Safety tips to enhance your experience in Queensland.

Safety first in Queensland

Queensland is sunny, beautiful and diverse. It is also, by world standards, relatively safe. However, it is still important to use common sense to protect yourself and your belongings when living, studying and travelling in Queensland. In Queensland, like most places in the world, it is not a good idea to walk around on your own in lonely places, particularly at night.

For more information, please visit Queensland Police website for more safety tips.


Schools, colleges and universities in Queensland all have safety rules and regulations that will be explained to you during your student orientation. If any of this information isn’t clear, talk to an international student advisor at your study institution. Most institutions have their own security team who are there to protect you and your possessions.

If something you own has been lost or stolen, or if you notice someone acting suspiciously, call security. While you are at school, college or university, common sense rules apply about your personal safety and your belongings.

Beach safety

Queensland is world-renowned for its stunning beaches and hopefully you will enjoy some of them during your stay. Australia’s surf lifesavers are there to help you if you have any questions about beach safety, or if you get into trouble in the surf.

As a general rule: always swim on patrolled beaches, and always swim between the flags. This will ensure that if you need help, a surf lifesaver will see you and come to your aid. For more information about Australia’s beaches, safety and surf lifesavers, visit the Surf Lifesaving Australia website.

Sun safety

Queensland’s climate is sunny and warm for most of the year. If you spend time outdoors you will need to look after your skin. Wear sunscreen, clothes and a broad-brimmed hat and try to stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day (10am – 3pm). The Cancer Council Queensland’s website provides more information about sun safety.

Bush and outback safety

Queensland has many extraordinary and beautiful places to explore. Some tips to consider when venturing into the bush or Outback:

  • travel with other people
  • make sure someone knows where you are at all times
  • stay on the road or a walking track
  • if you go for a swim in a river or a lake, never dive in – rather, enter the water yourself gradually
  • do not touch or feed wild animals – they are not used to close contact with humans and may hurt you.

The Department of Environment and heritage protection website can provide you with more specific information about staying safe in the bush.

Relationships and dating

Australia values gender equality – especially in relationships. Each partner is entitled to choose whether to date, enter or leave a committed relationship with someone, or marry someone. Same sex (homosexual) relationships are also legally accepted.

Many couples are sexually intimate but do not marry. Younger couples in particular are often “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” but will spend most of their time hanging out with mutual friends. In short, there is no “right” or “only” way to be in a relationship with someone. Use extra care if you decide to be physically intimate with a partner.


You must be over the age of 18 years to purchase and smoke tobacco in Australia. With the health dangers of tobacco now recognised, Australian society is becoming less tolerant of smoking.

In Queensland, it is illegal to smoke in public areas such as bars, restaurants, indoor office areas, shopping centres, hospitals, schools, and many beaches and parks. It is important that you obey ‘no smoking’ signs if you see them as fines can apply.


The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcohol in Australia is 18 years. Whether or not you choose to drink alcohol, you should be aware that many social occasions and activities in Australian culture involve alcohol. It is also important to consider how different types of alcohol, heat, hunger and fatigue can influence the way in which alcohol affects you.

Illegal drugs

Some drugs are illegal in Australia, as they are in most countries. Having anything to do with drugs is a criminal offence and can lead to breaches of your student visa, a criminal record and severe legal penalties. The Australian Government’s National Drugs Campaign website provides more detailed information about the dangers of drug use.


Gambling can be fun – occasionally. However, some international students may be at risk of developing a gambling problem because they are not among their usual friends and support networks to distract them or break the pattern of gambling behavior. If you or your friends think gambling is turning into a problem for you, seek advice immediately.

In Queensland you can dial the Gambling Helpline on 1800 633 649 (this is a free call number) for reassurance and advice. International student advisors at your study institution are also available to talk to. Or you could talk to a counselor, psychologist or doctor.