See the outback safely - get the facts
A first-hand look at outback roads
Queensland Police captured footage on outback roads at Windorah and Birdsville showing visibility hazards while driving.
What you need to know before you go
A road trip is a great way to experience the wonder of the outback - its wide-open spaces, wildlife, and quaint townships. But before you hit the road, there're a few things to consider. Make sure you check out our regional driving tips for practical advice about your drive. Look out, roo!
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Got it? Before you leave, you’ll need a rock-solid plan. Start with working out where you want to go and grab a good map – you can’t always bank on phone service. Also, work out exactly how long it will take to arrive at your destination and make sure you factor in a 15-minute break every two hours. Without a rest, you’re putting your life in danger.
Your plan at a glance:
When planning your journey think about:
- meal and drink breaks
- rest stops
- scenic detours
- refuelling – it can be a long way between petrol stations in the outback
- toilet stops
- overnight accommodation.
It’s a good idea to have your vehicle serviced before you head off and think about alternate routes in case you come across roads you can’t pass.
Expect the unexpected
Anything can happen outback. You may be a long way from the nearest town so it’s important to be prepared.
It’s recommended you pack:
- a first aid kit
- water and non-perishable food, in case of delays or breakdown
- a fire extinguisher
- a tool kit (jack, winder, wheel brace, spanners, screwdrivers, spare fan belt, hoses and fuses)
- two spare wheels (one additional to the standard spare provided with your vehicle)
- a tow rope
- a shovel (in case you get bogged)
- toilet paper
- maps covering the whole of your route
- a compass or global positioning system (GPS)
- a tarpaulin
- a cooler
- rubbish bags
- communication equipment; remember your mobile phone may not work in the outback.
Just before you leave
- Check tyres, lights, windscreen wipers and washer fluid, battery, coolant and hoses, oil and fuel
- Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road and avoid alcohol, that way you will be fresh and alert for the morning’s drive
- If you’re heading into a remote area, give friends, neighbours or the police the details of your route
- Charge your mobile phone. It should work in regional centres but may not work in areas in-between
- Pack plenty of toys and games if you’re taking the kids along
- Check the weather along your route and delay your trip if heavy rain is forecast.
Check the road conditions for your route before you leave using QLDTraffic. This is an official source of traffic and travel information from the Queensland Government. You can download the free QLDTraffic app, visit the website www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au or phone 13 19 40. QLDTraffic provides the latest information about road closures, roadworks, congestion, hazards and crashes.