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Australian bushfires: advice for travellers in NSW

By Anita Isalska   26 October 2013 1:55am Europe/London

Australia is no stranger to bushfires but the fires sweeping across New South Wales are the most devastating in years. Firefighters continue to battle the ‘megafire’, but so far homes have been destroyed, communities evacuated, schools closed and heavy warnings put in place. What does this mean for travellers in the area?

'Blue Mountains' by Wilson Afonso. CC BY 2.0. ‘Blue Mountains’ by Wilson Afonso. CC BY 2.0.

Stay safe

More than 140 parks closed areas because of the fires, and nine parks are currently affected by the fire. All national parks across the Blue Mountains, Hunter, Central Coast, Port Stephens and Dungog areas have shut – check the NSW Government website for the full list – and travellers are being advised against non-essential travel to the area. Adventure travellers planning to undertake 4WD trips, camping or hikes into the bush will probably have to defer their plans.

Transport and accommodation disruption

Expect disruption on the roads, and check for traffic updates in NSW and Victoria before you set out. In particular, drivers have been warned not to drive through the Blue Mountains area, and accommodation providers have been advised to put safety first by deferring bookings. The more flexible your plans, the better.

Useful resources

If you’re travelling in New South Wales and Victoria, stay in touch with the latest developments on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) website. Keep an eye on the maps of latest incidents in NSW and Victoria, and follow the social media updates from the NSW Rural Fire Service and CFA in Victoria for up-to-the-minute changes.