If you’re yearning for some space and fresh air and you just want to get away from it all, there isn’t anywhere better than the Australian outback. Its enormous size, it’s peace and quiet, it’s calmness, and the adventures you can have there are incomparable, and it makes for the ideal getaway when real life feels a bit too much.
Before you head out on your next outback adventure, it’s a good idea to prepare thoroughly in advance. As beautiful and tranquil as the bush is, it can be dangerous, and if you’re intent on visiting – and staying a while – preparation is critical. Here are some things to consider.
Where To Go
It might be an exciting thought to set off on your outback adventure without really knowing where you are trying to get to, but that is also a recipe for disaster for most people. Unless you know the bush like the back of your hand, you can get lost much more quickly than you might imagine. Getting lost in the outback isn’t the same as getting lost closer to civilisation, and the truth is, this wild and wonderful landscape is deadly if you can’t get back home again.
Therefore, making a plan of where you intend to go is the best and safest idea. Sharing that plan with people who are staying at home and with whom you need to check in regularly so they know you’re safe and don’t need to send out a search party should be part of your trip. It might be inconvenient, but it’s crucial if you want to stay safe.
Once you know you want to go exploring in the outback, you can start planning early. By the time you start your trip, you’ll know exactly where you want to go. Another benefit of starting your planning as early as you can is that you can whittle down your choices; there are a lot of them to think about. Just some of the places you might choose to visit include:
- Dalhousie Springs
- The Simpson Desert (where you can try to climb ‘Big Red’)
- Innamincka Regional Reserve
- Tallaringa Conservation Park
- Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park
- Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park
How To Travel
Your standard road car might be a comfortable vehicle to commute to work, pick the kids up from school, or pick up groceries in, but it’s not going to help you in the outback. For this kind of trip, you need something much more robust. This is why many people choose to have a 4wd conversion, giving them the ultimate vehicle to make their adventurous journey in and stay safe.
Once you have found the ideal vehicle to drive around in (and this is crucial otherwise your adventure will be over before it even begins), you are going to need to consider some other essential elements of your travel. The weather is one of these. If the weather is going to be bad – meaning either very wet and stormy or incredibly hot (hotter than usual, of course) – it’s best to postpone your trip. The chances of you coming to harm in the outback when the bad weather hits you increase substantially. Look at the forecast and make a determination to be safe.
The road conditions are something else that could jeopardise your adventure, and they need to be checked out. If you have a 4wd, you should be able to cope with almost everything, but knowing of any issues in advance will help you plan better.
What To Take With You
When you are travelling to any remote area, making sure you have enough equipment and sustenance with you is vital. Even if you do become stuck and you need assistance, if you have everything you need with you, you will be able to stay as safe as you can until help arrives. If you have completed your 4wd conversion, you should have plenty of room to store everything too.
Remember, mobile phones are unlikely to have much of a signal in the outback, and if you’re travelling for days, even if you do have a signal, charging the unit will be challenging to say the least. This is why it’s a great idea to have an alternative means of communication with you. Something like a satellite phone or a high frequency (HF) radio that you can use in an emergency would be perfect. Flares or a personal locator beacon will ensure help gets to you more quickly too; even a few minutes can make all the difference in this kind of barren landscape.
Remember too that the temperature might be extremely hot, and this is something else you should prepare for. Bottles of water aren’t going to enough, and you should take drums instead, as well as extra food. If the place you are headed to has had to close due to the weather, follow the rules; there is a reason for the closure, and although your plans might have to change, you can still have the most wonderful outback adventure.
Get Park Passes
A bonus tip on how to make the most of your outback exploration in your 4wd conversion is to get a Desert Park Pass. These passes allow you access into a number of different national parks, and since they can be bought in advance, you don’t have to worry about arriving late or finding there is no space for you. The passes also give you as much as 21 days to camp in one go, allowing you all the time you need to explore in relative comfort.
With your pass, you’ll receive a safety booklet to help you plan, as well as maps and park information, and this can be an invaluable checklist, especially if you’ve never been into the outback before.
Desert Park Passes can be booked online, and if you already have one and it needs to be renewed, you can do this online too and receive a discount.