To get a real Australian outback experience and see some of the world’s most amazing untouched wilderness areas, embrace the isolation that some of our parks offer but be prepared.
Inform at least one person of your plans, including return details and for longer trips provide a schedule of progress reports. Discuss with them how often you will contact them if travelling for extended periods and what they should do if you are overdue. Provide sufficient detail so that someone has the information needed to get help if required.
Driving in remote locations - Be prepared
Don't venture anywhere without the right maps. RAC road maps are sufficient if staying on recognised roads but off the beaten track, you'll discover the bush is criss-crossed with tracks that can easily confuse you.
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. You need to be equipped for and capable of vehicle recovery and repair and for bush and outback survival.
Take ample fuel, water and non-perishable food, first aid kit, tool kit, spare tyres and parts, recovery gear and two-way communication. Carry extra fuel and water with you in case you get lost or your vehicle breaks down. Consider taking an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) or satellite telephone. Mobile reception is not available in most remote areas.
Be prepared for unsealed roads that may be impassable after rain or they may be washed out. It is recommended you check public road access and conditions prior to travel. Contact the local shire for up to date conditions of the roads.
Some pastoral station owners require permission to enter their land. Permission is also required to enter Aboriginal Lands, rail access roads and mining roads.
Drive to suit road conditions
Many parks and recreation areas are only accessible by gravel or dirt roads. Some road surfaces may be loose or corrugated, tyres can spin and lose grip, dust may reduce visibility and gravel may be thrown up. When driving these roads you should reduce your speed, leave extra distance from the vehicle in front and don't brake suddenly.
A number of places are only accessible by roads and tracks that are not suitable for all types of vehicles. You will only be able to get to some of the more remote areas of our parks with a 4WD (four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance and a low range gearbox) or adventure touring motorcycle. Venturing onto these roads is not recommended for the inexperienced. You need to be adequately experienced, equipped and prepared.
Beware of wildlife and livestock such as cattle on remote roads.
Journey times in and between parks may stretch to many hours or days and fatigue, particularly after hours of driving long straight roads, is a real risk. Conditions can be very hot and dry with fuel and food also scarce. Driving for a long time on straight roads and particularly at night will increase your risk of fatigue. Be sure to take regular breaks and share the driving load. Visit the Office of Road Safety for more advice on how to stay safe on our roads.
If your vehicle breaks down
If your vehicle breaks down or becomes stuck in a remote location, do not leave the vehicle to seek help. Stay with your vehicle until help arrives. A vehicle is much easier to spot from the air than a person.
Hiking and camping in remote locations
Some experienced hikers and campers seek experiences in remote places without facilities, often in areas that are challenging to access. Remote hikers and campers are generally experienced and self-sufficient. Often remote camping is associated with hiking, cycling, kayaking or four wheel driving.
Check the Bureau of Meteorology and local government websites to make sure you are prepared for weather conditions. Check fire danger ratings at the Fire and Emergency Services website and follow all fire safety information.
Take all appropriate equipment and supplies to ensure you are self sufficient for your journey, including water and first aid supplies.
If you are travelling to lesser-used or remote areas, consider carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a satellite phone with you and know how to use them in the event of an emergency.
Ensure you have good maps and navigation aids and know how to use them. Take hard copy paper maps in case electronic navigation devices fail.
When camping remote, avoid areas that may be prone to flash flooding, falling branches or unstable landforms.