With approximately 17.9million acres of land burnt across six states, numerous lives lost or missing, and about half a billion animals affected this summer’s bush fires in Australia have been terrifying.
As we witness these horrors unfold from afar it can be challenging to know what we can do to help and whether we can continue with our travel plans.
The outpouring of grief, support, donations and well-wishes from around the world has been truly heart-warming to see during this beyond-challenging time for many.
Impacts on Stray Australia
Our East Coast trips are running as normal aside from the following:
The bushfires went through Nymboida in November, the area that is home to our Strademark stop, River Retreat. They are currently acting as an emergency Crisis/Rescue Centre for the local community, who need their resources most. During this time we are staying in Yamba (a lovely small coastal town) at the YHA, while we work with the team at River Retreat to return as soon as possible, once they have been able to rebuild and are up for accepting visitors.
The Blue Mountains National Park has been affected by the fires. Officials are currently working on hazard reduction to help ensure that the fires don’t continue in the area. If we have had to cancel your trip we will contact you directly to let you know in advance and you are welcome to change your dates, free of charge.
If you’re heading to Australia with Stray soon or are already here, please regularly check out our Service Updates page and the Tourism Australia website for updates on disruptions in your area. Currently, all East Coast departures are running as scheduled. If your departure is affected, you will be contacted directly by our reservations team with as much advance notice as possible.
We appreciate your help and understanding with this matter, our thoughts are with the local people effected and all the international travellers who are affected at this time.
Spread the love
Australia is one of our favourite destinations to travel. From stunning white sand beaches in Whitsundays, lush rain-forests in northern Queensland to the friendly wildlife on Magnetic island and beyond, the beauty of this country is endless.
Now’s the time to spread the love. Here’s how:
1. Make a donation to help rebuild the Nymboida Canoe Centre (River Retreat)
Help rebuild and repair one of our Strademark stops, so that future groups whether from Stray, schools, or other communities can enjoy staying at this gem of a location.
2. Make a donation to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Help save the lives of the koalas affected by the bushfires. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is also fundraising to establish a koala breeding program with an aim to establish a new population of koalas.
Stray Australia visits the Port Macquarie koala hospital on its Mick (Sydney to Cairns) and Greg (Sydney to Brisbane) Passes and Tours. While you are there you can make a donation or some recent travellers have even opted to ‘adopt a koala’ for a year.
3. Make a donation to the NSW Rural Fire Service
The superheroes who have been fighting these fires and saving lives day and night need your support.
4. Tell friends in Australia to register on findabed.info
A volunteer community connecting people and their animals who need a place to stay, with people who have a spare bed.
5. Make a donation to the Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross is invaluable to the community. To date, they have deployed 1,285 trained staff and volunteers to support affected communities.
6. Make a Donation to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
The Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams are providing ongoing support from mental health support to financial assistance, housing support and more.
7. Don’t deter your travel plans
On top of this, the most supportive thing you can do is encourage people to still visit this beautiful country and support local businesses. Key tourist attractions such as Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef and several others remain unaffected and are welcoming visitors like you. If you still feel anxious, one of the ways you can help is by rescheduling your planned trip to a later date.
Come and experience the very best of this beautiful country because #australiaisopen!