Find out what to wear in the Australian Sun, along with other suggestions, before you set off on your DriveWA escape.
The Australian Sun - And Sunburn
The Australian sun is in itself a wonderful tourist attraction; however, Australia has the world’s highest incidence of skin cancer so enjoy the sun, but please be very careful.
This is particularly important for people arriving from the cold Northern Hemisphere winters; when Western Australia is experiencing its hot summer. Your body will take time to adjust to the sun and heat.
Slip, Slop, Slap
Please make sure that you take sensible precautions and remember the very successful "Slip, Slop, Slap" campaign; which advocates that when you are out in the sun, you should slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat.
Wear protective clothing (shirt/hat/footwear) and always apply and reapply sun cream (with an SPF of 30).
The ultra violet rays from the fierce outback sun can burn very badly and very quickly. Even on days that are overcast, and not all that hot, people often get badly burnt because they do not take precautions.
We recommend that you wear loose-fitting cotton clothing that gives maximum skin coverage, whilst allowing the air to circulate around your skin.
Caps are fine in moderate conditions; but we recommend that you wear a hat with a wide brim all around.
Excessive ultra violet light can damage the eyes or make them quite sore.
Good quality sunglasses with lenses treated to filter out the ultraviolet light rays are very important, and a wise investment.
The Australian Cancer Council produces sunglasses that are for sale at most WA pharmacies, some service stations, and many news agencies. The good news is that they are not very expensive. Check for the label.
If you need optical lenses then please get good sunglasses from your optometrist before you leave home.Please also carry a copy of your prescription with you so that you can get them replaced if need be. We recommend that you take a spare set of glasses or contact lenses with you.
Many people love Australia because it is generally a warm continent, but it can be very, very hot; and even more so in the outback!
With the exception of southern areas, you can expect the weather to be hot throughout the outback from October through April.Travellers from cool climates may be very uncomfortable, even in winter, unless they are well prepared.
Daytime temperatures may soar up to 50 degrees Celsius, and beyond, in the summer months!
People with pale skin, that have not been exposed to the sun for a while, will get sunburnt much quicker than they would expect. Darker skinned people are not immune from sunburn or skin cancers, and should be just as careful!
The sensible thing to do on a hot day is to avoid the sun between mid-morning and mid-afternoon (11am to 3pm is often the hottest time of day).
Obviously infants and elderly people are most at risk from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so they must be careful.
It is wise to drink a lot of water to maintain good health in hot conditions.