Schoolies have been warned they could face long jail terms or even the death penalty if they get into trouble while partying overseas after their exams.
Cashed-up and keen to blow off steam, more leavers are choosing Bali, Thailand or the Pacific islands for their post Year 12 bash.
For the first time, the Federal Government has issued a travel warning for leavers going overseas.
The Department of Foreign Affairs cautions that leavers could get in deep strife if they misbehave in another country.
The advice, Schoolies 2012, reminds them they would leave behind many support services taken for granted in Australia.
"This may be your first trip overseas or your first without parents or teachers and there are a few things you should know and do before you go," the advice says.
It urges them to get travel insurance. "If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel," the website says.
Leavers should also register their plans, stay in a group and know the local laws. It points out that Bali and Thailand have the death penalty for drug offences.
"Don't expect to be treated differently from the locals just because you're Australian, even if you're under 18," the advice says.
Schoolies are counselled to avoid local drinks because they could be mixed with chemicals.
Facebook groups set up to encourage schoolies to head to Bali tell leavers not to pay more than about $3 a day for a motorbike with a board rack and that they can buy Bintang beer for $2.50. One tour operator promotes seven-night "schoolies" Bali flight and accommodation packages from Perth - with travel guides - for $1299.
South West police inspector Lyle Cubbage urged parents not to send unaccompanied leavers overseas.
He was aware that many parents went with their children overseas for leavers' celebrations.
He urged parents to encourage their children to join local leavers' celebrations instead.
"We get about 7000 leavers coming into our district and parents can feel OK about harm minimisation and good strong strategies for leavers with a high police presence, and a zone which is a safe haven for leavers to enjoy," he said.
There were also outstanding medical facilities at leavers events in WA, Insp. Cubbage said.
WA Police says that since its leavers strategy was introduced in 2005, the number of arrests and charges from Schoolies Week have fallen 90 per cent.
About 500 volunteers will help out at leavers-only events this year, starting on November 26.