Head Down Under and yap about bloody Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Determine the best place to buy a car, how to get a working holiday visa and the best route for travelling in Oz and around the Kiwi Islands.

Australasia and Pacific Islands Warnings

Cody R. Hough

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  • Added on: February 23rd, 2009
Kotiti Haere - Wanderers wrote:Customs Warnings for NZNever, never, never bring fruit into the country. Check your backpack before you leave to come to NZ to make sure you have not had an apple that you bought 3 days ago in your backpack and have forgotten about it, for when it is found you WILL get fined NZ$200 on the spot and not even be able to eat the apple! This applies to any fruit, seeds or food.Being a movie star will not save you either as Hillary Swank found out!



This might sound like a stupid question but does this include in my luggage if I'm only in NZ for a lay over? I will be studying in Australia for a full year and might find food I enjoy or want to bring home for friends/family. If it is indeed illegal to bring it back what would you suggest I do?? Would mail work for packaged food like candies, chips, etc??
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clareb

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  • Added on: July 21st, 2009
Cody R. Hough wrote:
Kotiti Haere - Wanderers wrote:Customs Warnings for NZNever, never, never bring fruit into the country. Check your backpack before you leave to come to NZ to make sure you have not had an apple that you bought 3 days ago in your backpack and have forgotten about it, for when it is found you WILL get fined NZ$200 on the spot and not even be able to eat the apple! This applies to any fruit, seeds or food.Being a movie star will not save you either as Hillary Swank found out!



This might sound like a stupid question but does this include in my luggage if I'm only in NZ for a lay over? I will be studying in Australia for a full year and might find food I enjoy or want to bring home for friends/family. If it is indeed illegal to bring it back what would you suggest I do?? Would mail work for packaged food like candies, chips, etc??


Our customs are indeed very strict because our climate is very attractive to bugs and animals and they tend to over populate once they arrive (bee mites, spiders, possums etc). They will fine you on the spot if you do not declare things especially fruit, meats (including dried meats from Asia), dirty golf gear, dirty hiking boots/tents etc. They are fine with chocolate and candy.

The best advice is to declare any edible item you have and they can then determine if it can be brought in or not and you will not be in any trouble because you declared it. I always declare every food item I have just to be safe. Often the declare lines are shorter anyway at the airport.

backpackbuddy

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  • Added on: July 27th, 2009
This is good to know before I make arrangements to travel there. I was planning our honeymoon to Fiji but was concerned about these types of incidents. I also recently was informed about some other incidents involving honeymooners getting killed.

I was forwarded the information here http://bit.ly/2MOYCR.

I'm glad we are being informed about this. Please keep us posted on any more information like this.

Yiddogray

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  • Added on: October 26th, 2009
Better lock yourself in a room then, people get killed in every country in the world. I've been to Fiji in the past 6 months and can safely say that unless you ignore the usual advice about walking around late at night then you'll be fine.

Suva was the only place I felt unsafe, but that was more to do with a bomb threat with several streets being closed... :D
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patricia23

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  • Added on: November 20th, 2009
If I visit Suva Fiji for a couple of weeks, can you give any suggestions and what to take or do?

Yiddogray wrote:Better lock yourself in a room then, people get killed in every country in the world. I've been to Fiji in the past 6 months and can safely say that unless you ignore the usual advice about walking around late at night then you'll be fine.

Suva was the only place I felt unsafe, but that was more to do with a bomb threat with several streets being closed... :D

Kaileena

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2010
clareb wrote:
Cody R. Hough wrote:
Kotiti Haere - Wanderers wrote:Customs Warnings for NZNever, never, never bring fruit into the country. Check your backpack before you leave to come to NZ to make sure you have not had an apple that you bought 3 days ago in your backpack and have forgotten about it, for when it is found you WILL get fined NZ$200 on the spot and not even be able to eat the apple! This applies to any fruit, seeds or food.Being a movie star will not save you either as Hillary Swank found out!



This might sound like a stupid question but does this include in my luggage if I'm only in NZ for a lay over? I will be studying in Australia for a full year and might find food I enjoy or want to bring home for friends/family. If it is indeed illegal to bring it back what would you suggest I do?? Would mail work for packaged food like candies, chips, etc??


Our customs are indeed very strict because our climate is very attractive to bugs and animals and they tend to over populate once they arrive (bee mites, spiders, possums etc). They will fine you on the spot if you do not declare things especially fruit, meats (including dried meats from Asia), dirty golf gear, dirty hiking boots/tents etc. They are fine with chocolate and candy. ....


Only if the packet is still sealed and completely intact. We Aussies and Kiwis seem to have a very, very, very low tolerance for food and animal material, mainly because so many of our critters are already endangered by foreign pests (rabbits, foxes, cats, camels, horses, european wood-borers, fruitflies). You aren't even allowed to take plant/animal material between our state borders (unless it's been declared and quarantined)! And really, I'd chuck it out anyways, anytime you are entering or leaving a country, you should most probably make it a habit to throw any fruit or veg away, and thoroughly clean any hiking/camping/golfing/etc. gear so there's no dirt or plant material on them.

