Tips for driving in remote Australia

Australia’s remote wilderness areas have few towns and facilities and often have large distances between them. If you are planning on driving in remote parts of outback Australia you need to be prepared. Issues can arise when driving in remote Australia because of the extreme heat, difficult terrain and large distances between towns and petrol stations. Before leaving on your self-drive trip in the outback it is essential that you:

– Pack plenty of food and water.
– Do not store your water in the one container but store it in several separate containers.
– Carry extra fuel if travelling in remote areas as there are often long distances between towns.
– Tell local authorities such as local police of your intended route and advise people at your intended destination of your estimated time of arrival.
– Carefully check the distance between your destinations. If you believe the distance will take three hours to travel, double this estimate as terrain and road quality can be unpredictable.
– Ensure you know how to change a tyre.

Road conditions can vary from a sealed surface to gravel and dirt. Be careful of holes, soft road edges, narrow roads with unstable edges, narrow bridges, changing surfaces and dusty roads. Always check on local road conditions before leaving major roads.
If your vehicle breaks down: If you are in a remote location and become lost or broken down do not leave your vehicle under any circumstances. It will provide you with shade and protection from the heat. Wait for help to come to you. Consider hiring appropriate emergency communication equipment, such as a satellite phone and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) device.
Roads may flood in certain parts of Australia depending on the season. If you come across a flooded road the safest thing to do is not to enter. Take an alternative route or wait until the water level has dropped most flash floods recede within 24 hours.
Watch out for animals on the road such as kangaroos, emus, and grazing livestock. The most active time for many native animals is sunrise and sunset. If an animal crosses in front of you, reduce speed safely and do not swerve violently or you may roll the vehicle.