zero calls are free.
If your emergency does not fall into one of the above categories, you should:
- Contact the local police or fire service to help you, and remember that it can take time for them to arrive.
- Visit the nearest hospital or doctor (note that some private hospitals do not have an emergency department).
Ensure you conduct the appropriate research in regards to your Australian holiday and learn where local hospitals and police stations are located.