Natural disasters

Bushfires

Be aware of the risk of bushfires, especially at the height of the Australian summer (November to February). Bushfires can start and change direction with little or no notice. If you’re travelling in a high risk bushfire area, follow local authorities’ advice.

Australia has already battled several devastating bushfires across a number of regions during the current summer season. These fires have resulted in the loss of lives and property with many residents advised to evacuate their homes until it is safe to return.

If you’re in or near an affected area, stay safe and follow the advice of local authorities:

In the event of emergency, always dial Triple Zero (000).

A Fire Danger Rating system operates across Australia indicating the possible consequences of a fire, if one were to start. The highest rating of ‘Catastrophic’ has been issued in several locations.

Smoke generated by bushfires can result in poor air quality, which could provoke respiratory conditions. Smoke can often accumulate many kilometres from the fire, including in urban areas and major cities. Most state and territory governments provide detailed information on the monitoring of air quality and useful advice if you are unable to avoid being in a smoke affected area:

Flooding

Heavy rain and tropical cyclones can cause flooding in some areas. Follow local media and check with local state authorities for the latest flooding information: Queensland and New South Wales.

Tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones occur in some parts of Australia, mainly Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Cyclone season normally runs from November to April.

Monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website for updates. See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

Dust storms

Dust storms occur regularly in Australia, usually only in outback areas.