Our thoughts are with everyone in Australia in areas affected by the terrible bushfires, and for all concerned for family and friends in Australia. We have lots of Australian Home Base Holidays members, many of which have been members and friends for many many years - we're thinking of them all and sending our best wishes at this very worrying time.
What to know before home swapping in Australia
At the time of writing there isn't advice against travel to Australia in general - but if you do have a home swap planned soon, please get in touch with your Australian hosts to check that they are safe and well. With the temperatures set to rise again in many of the affected areas, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the ever-changing situation and stay in touch with your hosts in the lead up to any travel dates.
Always confirm flights with airlines before departure. Airlines cancelled several flights in NSW due to low visibility from bushfire smoke. Etihad Airways announced it would waive change fees for Australian residents affected by the fires. The waivers will apply for travel to or from Australia. Virgin Australia is also waiving change fees.
How to help
You can donate to the Australian Red Cross through The Intrepid Foundation (100% of all donations are being donated to these efforts).
As many as 800 million animals, including koalas and kangaroos, have been killed or hurt in the bushfires. You can donate to the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) emergency fund. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park have both created GoFundMe pages to help search for injured animals, pay for veterinary assistance and help animals recover.