7 Things you Should Know When Planning an Outback Road Trip
If it isn’t already, an outback road trip should be VERY high on your bucket list. Visiting the outback gives you the opportunity to see some of Australia’s most vast and striking landscapes for yourself not to mention the regional communities you’ll come across and the different cultures that you’ll get to experience first-hand. That being said, an outback road trip is unlike any other style of road trip you’ve ever done in Australia. it’s crucial that you’re adequately prepared and know exactly what to expect before you hit the road. Check out our list of 7 things you should know before setting off for central Australia:
Set A Realistic Time Frame
We know you’ve heard this before but Australia is HUGE, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning an outback road trip is to underestimate just how massive our beautiful country is. In fact, did you know that Australia is 32 times bigger than the entire UK? That’s pretty crazy if you ask us. With this in mind, plan your route carefully and be aware of where/when you’ll have to do longer drives and where you’ll actually be able to stop and set up camp for the night. Try to avoid taking major detours as it can be very difficult to do on-the-spot research in the outback and you could end up knocking yourself several days off course.
It’s also important that you always make sure your roadside stops are safe and that you don’t park your caravan in bays that are designated for trucks. To plan your overnight stays and camping spots, head to the Campstay website where you’ll find lots of amazing outback campsites.
Plan Days Off
Following on from our previous point, it’s always a good idea to plan rest days or non-driving days. It’s also crucial that you allow for rest stops to break up each drive with the RACQ and CIAA recommending that you take a 15-minute break every 2 hours. An outback road trip is a truly amazing experience so we don’t’ recommend rushing it. The whole idea is that you get to explore a new landscape and part of the country, so we have a feeling you might regret it if you look back and realise you spent most of the time just sleeping and driving. Also, maintenance facilities and general amenities are less accessible in the outback so it’s always a good idea to have a bit of leeway in your schedule just in case you encounter any setbacks.
Learn Some Basic Caravan Maintenance
Speaking of maintenance, it’s a good idea to learn the basics yourself. We aren’t saying that you need to become a fully qualified mechanic or RV technician, but you should get educated on things like changing a tyre and checking the tyre pressure. That way, you won’t end up stranded and can avoid having to take a hefty hit to your bank account when calling out roadside assistance.
Pack the Essentials
There are some essentials that may not be as necessary for a regular road trip but that you should always have with you when heading into the outback. We’ve provided a list of some of these essentials below:
- A map: GPS is great until you lose reception or your phone dies.
- A satellite phone: Again, reception isn’t always guaranteed in the outback so if you’re heading to the more remote parts of central Australia, take a satellite phone with you so that you’re guaranteed a means of communication in case of emergency.
- Lots of water: Water is crucial for any road trip but particularly in the outback where it’s extremely dry and you can often go for long periods of time without seeing any shops.
- A first aid kit: Again, you may not always be able to easily access medical supplies or services so make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked.
- Fly nets: If you’re travelling to the outback in summer, make sure you bring a fly net. It will become your new best friend.
- A Jerry can and funnel
- Tools: Any tools you might need for basic repairs on your caravan
Show your Support in Regional Communities
When visiting the outback, it’s important that you’re prepared to support the local businesses and economies since many outback towns rely heavily on tourists and out-of-towners to help sustain their communities. It is important to be aware that the cost of groceries and everyday items will be higher in the outback and so you have to factor this into your budget. However, rural businesses and organisations play a key role in the lives of those who live in the outback, so it’s vital that you show your support. Click here to find out more about how you can support rural communities.
Consider the Climate
Prepare yourself for any and all climates in the outback. It will often be extremely hot during the day and relatively cool or even cold at night so make sure you pack daytime clothing and night time clothing. It may also be a good idea to try to plan your days more heavily around the mornings or reserve any indoor activities for the afternoons since a lot of people like to avoid the peak heat and humidity which occurs around midday or early afternoon and can be as high as 45°C in summer.
Mobile Phone Coverage
It’s important to note that different mobile phone providers offer very different levels of coverage depending where you are in Australia and some are even non-existent in the outback. Once you’ve planned a route, check with your mobile phone provider if they provide reception in those areas. A lot of telephone companies even offer convenient online maps of where they do and don’t provide coverage. If you feel that you aren’t going to have adequate reception during your road trip, it may be worth getting a temporary PAYG SIM just for the trip so that you can make phone calls, use GPS and access internet resources along the way.
At Coromal, we design caravans that allow you to embrace a hassle-free lifestyle full of adventure while ticking off those epic bucket list journeys. Our caravans make travel and the RV lifestyle accessible to everyone and offer the freedom of a life on the road that so many people dream of. To find out more about Coromal caravans or if you have a question for our team, get in touch with us today!