The best rule to follow when entering a foreign country with any fruit, veg or animal materials etc. is "When in Doubt, Chuck it Out!" And declare anything you are iffy about so it can get the 'yay or nay' from the relevant authoity.
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busman7

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  • Added on: June 15th, 2010
If you hold a One World RTW with an open flight out of Australia on Qantas BEWARE as Qantas held me hostage claiming all flights to my booked destination were fully booked for the next 30+ days & it cost me 1,000+ d9llars to reroute with an extremely pompous & rude rep who didn't know her business! :x
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aussiegirl

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  • Added on: June 16th, 2010
Don't pick up conical shaped shells on the beach in Australia. It MIGHT not have anything wrong with it but if it does, it can kill you in seconds.
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partymarty4870

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
Please don't walk around late at night in Cairns - while it is a safe city during the day and safe to go out and party it is the opposite for a female walking alone late at night, as has been in the news recently.
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nikos555

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  • Added on: February 8th, 2011
thats the reason why i affraid to travel there!! i dont feel safety especially in the Pacific islands

jacinthemilton

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  • Added on: July 13th, 2012
I've heard that there are violent protesters there that uses guns and etc. just to make violence during any protest.

rsquaredd

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  • Added on: September 18th, 2012
Visiting Australia in Nov-Jan? The annoying bush flies descend on big cities. They're relatively harmless, but a shocker the first you see folks doing the Aussie wave.

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jacinthemilton

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  • Added on: October 2nd, 2012
Beware of pick pockets and robbery. Although it is safe to walk alone just be aware and be sure you stay out in dark.

On A Junket

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  • Added on: October 9th, 2012
aussiegirl wrote:Don't pick up conical shaped shells on the beach in Australia. It MIGHT not have anything wrong with it but if it does, it can kill you in seconds.


The shells you are referring to are actually Conus snails...DEADLY!

Aussie girl is correct best not pick up this cone shells just in case...you won't know if there's something inside wishing to say hi!
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  • Added on: September 12th, 2015
kcweimer wrote:I spent a lot of time on horseback in the rural areas of Victoria. Take snakes very seriously and use appropriate precautions, espicially in areas of tall grass where they are easily hidden - many can kill you. But the beauty of the land and people are worth the precautions.



I grew up in rural Victoria, living in the bush. Of course Australia famously has something like eight of the ten most venomous land snakes in the world. But I do find that the fear that many foreigners have of them is a bit overrated. I heard a year or two ago of some survey that asked Americans "which country would you most like to visit if you weren't afraid?" and the winner was "Australia".

Of course that question is ambiguous. But it seems strange for Americans, from a country where they also have deadly snakes, and have things that can actually tear you to pieces like bears or mountain lions (or rednecks with guns), to be afraid of Australia's snakes. OK up in the far north we have crocodiles. Those are scary. But they're a long way from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Uluru, etc., and from what I hear they won't bother you if you stay away from the water!

Anyway, a few simple tricks will help you avoid snakes, and some of the other spiders (there's only really one spider that will kill you unless you're very unlucky, and that only lives in Sydney), scorpions, etc. If free camping in the bush, obviously use a tent. Don't leave your boots outside overnight - if you have to, shake them out very thoroughly in the morning. If walking through the bush, don't jump into a big pile of leafs. If you're very nervous about snakes, walk with heavy footsteps. Unlike bears, snakes are afraid of people, and of course they "hear" through the ground, so if you walk heavily they'll hear you.

In some places (e.g. Wilsons Promotory) where the wombats, possums, etc., have become semi-tame, you might want to keep your food in the tent or car. If you don't, you'll lose your food, but you won't die, it's not like bears! and it has nothing to do with snakes.

Anyway, beware picking up flat objects, such as planks that have been lying on the ground for some time. This is particularly important to remember if you're helping an aussie clean up their garden shed or back yard. Always pick up things like that so that they're facing away from you, so that any snakes or scorpions can't run up your trouser legs, and run away from you. Don't stick your hand down holes in the ground. If you see a snake, don't pick it up. All pretty common sense things really.

The place you're by far most likely to see a snake is sunning itself on the road in the middle of the day.

If you do get bitten, which is very unlikely, don't attempt to suck out the blood. Don't use a tourniquet. Don't wash the bite and don't catch the snake (it will be identified from any venom remaining on the skin). Bandage from the bite sight down, and then up, tightly, but not too tight, as you would a sprain. The venom is transmitted through the lymph, not the blood. Then, obviously seek medical attention immediately.

I spent heaps of time in the bush, but saw few snakes. We had them under our house occasionally. That said, in one hike at Wilsons Prom many years back I saw something like 14 in one (long) day of hiking. None of them attacked me - avoid surprising them and they'll leave you alone. I've only ever known one person who was bitten by a snake, he was a city guy on the golf course. He didn't do any first aid, other than call the ambulance, and he was fine.

I wouldn't really factor snakes into your decision to visit Australia or not. Probably the main thing that can kill you in Australia is the heat, particularly when coupled with the large distances. Mind you, don't attempt to corner a Kangaroo or Emu, particularly one that you've injured by running into with your car by not being careful driving through farmland at dawn or dusk.
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