The Australian bushfires 2019–2020 was one of the most devastating disasters in Australian history. It burnt almost 19 million hectares including world heritage areas, at least 3,500 homes and killed 34 people and more than a billion of animals between June 2019 and March 2020. This study developed a planning support tool by visualising the fire spread based on an agent-based simulation platform. The case study area is the South Coast of NSW, which was one of the most affected areas in the country, where many towns were destroyed on New Year’s Eve. We also analysed the residents’ Twitter posts to understand how they prepared and evacuated in the midst of a life-threatening situation. We discuss how agent-based simulation can be used with residents to enhance their understanding of bushfire dynamics and planning. Recommendations on urban planning are made to improve the preparedness for future bushfires.