Friday, 10 April 2009

15 Tips for travelling in the Outback of Australia

Generally you want most if not all of these items when travelling on the long lonely roads which we have in the outback.
To give you an idea of distances, My nearest towns’ are 110kms South, 420kms North, 530kms West & 200kms East and not much in between, very little shade and no refreshment stands.

Most of the Australian Outback has conditions that require forethought.

Here are 15 helpful hints to have the best travelling experience in the Outback

1 - Tell someone of your travel plans before you go.

2 - Phone main roads for road conditions ie: (138 138 ) for Western Australia.

3 - Have a reliable vehicle. Always service your vehicle before your journey, check tyres & spares, Keep windscreen clean & clear. Our roads are very long & straight, mirages are common and so is our wildlife.

4 - Carry plenty of water, water for your vehicle, your Pet & per person allowance, and always carry more for that extra person whom you come across, that maybe stuck.
I have used my supplies of water to limp a car home with a leaking radiator, some 600kms away.
A roo jumped in front of the car damaging the radiator and no I wasn’t driving, truth is it wouldn’t have mattered who drove, it happens to the best of us. If you have a solid vehicle it is best to drive straight through. It can be very dangerous if you try to swerve them. The headlights tend to dazzle & cause distortion, senses get confused and so it is not uncommon for kangaroos’ or Emus to turn around and go in the opposite direction.

5 - reading material, if your vehicle has problems, you won’t be using any electrics and so something that does not require power, would be helpful to pass the waiting time.

6 - Portable AM/FM radio & batteries. To listen to weather or road conditions.

7 - 2 to 3 days worth of food: Packet crackers, long life milk, canned food in case of an emergency.

8 - First Aid kit, a roll of crepe bandage for snake bite, asthma spray, stinging relief, Brown paper bag, Ice pack and the usual items you would normally carry.

9 - Tool kit- with the general tools & these extras. Jumper leads, pocket knife, tape, small 10 by 4 trap (for water crossings) ,tyre compressor or hand/foot pump, a spare battery can be very helpful especially if you use a car fridge.

10 - Recovery Kit, You’ll want something to Jack up the vehicle, so a good jack is a must. Tree huggers, a few D shackles, a bit of chain and the usual recovery gear. You can never have too much rope either, Rope that can be used to splice into a tow rope or to tie up a shelter.

11 - Spare tyre: preference 2, there are many dirt roads and terrain that you may not be familiar with. It is not unusual to have an incident. Always check your tyres before the trip and keep an eye on them throughout your journey, the roads get very hot.

12 - Map – Even if you have never read a map before, if stuck, you can at least head to a road or a water source. However be aware if you see water holes or windmills that are marked on the map. These days they are not guaranteed as most have been disabled or filled in.

13 - Compass more so than a GPS, GPS’s are not always reliable, especially in cloudy or unusual weather. If you had no direction the compass will always show you North or Magnetic North. Remember, to step away from your vehicle when using a compass.

14 - Carry a Swag , Generally Fatigue is a big issue. Pull over if you are getting tired and have a cat nap, Swags are very comfortable under such conditions.
Or pull over, walk around the vehicle, have a drink & refresh yourself.

15 - Carry rubbish bags. The outback is used by wildlife & many travellers. Always carry your litter with you and dispose when possible.

Keep Australia Clean !

If ,you are ever stuck in the Outback. There are several things you should know.
* Never go away from the vehicle. When there is a search for a missing person the vehicle is usually the first thing found.
* If an aeroplane is searching for you, use your revision mirror or mobile phone to reflect the sun towards the aircraft, not into the pilot’s eyes, this makes for easy spotting. It is very hard to visually see a person on the ground. Stand in a clearing and if possible wear colours that would stand out from a distance.
* If you do walk away from the vehicle, leave a sign as to what direction you are going and try to stay on a road. Generally the roads are investigated first.
*Never go on closed roads, you may be fined. Roads are closed for many reasons follow the signs. *Don’t panic. If, you have the supplies & resources in your vehicle, as suggested. You, have 2 to 3 days to work with.

When travelling Act responsibly !!!


Rashley Yeremia said...

Hey, Thanks for your help. I subscribed to the 31 days blog thing. I got the email about putting a tracking code. But I'm not sure how to do it. Are you supposed to copy the link in the template spot? And afterwards, will there be any changes in the blog as in a new application or some sort? Thank you.


Onna@toddlercraft said...

I have never been to Australia-Although I would love too!! But, I love the check list you made!! It would come in handy should I ever make it there!!

Stopping in from 31dbbb-thanks for your feedback!