Travelling in Remote Areas
Journeys in remote Australia are often long and tiring. Roads may be poor and subject to rapidly changing conditions. Facilities such as service stations and food outlets may be few and far between.
- Be prepared and organised; find out about the areas you are travelling to.
- If you are driving a 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicle ensure that you are trained to use it.
- If you are driving a 2 Wheel Drive (2WD) vehicle is it suitable for the roads and area you will be travelling in?
- Don’t rely solely on a GPS, have a map as well and know where you are going. Use Google Earth or other apps to get a ‘birds-eye’ view of the area.
- Find out where the service stations are on route, there are apps such as Petrol Now which can be used whilst you have mobile coverage to see where the nearest petrol station is.
- Remember that mobile coverage is limited so plan before-hand.
Know your vechicle
Is your vehicle serviced and ready for the trip? There are a lot of details you should know and be aware of such as:
- Fuel tank capacity.
- How much fuel your vehicle uses in different circumstances?
- What are your tyre pressures?
- Is your spare tyre(s)/ ready for use?
- Where are your jack points and tow points?
- Do you have spare oil and water ?
- What kind of spare parts are worth taking with you such as fan belts and light bulbs?
- Do you have a good first aid kit?
- Do you have tools with you?
- Do you have emergency supplies with you?
On the road
- It is better to travel with two or more vehicles.
- Let people know when you are leaving and what time you expect to arrive.
- If circumstances change en route contact someone as soon as you can to advise of changes.
- Change drivers regularly.
- Have planned stops to give everyone an opportunity to stretch and move, go to the toilet and refresh.
- Be vigilant for wildlife, slow down and watch carefully.
- If you have to stop turn on your hazard lights.
- Bullbars make a big difference but they don’t stop objects from hitting other parts of the vehicle or flying through windscreens.
- Fit kangaroo whistles – they are not failsafe but they do help.
- Try to avoid driving at night if possible.
- If you are tired pull over in a safe area and sleep.