The Most Dangerous Countries in Oceania and How to Prepare for a Trip There

Safety Travel Tips for When Visiting Oceania

We all love traveling to safe places, but safe doesn’t always mean beautiful, or exhilarating. Sometimes, if you want to make memories that will last you a lifetime, you need to take a strong grip on your heart and go to one of the most dangerous countries in Oceania. The selfies you take there will definitely be something you’ll want to show your kids one day.

Oceania, also known as the Australian Plate, is one big continent that contains beautiful countries such as New Zeeland, Australia, Fiji, or the Cook Islands. Everything is so green, lovely and natural, full of bushes and beauties that you can’t help but love it.

Overall, Oceania is not that dangerous of a continent. In fact, visitors are overwhelmed by the peaceful sceneries and the spread of nature that are completely different from what they are used to. But simply because this continent is not as “touched” by human hands as the other European countries are (although it is still fairly technologically advanced), Oceania is fairly difficult to tame – especially is some particular countries. Here are the top most dangerous countries in Oceania that you may want to keep an eye out when visiting.

  1. New Zealand

Everyone who binge-watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy every so often knows that most locations there – especially the green ones – were shot from New Zealand. As you look at those images of the beautiful Shire, everything seems just so nice and peaceful that you couldn’t believe any dangers would befall you there.

Worldwide-speaking, New Zealand is fairly safe, compared to other countries. But if you only take the Oceania continent into consideration, this place is pretty dangerous – especially if you decide to venture into the wild. Since New Zealand has not been tamed all the way, there are certain risks when going outdoors. New Zealand is the home of various wild creatures – and as opposed to humans, wild animals are unpredictable. You have no idea when a huge venomous spider will start crawling up your foot.

Plus, there are many mosquitoes and sand flies in New Zealand. While they may look like a simple, harmless annoyance to you, these insects carry a large number of diseases. You may go to New Zealand a healthy man and return with some malaria. Always carry some bug spray with you, and apply skin repellent on your skin before going out.

Climate is also pretty moody, so when going on an excursion to New Zealand to see the nature, check the weather forecast. The last thing you’ll want is to be caught in a storm while you are in the middle of an expedition. You may also want to avoid rivers that have a high water level since it’s very easy to be swept away. Always carry a cell phone with you – although make sure that you get one with the best reception you can find. It’s difficult to get reception when you are outside a populated area, so you may want to record your travel intentions whenever you are traveling through New Zealand.

This way, even if you are lost, the police will know exactly where to look for you thanks to your last check-in. You may also want to ensure that you always have a survival kit with you. Pack it with anything you may need from whistles to matches and painkillers. This is usually part of the top tips for visiting Oceania no matter where you go.

The crime rate is fairly low in New Zealand, but you may still want to be careful in areas with heavy alcohol consumption. When going out, do not carry large amounts of cash with you, do not hitchhike, and do not accept drinks from strangers. Best to keep to yourself.

  1. Australia

Australia: the land where the kangaroos are hopping happily from one place to another. A land packed with beautiful sceneries, pretty animals and an amazing history…

A history dipped in the blood of convicts and Indians, huge spiders, and widespread deserts that bring a chill to the spine. Australia is as fascinating as it is creepy. One word of advice out there is to remember that pretty much everything in Australia is out to get you.

Did you know that Australia is the home of the biggest spiders in the world? Sure, South America takes pride in the Goliath birdeater tarantula, but Australia isn’t about to lose front on that. There are so many venomous spiders out there, big or small, that you’ll probably see one every time you cut a corner.

After spiders we have the snakes; other mammoths you need to keep away from. And it’s not as if these reptiles stay only in the wildlife, where people rarely venture; they crawl on the pavements and attack any creatures they may come across their path – from mice to very big flying foxes. Add crocodiles, coyotes, and every other Australian in the mix, and you’ll realize why most people call Australia a deathtrap.

Australia was also the place where most of the convicts were sent, and as you go further into the bush, you may bump into some of the Indian natives that aren’t exactly happy when they see trespassers. Unless you are going with a tour, avoid the remote areas of Australia, since you never know what may happen.

In Australia, even the sun is out to get you. Temperatures are so high there – especially during summer – that it won’t be surprising if you came across a bushfire during one of your expeditions. You may want to stock up on sunscreen, clothes that cover your skin, and enough pests repellent to keep the bugs away.

So, is Oceania safe to visit if you have Australia in mind? Sure it is… as long as you stay indoors. However, with a little precaution, you may even have the vacation of your life.

  1. Papua New Guinea

This country holds number 65 when it comes to the most dangerous countries in the entire world – so it’s pretty close to bad. While the countries above pose a problem mostly because of their natural environment, Papua New Guinea is one of the countries in Oceania that aren’t safe to visit due to its people; more specifically, the gangs that go around the suburbs called the “raskols.”

While it’s not like in the Wild West where people pull out their gun at first sight of a stranger, you still have chances of encountering dangerous individuals. These gangs rarely attack tourists, and if you use common sense on your outings, you won’t even have the chance of meeting with these individuals. You may also want to be wary of going deep into the Highlands; tribal fights are very common, and while most of them aren’t usually violent, it’s still a fairly risky ground to visit.

Here is how to prepare for a trip to Oceania if your target is Papua New Guinea:

  • Don’t start flaunting your wealth. Keep your camera hidden as much as possible and wear clothes that don’t attract much attention.
  • Talk to people instead of adopting an aloof attitude.
  • When going out, put K50 “raskol money” in your pocket while hiding the rest in your shoe or belt. This way, if you encounter any raskol, you won’t be giving all of your money away.
  • Avoid going out on Friday nights too much; on this day of the week, things tend to get pretty wild.
  • Keep your calm if you end up being held up. Most of the robberies are fairly unsophisticated, and if they get what they are looking for, it will end up with little to no injury.

You may want to make sure that you are never alone on the streets when traveling to Papua New Guinea. If the raskol see you with a large group of people, it’s less likely they will attack.

  1. Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is one of those countries not many people have heard about – but should definitely keep an extra eye open when visiting. The problem with Timor-Leste is that there is a lot of political unrest going on – so you may want to avoid highly populated areas. Keep away from rallies, demonstrations, spontaneous gatherings, and protests as much as you can.

It’s also fairly common for foreigners to be sexually harassed – which may occur in the form of groping sexual assault or indecent exposure. Be particularly careful about going into isolated areas – especially if you are a woman. Other incidents such as theft or stabbings may also occur, so you should always make sure to travel in groups and avoid shady areas and odd hour trips.

Also, you may want to make sure that when you go out, you don’t start flashing all of your valuables. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, and wear clothes that don’t attract much attention. The more you appear as a plain local, the safer you will be.

Have you ever been on a trip to one of these locations in Oceania? Did you encounter trouble on the way, or was the trip smooth and uneventful?

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