Safety in the city


Queensland is a safe place to visit. However, these tips will help ensure your safety while you're here.

Road safety

You probably have busy roads in your own country, and just like back home, we have road safety rules in Queensland too. But we have a few differences!

Where you are from, cars probably drive on the right side of the road. But in Australia, cars drive on the left. This means as a pedestrian, you need to stop and look right, then left, then right again, when crossing the road. This is because right will be the direction that cars will be coming from closest to you.

In the city we have designated places to cross the road. These are called 'pedestrian crossings' and 'zebra crossings'. When crossing the road, never walk slowly or run. Instead, walk quickly but carefully.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Public transport

Just like most places, in Queensland you can take the bus, train, ferry, taxi, or a car to get from one place to another. Many students take public transport to school. Your host family will show you the best way to get to school from their house.

If you’re staying in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast, you can check routes, fares and plan your travel using the MyTransLink app.

For Cairns, Townsville and regional Queensland students—please check your local transport options or ask your homestay family.

When using public transport, here are some things to remember:

  • When you arrive at a public transport stop, note what other passengers were waiting at the stop before you and let them on first when the transport arrives.
  • Sometimes passengers may queue, this means they stand in a line while waiting to get on. If this is the case, simply join the end of the line and let those in front of you get on first.
  • Have your money or travel card ready when the transport arrives.
  • When it is your turn to get on, always let passengers on the transport get off before you try to get on.
  • Never run or push in front of other people when getting on or off public transport.
  • Always walk slowly when on a bus or train and hold onto something when it is moving.
  • Stand up and give your seat to pregnant women, older or disabled people.
  • It’s considered polite to offer your seat to adults if the service is busy or full.

Public transport tickets

It’s easy to use our public transport system and there are two options for buying tickets:

  • You can buy single tickets sold on buses and at Translink fare machines.
  • Or you can use a prepaid travel card called a 'Go Card'.

It's a good idea to buy a Go Card when you arrive, as this is a cheaper way to get around. When buying your Go Card, show your student ID and ask for a student Go Card.

If you ever get into a problem and are lost or confused, call your homestay family or the student support hotline 1800 QSTUDY.

Stranger danger

Queensland is a safe place, but you must still look after your personal safety like you would back home.

‘Stranger danger’ is something Australian parents teach their children. It means that all strangers can potentially be dangerous. Be cautious if a stranger talks to you, and if they offer you something, ask or tell you to go with them—just say ‘no’.

If you are ever worried about a stranger, call the free student support hotline 1800 QSTUDY.

Your city safety checklist

  • Never carry a lot of money.
  • Close your bag so people cannot reach into it.
  • Don't walk alone at night, walk with a friend.
  • Stay in areas that have a lot of streetlights and 'safe areas' discussed with you by your school. Do not go to unsafe areas.
  • Plan your trip home with TransLink so that you know your route.
  • Make sure you have your Go Card to get home on public t​ransport. A bank card is used for other transport such as a taxi.
  • Walk with confidence, like you are from Queensland.
  • In Queensland, a bank card is predominately used for payment instead of cash. If taking money out of an automatic teller machine (ATM), cover your hand when you type your personal identification number (PIN)​. Do not withdraw large amounts of cash.
  • Always make sure your phone has enough battery charge.
  • Keep emergency numbers 'triple zero' 000 and your homestay p​rovider's phone number handy'.
  • Keep the student support hotline 1800 QSTUDY phone number hand for non-emergencies and incident management support.
  • Always check your surroundings.

Homestay curfew

Your homestay family and school may tell you there is a curfew, meaning what time you need to be home by. If you are running late, call or message your homestay family, otherwise they'll start to worry and may notify the student support hotline 1800 QSTUDY or the police.

Drugs and alcohol

While you’re here, there is a rule for drugs and alcohol—one strike and you’re out! It means if you are caught anywhere with drugs or alcohol, even one time, you may be on the first flight back home, so please don’t risk it!

Do not accept any drugs or alcohol from anybody because if someone finds it, you are the one who will be punished. If someone offers you alcohol or drugs just say ‘no!’. We don’t want you to go home early.

Your school will also talk to you about this when you arrive.

Animals in the city and suburban areas

Many animals can be found in the city and suburban areas. Most city dwelling animals in Queensland are harmless, but you should enjoy looking at them from a safe distance and never try to touch or feed them. It’s best to leave all animals alone and give them space.

If you are bitten by a snake or spider, call 'triple zero' 000.

Click on the photos below to find out about specific animals. Learn more at Be Wildlife Aware.​

Last updated 03 January 2024