Due to bushfires in the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park in the past two weeks, sections 2 - 11 of the Larapinta Trail are closed until further notice due to damage to the trail, surrounding vegetation and signage. This affects locations such as Ormiston Gorge, Standley Chasm and Serpentine Gorge.
National Park staff are about to commence assessments and repair work to ensure the trail is ready for the 2019 walking season. It's advised that those who plan to walk the trail this season to be skilled with topography map reading, using a compass and GPS due to the fire damage.
Travelers must follow all local warnings and closure signage. Do not enter fire damaged areas. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.
Bushfires are currently impacting parts of southern Tasmania. Authorities have issued fire warnings and evacuations are in place for some towns. Some roads may be closed as firefighters battle to get the fires under control.
The Tahune Airwalk has sustained significant damage and will be closed until further notice.
Bushfire advice warnings have been issued for the following locations:
If you are traveling around Tasmania, check with authorities for more information before traveling to any destination, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.
Category 2 Severe Tropical Cyclone Oma is located approximately 710km northeast of Brisbane, moving slowly at 5.5mph (9kph). Meterologists from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology predict that the cyclone will weaken over the weekend (23-24th Feb), downgrading to a low pressure system. Despite the cyclone not making landfall, its proximity to the coast will bring heavy damaging surf conditions, rainfall, very strong winds and coastal erosion.
Hazardous surf conditions and gale force wind warnings have been issued from Queensland's Capricornia Coast (Seventeen Seventy) right down to Coffs Harbour, on the NSW mid north coast. Lifesavers have closed beaches along the coast and have been warned people not to enter the water.
Moreton Island and North Stradbroke Island ferry services have significantly reduced or cancelled due to the large swell. Please check with ferry providers before traveling.
Those living on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane, particularly those near waterways or coastal locations may experience localized flooding due to heavy rainfall and tides. Travelers should take care when driving on roads in affected locations and obey all road signage and traffic control in place.
Check with authorities for more information before traveling to any destination, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.
Townsville experienced widespread flooding due to a monsoonal weather system which has inundated the city with a year's worth of rainfall in a week. Many highways and roads in surrounding areas are still cut by flood waters.
Local authorities have reported cases of the contaminated soil and water borne disease melioidosis, which has claimed the life of one person and hospitalised several others in intensive care.
If you see flood waters as you are driving towards Townsville and surrounding regions, do not attempt to drive through. Obey all road closure signs. For more information, please visit the Townsville City Council Emergency Management Dashboard.
Follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.
Category 3 Cyclone Owen is currently making its way southeast in the Gulf of Carpentaria towards Queensland from the Northern Territory. The Bureau of Meteorology reports that Owen will intensify to a category 4 when it makes landfall in Queensland, packing wind gusts of 140-175mph (225-279km/h).
Cairns and other towns in Far North Queensland and as far south as Mackay and the Whitsundays Region will be impacted by strong winds and heavy rain with the risk of flash flooding. Authorities have placed a flood watch as far south as Rainbow Beach and are strongly advising people to move to safety such as an evacuation center or out of the impact area.
Dozens of flights, on all carriers flying in and out of Sydney and Melbourne, have been delayed or canceled due to strong winds currently impacting the east coast of Australia. Sydney Airport is currently functioning on one runway and several flights have had to abort landings for safety reasons. This will have follow-on effects across the country.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has forecasted these strong winds to last well into Friday evening (23 November)
Please check with your airline (domestic and international flights) or more information and check with your travel insurance company as cut off dates for coverage for this event can vary.
NSW Rural Fire Service and Newcastle Airport report that there are traffic delays and road closures near the airport due to a bushfire burning nearby in Campvale and Salt Ash including near the runway. While the airport remains open, passengers are strongly advised to make sure they take extra time to get to the airport in case of delays. There are also issues with cell phone reception in the area.
Incoming flights from Sydney or Melbourne may be impacted by the strong winds currently affecting those two cities causing delays and cancellations. Check with your airline before departure for more information.
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