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The Role of Fires in Australia

If you have been following the news at all with regards to Australia, you will know that there have been some pretty serious fires raging in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. These types of stories surface every few years.

I was speaking with a client on the phone yesterday and she asked if this is normally a bad time of year to travel to Australia due to high probability to fires. Having studied the role fire ecology in Australia as a part of my Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies in Australia I know that this is an important part of the ecosystem.

Australia’s fires typically begin in the summer months, when the terrain is at its driest, and are usually ignited by lightening. However, right now it is only springtime which is unusual for this big of a fire, but due to a dry winter the conditions are ripe for the kind of fires sweeping these bush areas.

What does this mean to you as a traveler/tourist?

A lot of the gum trees (eucalypts) and other tree species depend on that fire to release the pods or seeds to start a new generation of forest. In the beginning the landscape will be scarred from all the ash, but over time the greenery will prevail as well as wildlife in the area. When traveling, it is very important to follow all the safety precautions as announced by the officials. This will keep you out of harms way.

Weather in Australia can be very extreme from severe droughts, to raging floods, cyclones (hurricanes) and more. These weather patterns shape the context of the landscape and, I believe, the general Aussie spirit. Australians are great people who are very resilient.

We sent some clients to Australia a few years ago after some massive fires in the state of Victoria. These clients ended up taking The Ghan (Australia’s famous train) from Adelaide to Alice Springs (Ayers Rock. area) in the Red Center. This is a great experience when traveling to meet local Australians.

In any case, our clients met a lovely couple from Victoria who owned a wildlife refuge who lost everything in what is now known as Black Saturday. Over the course of the train ride, which lasts two days, they shared their experiences from these fires and a photo album of before and after pictures. Needless to say, they were amazed to see the effects of the fire.

Even more impressive for them was the positive spirit of how this couple were picking up the pieces and moving on with their lives. This is the Aussie spirit I am speaking about. This also turned out to be their favorite and most memorable experience of the whole trip. They are still friends with this Aussie couple and keep in contact.

A trip to Australia is more than just the wildlife or landscapes. It’s about people. Getting you off the beaten path to more unique areas and places where Australian’s go is what we specialize in. It is a country of extremes that helps shape outlooks, forge friendships and more.

The Sydney Opera House, Ayers Rock and Great Barrier Reef are why people go to Australia the first time. The “Aussies” and raw beauty is why they go back.

If you would like to plan a unique and memorable experience in Australia, please feel free to contact one of our consultants to help you with your journey.


Kind regards and safe travels,